Accepted forms of sexism

girls toys

Isn’t it funny how certain incidents and memories stick with you forever, even if they have no direct effect on you or how your life? A passing image, person or noise that lives with you forever. Well I have one that I can recall vividly, an image that has really inspired this post.

A few years ago I went on holiday to the beautiful First Choice Holiday Village in Cyprus and while the whole holiday is filled with beautiful and heart warming memories, one passing incident has always hung there too. Amongst the many children that were there enjoying their summer holiday there was little boy that continuously caught the eye of the other guests with many making harsh or sarcastic comments. This little boy was only about 4/5, far too young to knowingly have upset anyone and yet with one simple action he had managed to do just that. I imagine that by this point I have you suitably intrigued, wondering what offensive crime he had commented. Well ladies and gentleman, be prepared to be deeply concerned and offended because this little boy had the audacity to play with a doll and a Barbie doll at that.

I am of course being incredibly sarcastic in the comments above because this image honestly doesn’t offend me in the slightest yet listening to the comments that we being made around me – what a weirdo, well he’s going to be one of them,  how can his parents let that happen – I’m clearly in the minority. You see I have to heavily disagree with these comments, I don’t think there is anything wrong with any children playing with whatever toy they want to and I certainly don’t have any ill feeling towards the parents. Quite the contrary actually because I happen to think this makes the parents quite revolutionary, bold and most certainly brave. What a world we live in though hey? That young children can be called names simply for playing with a toy that doesn’t fall within the gender accepted norms.

I was thinking about this incident recently while deciding what gift to buy for a newly pregnant friend, unsure over which colour to opt for. Do I abide by the restricting and damning gender norms of pink for a girl and blue for a boy, or face the boring assortment of beige varieties? This dilemma really got me thinking about the everyday sexism that both sexes face on a day to day basis, damaging how we both chose to live our lives. I wanted to share with you five of the one’s that bug me the most!

  1. Adverts- why on TV adverts is it always the man toting the drill and the woman in the kitchen/carrying for the child/cleaning?
  2. Toys-  a quick google will demonstrate what I mean. Take the above image as an example, it only took me two pages on amazon to find both a cooking set and an iron board, both of which aimed at young girls. i find this particularly concerning especially when the “boys toys” section tends to contain spy toys, science kits and sports utensils. Isn’t it concerning that from a young age we are already telling our children about their gender limitiations?
  3. Halloween Costumes- need I really say any more!!
  4. Sport- the amount of money that is pumped in to male sport as opposed to the female alternative.
  5. Careers advise- women are often directed toward the administration, hospitality or beauty sector while men are pushed toward engineering, aerospace and manufacturing. Is it a coincidence that these tend to be sectors with more money??

What casual sexism annoys you most?

Oh and FYI I opted for a beige.


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1 Comment

  • Reply Laura Haley October 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Last baby shower I went to the baby was bought a PURPLE baby gro. It was a lovely shade of purple. A rich, dark purple. The mum knew the gender of the baby and we all agreed purple was a great choice. Guess the gender? X

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