Why Do We STILL Condition Our Children into Gender Stereotypes? Look at this…

Well, it’s the end of 2013 but take a look at some of the advertising out there for children’s toys and we could be back in the 1950s.

Below is an advert for a girl’s duvet cover. Note that it’s a woman in that dress with a tiny waist and bust a la Barbie.

sexist girl's duvet

And for boys…

sexist boy's duvet

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked as there seems to be a backward trend in the way we are socialising our children, and we still have Page 3 of the wretched Sun. But…excuse me while I SCREAM!

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Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by

13 Responses to “Why Do We STILL Condition Our Children into Gender Stereotypes? Look at this…”

  1. I am screaming with you Jane but if we can get the message out to parents and educators like you do, on the impact of negative stereotyping that still bombards us then the children themselves can start to reject these mindless products and reclaim positive and healthy images for their duvet covers!

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Jayne. I’d get rid of the dress entirely and give the spaceman yellow shoes! Isn’t it ridiculous; the girls can aspire to being slim princesses and the boys can be astronauts. I am so flippin’ mad.

  2. Filao Wilson says:

    Hi Jane, keep ranting – we all need to and I’m up here ranting right along with you.

    These pictures disgust me, they are completely awful and even more disturbing for me because I’ve just become a grandma fighting a rearguard action about gender stereotyping the new baby girl in my own family.

    Wish me luck – bit of a lone voice here at the moment!

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Filao. I was reading the magazine in bed and had to stifle my outrage as my husband was asleep behind me. I had a boy and a girl. My girl got dolls, so did my son. My son got a train set, so did my daughter. He got the more flack for having a boy doll! But I’m proud to say both my children have grown into wonderful caring adults.

  3. Tim Douglas says:

    Keep yelling and we’ll yell with you. And Filao, it IS especially tough when it comes to your own family. New parents seem to lose all common sense in the fuzziness of their new love, wanting it wrapped in cotton wool (blue or pink, of course).

    We recently had to think about Santa presents for a charity event. Tough call since the kids could be between 3 and 13, boy or girl. Finding non-gender stereotyped gifts was very tough to do. Maybe we need more help from designers. Those bed covers could easily have been nature scenes.

  4. Jim says:

    Hi Jane,

    You made some very good points here.

    How this can still happen, in an era where we have GREAT female astronauts, is just silly.

    Thanks for the rant, my friend!

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Jim. It’s astonishing. My children are adults now but it was nowhere near as bad when they were small. I didn’t have to buy pink all the time for my daughter and my son had a great boy doll called Pierre, complete with a penis, would you believe. He asked for one and it took some time to find one as he didn’t want a baby doll (you could get plenty boy babies). We eventually got it in Paris where I realised with a tad of embarrassment that I didn’t have the correct French word for penis and nearly got thrown out of the store with my mime actions…

    • Jane says:

      PS And Feargus (son) is wonderful with children who all adore him. Probably all down to that doll…;>)

  5. Martin Ziegler says:

    I think it goes deeper than reactions to stereotyping. Who cares if the seller wants a boy or girl portrayed in a particular outfit. Without screaming, buy something which suits your child and not the advertiser’s plan. Vote with your purse. That’s a powerful way of overcoming stereotypical advertising.

    • Jane says:

      Actually I care because of the constant subliminal message this sends out. Of course I’d never buy something like this but young, impressionable boys and girls are bombarded with this type of nonsense all the time. So I guess I’ll carry on ‘screaming’. ;>)

    • Jayne Saul-Paterson says:

      Of course I agree we shouldn’t buy these things for our children but if you’ve had your own children you will know the powerful influence of peer pressure and as a parent not making your child stand out from the crowd too much plus if you are a parent who isn’t even aware yet of subliminal negative stereotyping then some of us are going to need to keep screaming to get the message heard, understood and acted upon!

  6. Jane says:

    Well, if you’ve read all the comments and don’t get the point I’m making about how we limit our children’s aspirations, then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Thanks for taking the time to share your viewpoint, though. I appreciate it and am always happy to hear differing views.

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