Blue is for Boys

The other day I popped out to get some bits for our evening meal and took Plum with me.  I decided to treat her to some sweets, and pointed out various options so she could decide what to get – things like Magic Stars, Jelly Snakes, Freddie Frog, and some little chocolate balls in a cardboard box.

bluepinkThere were two designs of box (which was a little bigger than a matchbox). One was pink, with a Hello Kitty design and the other was blue with a Monsters Inc design. I know she likes both of these things, so I pointed out both to her.  Her response took me by surprise.

No Mummy, the blue ones are for boys.

blueboyI have no idea where she got this idea from. Certainly not from home – we’ve never assigned colours to specific genders and all three children wear all kinds of colours. We’ve been careful not to try and suggest that certain toys are for boys or girls too and in fact any of them are as likely to play with a doll as a tool set (except maybe Bean who is moving on from those kinds of toys now – but he happily played with both for many years).

blueboys-It worries me that even though we have tried hard to avoid instilling these gender distinctions, Plum is still hearing it from somewhere and it’s having an influence on the things she is choosing, at three years old. It makes me sad because I know that she loves Monsters Inc, and has no real idea of who or what Hello Kitty is, beyond it being a cat she quite likes the look of. I hate the thought that she is denying herself something she likes because someone somewhere has led her to believe that it’s only for boys.

boygirlI know we can’t protect our children completely from the outside world, but I’m still really disappointed about this situation. Of course, we’ll keep doing what we have done and make no distinctions and hope that it’s enough.

For what it’s worth, she chose Magic Stars.


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4 comments on “Blue is for Boys

  1. “For what it’s worth, she chose Magic Stars.”

    …which have a predominantly blue pack 😉

  2. ah see my boys are the same I have 3 girls and 3 boys and the boys will always go straight for blue rather than pinks

  3. I blame TV adverts which clearly define pink for girls and blue for boys and also divides the type of toys up too. However, I also blame some parents. I will never forget standing to pay for something at a news agents and a little boy asking his mum to buy him one of the pink pony toys hung up on the shop wall; ‘You don’t want that, that’s a girl’s toy’,
    ‘I really want it mummy’
    ‘no, pink is for girls. How about this blue car instead’
    I was furious! I have read quite a few posts on this subject over the last few days and really hope it makes those parents who encourage the segregation to think again
    Miss Tulip x

    The Thrifty Magpies Nest
    (via UKBloggers)

  4. I think the colours stem from old fashioned times that I don’t think we’re ever going to move away from completely. It ould be nice to see different colours given as options like yellows, greens, purples and reds that don’t appear to be so gender specific like the blue/pink.

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