Pink

Pink Lego

About a week or so ago, this landed in our house. A gift, a shared joke, from a dear friend who after having three fabulous boys added an equally fabulous girl to the bunch, not long after our daughter came into being. While I desperately tried to avoid the onslaught of pink, my friend embraced it. In our home, the shrieks for the pink one, the one with the bow and the princess stuff grow more shrill by the day, in her home the insistence that Lego is the way to go on all things appears firmly planted.

Across the miles, in emails and then in this package, my friend tells me they honor both desires with pink Legos. I’m not keen on the message that the mass produced gender prescribed crap often offers to our children, but should that sully the color pink? I figure as long as Bean is still investigating ants, climbing trees, taking dinosaurs on tracks across the desert, or building pink Lego bridges that a little or lot of pink is okay.

Dinosaur, snail and pink

I wonder how my mum addressed this way back at the dawn of time when I was a kid. Part of the second wave of feminism, Mum went on to write books on gender issues in the elementary classroom, but still I occasionally got my then pink obsessed way and ended up in dresses like this:

Tepary, 1976 at my uncle's wedding

1976 – Seven years old and at my Uncle’s wedding. Check out the other outfits!

Thirty-four years later it seems to have turned out alright, but where to find the balance? Mum? Ideas?
Rachel, Kerry, Erika, Julie, others does pink really matter that much in the grand scheme? Does it matter if the Legos are pink?

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13 Comments

Filed under Communication, Grandparents & Parents, Navigation of Dangerous Water (Parenting)

13 responses to “Pink

  1. tduvall

    Check out the first two paragraphs of this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7817496.stm. If our great-grandparents had it right, then pink might, ironically, be responsible for all those assertive females today.

  2. Alexandra

    Pink is a delightful color—I think that the problem is not that little girls tend to like it, but that little boys are discouraged from liking it, and sometimes banned from wearing it or painting with it. Even when they want to. That’s where the gender disparity comes in. I promote the use of pink by everyone.

    • Pink for all!
      Funny how a color can have such power eh?Really, this is just light reflecting and the cones in our eyes processing the light, but we’ve created this whole cultural interpretation of a physical property.

  3. Erika

    I agree with Alexandra. Kids tend to like bright colors, and a lot of pink things are of the bright variety. Our friend’s little boy LOVES pink and purple. His dad is a sociologist and, after his initial knee jerk reaction to rip it form his son’s hands, congratulated his 2 year old son on his selection of the PINK fisherman’s hat at the aquarium gift shop.

    You married the right man to help reclaim pink for men. His collection of pink clothing should be flaunted!

  4. Betsey

    I agree that there is universal appeal of pink and purple in the 2-3 year old set (and maybe beyond). I know a lot of boys who love purple and pink, including my own.

    I don’t know if it matters if the legos are pink, but I think if they are ALL pink then that’s lame. And I think it’s dumb that our double set of standard duplos has nary a pink lego – we’d have to buy the special all pink girls set. stupid.

  5. Don’t have anything to contribute to this great post (though I think Alexandra is right on). Just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE the photos!

  6. A ancient mum

    I am not sure about pink, having given way to my own daughter’s love of the colour when she was little, and then watching her grow out of it – perhaps it doesn’t matter much. It might be the overall ethos of the household that questions sterotypes and labelling – and even when the children’s answers aren’t what you want, at least you’ve tried!

    More important on the clothing issue, has been raised in France. I don’t like Nicholas Sarkozy at all, but I really welcome the courageous approach to political incorrectness that his government have adopted. Women are not being allowed to wear the burka. For those who do not know what this is – please google it on Google images. It is a dreadful dress for traditional Muslim women. All black and only gives them a small line of light across the eyes. Makes Rachel’s pink dress look wonderful. At least she could see the world.
    I have tried one on in Egypt and not only is the vision of the world dreadful, but it is also very heavy and in a hot country that restricts as well.

    Clothing and colour do matter. But they matter more in some faiths and customs than others.

    Perhaps shoes are another thing. In the UK, we have women struggling on massive high heels. The Chinese bound women’s feet. What is the 20th. century doing!

    • There was an interesting piece on National Public Radio in the last week about the role of political correctness specifically in the UK. Actually, it might have been on BBC World when I was up too late. Basically the piece questioned whether culture justified, oh hang on I remember now where I heard it…I was listening to The God Delusion by Dawkins where he was examining this. Anyway, I’ll have to share that with you when you come to visit. I find Dawkins brilliant, but a little pedantic or rather condenscending at times, but the book is brilliant.
      Yes, I think the general ethos of the household much more important.

  7. I wish Lincoln loved pink, but he doesn’t. Except for his Dora toothbrush, but that’s only because it’s Dora. He does, however, like makeup, which provides me with immense joy and, admittedly, relief. A child of mine taking no pleasure in giant fluffy blush brushes? That’d be a tough pill to swallow.

    In any case–yes, equal opportunity, pink as option for all. The princess stuff…I am learning to like Cars (or “Winnie the Queen” as Linc calls it) because my son takes so much joy in it. If he or his sister start to like princesses, I imagine I will take pleasure in that as well. I imagine it’s the commercialism that bothers you (and I) more than the fact of princesses. I mean Grimm’s princesses are creepy and complex/fascinating, right? I get riled up about the plastic/marketing end, as most of us do. And the body-image-distortion stuff, though that comes at girls from so many angles. My thought on this for today is that it’s what we model for our kids that will make an impression, truly.

  8. Pingback: Pink is for Girls « Our family G.O.E.S.

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