Thoughts on Pink
Catherine Redfern // 25 August 2009
Following on from the evolutionary psychology debate, I wanted to mention this blog post I enjoyed from Vagina Dentata, a really great feminist / science blog in which she discusses the frankly stupid claim that girls liking pink is somehow ‘natural’ or ‘genetic’, or down to ‘evolution’, or whathaveyou:
“But,” I can hear you cry, “my daughter/niece/friend’s kid loves pink and her parents have not forced it on her at all.” My first reaction would be really? Really have they not bought her pink things, not accepted gifts from friends and family that were universally pink? Did they not when she was under 1 year old and therefore indistinguishable from any other baby male or female, dress her in pink clothes and put a bow in her hair so that strangers wouldn’t say “Oh, what a lovely little boy”. Did they really? Really? Really, did they?
If that gets you nodding with agreement, you might want to check out Pink Stinks,
a campaign and social enterprise that challenges the culture of pink which invades every aspect of girls’ lives.
This site is for parents, and aims to gather support, promote discussion and ultimately to mobilize that support to influence marketeers and the media about the importance of promoting positive gender roles to girls.
Look, if you are female and you do like pink, that’s fine! But please don’t pretend that it’s in your genes or something, or somehow makes her more womanly because she likes it or him less of a man if he likes it. What’s wrong with just liking it, huh, huh?
The Pink Stinks name, I believe, is tongue in cheek. It isn’t anti-pink, the colour. It’s what it represents. It’s anti-pink-as-the-only-choice for girls. It’s anti pink=girls=soft=weak=fluffy. It’s anti pink=girls=sugar&spice&allthingsnice. It’s anti-suffocating in pinkpinkpinkPINKPINKPINK EVERYTHING that girls have to grow up in.
If anything, it’s pro: pro-diversity, pro-colour, pro-actual freedom and choice for kids. And I say yay to that.
Photo by me, used with my permission!
[Post edited to remove problematic quote from source blog. Apologies for any offence. See comments – CR]