Sunday, 22 December 2013

Perpetuating stereotypes

Those who brainwashed me as a child did a pretty good job of it. Brainwashers were legion. Parents, grandparents, extended family, older sister, teachers, the nuns and the Church. All were very good at inculcating a strong sense of right and wrong., sin and evil, overall morality, and overpowering sense of guilt, shame and blame. It lingers to this day, and I feel overwhelmed and isolated in the modern world.

But I can disapprove with the best of them. The treatment of women, in particular,  and the sexualisation of little girls.

There was an article in the paper last weekend a bout a woman who makes and sells tutus for little girls. she explained it all by saying that her four year old daughter  (her FOUR YEAR OLD!!) refused to wear ordinary clothes, let alone shorts or jeans. So her mother, instead of not putting up with this nonsense, and applying common sense, not to mention parental authority, let the child wear tutus, and, what's more, she started designing and manufacturing a range of tutus (probably all pink, because , as everyone knows, little females who don't wear pink will not mature and become real women).
What sort of mother gives in to this sort of spoilt and tantrummy preschool behaviour? she must have rocks in her head, or maybe fairy floss.

I do remember my little girls at some stage carrying on a bit, saying girls did not  wear pants. I pointed out that I was a girl, and that I wore pants, and somehow they grew to accept that wearing or not wearing pants need not be an issue, and the world did not come to an end because of it, and indeed they grew up to be strong, able and sensible women.

But when you venture into clothing shops, you find all these tizzy, frilly, frothy, beribboned and lurid pink clothes for little girls. Talk about being typecast, and dragooned into a mindless kind of 'femininity'.

It makes me sad, and also angry and outraged. How to combat this sort of thing, and to bring up our daughters and sons as independent and strong people, and to be able to resist this sort of brainwashing?




2 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I hear you. And it makes this woman roar. Pink, preferably with lace, ribbons, and sparkly bits.
And while I too was brainwashed, and am still challenging some of it I really, really resent the sexualisation of tiny children. And I understand that we now have children under ten who have anorexia, because they are tooooo fat. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Molly said...

I totally agree. It is insane to even make some of the styles out there today for little girls. And the parents who buy that stuff and dress their children in it should hasten to a psychiatrist's couch...

Nevertheless I hope you have a lovely Christmas.