I am female, but that doesn’t automatically mean that I want every single thing I buy to be pink. It frustrates me to no end that anything “female” is automatically pink. Does having two X-chromosomes negate the rest of the spectrum? I mean …
You know, I really wanted this post to be funny. But here’s the thing … gender issues are real. They are no longer fodder for humor. Not when children are being bullied to the point of taking their own life.
I read a lovely blog called Raising My Rainbow where the author writes about her challenges in raising a gender-nonconforming son. I can only marvel at the sensitivity and courage that she and her family must find every day to move forward and provide their son with the necessary acceptance and love. It’s humbling.
My daughter is very much gender-conforming, but here’s the thing … we fight every day to keep her from being pigeonholed simply because she is a girl. When she was a toddler, we were always having to ask for the boy toy at McDonald’s because she was more interested in Star Wars than she was Bratz.
At my baby shower, I specifically requested no pink. My daughter was not going to be forced into a mold simply because of her gender. Every other color of the spectrum was allowed, but no pink. When she was about five she went through a pink, sparkly phase. We allowed her to embrace it. The idea was not to prevent her from embracing things that were traditionally “girl” but rather to allow it to be her own choice.
She eventually grew out of that phase. Today, I have a young tween who has a very unique style and sensibility about herself. She embraces what she likes and that is the only criteria. She is just as ready to paint her nails as she is play soccer. Isn’t that how it should be?
I too fought against the “girl” stereotypes growing up. I never wanted to play dolls or jump rope. I wanted to play kickball and read books. Why? Because dolls and jumping rope were boring. At least to me. It wasn’t about my gender. That never even occurred to me. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.
Why must we talk about gender-conformance or non-conformance? What does that even mean? Last time I checked, my vagina doesn’t talk to me. How can I conform to its dictates?
As a grown woman, I’m frustrated that things female are automatically made pink. From handguns to ladies golf equipment. This is a serious turn-off for me. I have no philosophical issue with pink. I don’t wear it because it doesn’t flatter my skin. But, having it forced upon me makes me want to banish pink from the spectrum.
The pinking of the American female is nothing more than a label. That the label is a physical truth doesn’t change the fact that labels, by definition, are limiting.
I personally want nothing to do with them. I don’t want my daughter forced into a label and I think we have enough empirical evidence that the labels we force on our children, even gender expectations, are damaging.
We need to encourage our children to be individuals and do away with gender labels all together. I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Pitbulls, tattoos, shooting guns, action movies, knitting, baking, dancing ballet and writing.
I am the sum of my interests, my desires, my thoughts and my actions, not my vagina.