Does Pink Inspire or Reinforce Stereotypes?

brain_2844622b

I have been thinking about the “pink” thing for a long time. I don’t like pink, never really have. I don’t look good in pink, especially that obnoxious bubble gum Barbie pink. At the same time, if you like it, it’s okay with me. When my daughter was growing up there wasn’t a selection of pink toys to inspire her interest in building, design and engineering. I never thought about it. We got toys that appealed, whatever their color. Of course they were usually in the primary colors. I didn’t even think about the fact that they may have been for boys. They were bright attractive colors that appeal to young children. I realize now that companies, through their desire to sell stuff, are making pink toys that were once made only in primary colors. There are pink and purple Legos, guns, marble runs, and the well-known Barbie and princess toys. I admit I haven’t looked in the toy aisle for what else. I know the princess theme is pervasive and that those “women” are often clad in pink.  And Barbie has a lot of pink, even though she has become an astronaut, engineer and an entrepreneur. Something in me doesn’t like this. Is it because I don’t like pink or because I don’t want to be pandered to because I am female?  I don’t need Legos to be pink to be interested and to play with them.

In part, I think it is good to encourage young women to be creative and explore and discover in whatever color. Role models are important and they come in a variety of forms. I don’t think gender should be exploited by sexuality and I am turned off by that for either gender. I am for equitable treatment for all. Plain and simple.

I explore my resistance to the pink thing because I wonder if by objecting to a stereotype, do we reinforce its existence?   Paying attention to it gives it credence and may give it validity, thus saying we need these pink things because we are girls. We are different and we need to be treated differently. If one accepts that premise, does it mean that one regards being female as a handicap for which we create specific toys to fulfill needs? The answer may simply be that pink toys are manufactured as another way to sell stuff and increase the audience. And, it has. I don’t know if it has increased total toy revenue dollars, but Lego sales are up. There may be additional reasons for this increase. They have expanded their products and are very involved in the STEM education push. Also, to note is the Pink Lego kits are slightly “dumbed down” with simpler structure and directions. (ARGH!!!) I admit I am turned off by the pink aisle but at the same time, children should play with toys that stimulate their imagination and creativity and are FUN. They should choose these toys from their natural interests. Again if we fight the pink stuff are we doing harm by drawing attention to the difference? Why shouldn’t boys play with pink stuff?

I come to this discussion as an advocate to improve gender equity in STEM professions. It is a cause and a passion for me. Here are the facts to consider:

    • We agree that girls are underrepresented in the STEM professions.
    • We agree that this is an inequity that should be equalized.
    • We understand how this situation came to be (past reinforced stereotypes, societal norms, assuming natural inclinations that may not exist).
    • Interest and ability in girls is equally distributed and not gender specific. They are graduating from college in slightly higher numbers than boys. Do we assume they are not interested in STEM subjects since the participation rate is half or less than half of boys?
    • Big Question: HOW TO CHANGE THIS?
    • Do we use pink toys to “right” or balance existing interest in certain toys and to appeal to a certain population? Is this okay?
    • We must give equal opportunity for all and to do so, does the end justify the means?
    • By supporting and purchasing “special” pink toys are we saying that natural interests are not there and we need to foster them through the use of color?

I don’t know the answer. I understand the problem and I admit a bias against the pink toys. At the same time, it is doing no harm. Is it better than not at all? Given that the brain is not different in a male or female, but other traits or characteristics are, what should we do?  Buy pink hammers and screw drivers? Does this separate but equal strategy end up to be separate but not equal?

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog

30 COMMENTS

  1. 279828 296877I identified your weblog site on google and check a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the superb operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. In search of forward to reading extra from you later on! 535133

  2. 843130 679128Hey. Neat post. There is really a dilemma together with your website in firefox, and you might want to check this The browser may be the market chief and a large component of other folks will omit your outstanding writing because of this problem. 602365

  3. 320933 690730This internet website is often a walk-through rather than the details you wanted about it and didnt know who ought to. Glimpse here, and youll surely discover it. 27521

  4. 399130 104992My wife style of bogus body art were being quite unsafe. Mother worked with gun 1st, following which they your lover snuck free of charge upon an tattoo ink ink. I was certain the fact just about every should not be epidermal, due towards the tattoo ink could be attracted from the entire body. make an own temporary tattoo 104443

  5. What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you are not really a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly on the
    subject of this subject, made me personally consider it from
    so many varied angles. Its like men and women are
    not involved except it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga!

    Your own stuffs great. Always handle it up!

  6. 328232 577229This is a excellent subject to speak about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. I dont think this would be the best to submit though. Ill take a appear about your internet site though and submit something else. 939713

  7. 597779 964459Extremely man or woman speeches want to seat giving observe into couples. Brand new sound system just before unnecessary folks really should always be mindful of usually senior common rule from public speaking, which is to be the mini. greatest man speaches 603786

  8. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This
    is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark
    it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will definitely return.

  9. 938716 820401Can I just now say that of a relief to locate somebody who truly knows what theyre speaking about online. You really know how to bring a difficulty to light and function out it crucial. The diet need to see this and appreciate this side on the story. I cant believe youre no much more popular since you undoubtedly possess the gift. 545707

  10. 230345 689234There is numerous separate years Los angeles Weight reduction eating program with each a person is actually a necessity. The pioneer part can be your original obtaining rid of belonging towards the extra pounds. la weight loss 363237

  11. 658967 487630Oh my goodness! an amazing post dude. Thank you Even so My business is experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Dont know why Unable to subscribe to it. Can there be anyone obtaining identical rss dilemma? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 342332

  12. Via my examination, shopping for gadgets online can for sure be expensive, but there are some guidelines that you can use to obtain the best deals. There are generally ways to find discount deals that could help make one to ge thet best gadgets products at the lowest prices. Thanks for your blog post.

  13. 25678 348466Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It actually used to be a leisure account it. Glance complicated to more delivered agreeable from you! Nonetheless, how can we be in contact? 287376

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here