Thursday, November 03, 2011

And the soul-searching begins...

I'm sure this will seem far less important when I'm dealing with crying all night, and nappies, but having had a quick look (and then run away screaming) at baby clothes on Amazon, I am in despair. Everything is either bright pink or has footballs on it. Or trucks. Or camouflage. And this is just the newborn stuff.

I guess one can divide the purchase of clothes/toys into the age groups "too young to object", "old enough to make requests/have a tantrum" and "old enough to reason with" (the latter starting at about 25).

I recently visited my friend who has 3 year old boy/girl twins and I was happy to note that both of them have a dressing-up dress and a pirate outfit, but the clothes they wear on a day to day basis are definitely highly gendered (pink t-shirt, denim skirt with pink bits; blue t-shirt, denim shorts) and their "no dummy" reward charts end in a car for him and a doll for her. My friend is not one to assume that children will follow gender stereotypes but I also caught myself assuming that the floor covered in cars and tracks was the responsibility of the boy, and quickly backtracking.

I always thought if I had a girl I would try and put her in unisex clothing because I hate so much of the girls' stuff that is out there. But now I'm thinking the same for a boy. But then at what age is it really necessary for children to wear gendered clothing? What age are Storm's parents going to tell people whether Storm is a boy or a girl?

There are some types of clothing where adult men and women wear more or less the same thing (especially outdoors gear I have noticed). But I have a purple cycling rain jacket (and they don't do purple for men) and I struggled when trying to get a fleece/waterproof combo as the options for my size/shape were black (invisible), navy (ditto), baby blue (attracts dirt) or fuchsia (which I got, though I would not normally wear fuchsia). But I would not wear jeans with pink flowers on, so I don't see that little girls should have to. And adult men at least wear pink flowery shirts. And skirts.

How soon can you put a baby boy into grown-up men's clothing??

(If you have not read Delusions of Gender, by the way, and you are male or female, or have a male or female child - go and read it NOW)

1 comment:

Rachel said...

The gendered clothes drive my crazy as well. I just want primary colors with geometric patterns. It's hard to find, and can be expensive. Hannah Andersson is my favorite (but still not perfect).

I buy a lot of H's clothes second hand.