Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gender Coloring Sheets

So I didn't march. For a few reasons, but mostly because I wanted to enjoy the day with family, the leader has already been elected (who obviously doesn't care about gender equality) and there is a free conceal and carry law here in Nevada. You never know.

But what I do know is that gender should not dictate what toys children are allowed to play with or what pieces of paper they are allowed to color.

I've been spending a lot of time at the doctor's office with my darling daughter, so when we saw a file holder on the wall with two specific files labeled "FOR GIRLS" and "FOR BOYS" and coloring sheets inside, I wanted to drop those file folders in the garbage as a protest for gender equality.

In every sense of the word, equal means EQUAL. As in, men and women, boys and girls are entitled to play and learn together. With the same toys and especially the same coloring sheets. Like really. It's paper.

Inside these gender specified files were coloring sheets of Santa Claus, elves, Pooh Bear, etc. I imagine that during the normal months of the year, they have My Little Pony, Barbie, Ninja Turtles and Superheroes. And I'm just going to go ahead and assume that girls get pink, purple and submissive roles and boys get to save the world and be domineering.

Benjamin walked over and went to grab a Pooh Bear Merry Christmas sheet but realized it was in the FOR GIRLS file. He announced to Claire that he can't have that because he's a boy. I grabbed those files and immediately distributed the sheets inside (Pooh + elf) that they each requested, correcting him that there is no such thing as a gender specific coloring sheet and the files are inaccurate and unnecessary. And that having those divided was ridiculous. Apparently I was loud enough because both the secretary and another patient turned around, laughed and spoke words of agreement.

For goodness sakes, friends.

I'm finishing up The Good Girl's Revolt on Amazon Prime and I highly recommend it. It's empowering and maybe even had me more up in arms about the divided gender coloring pages than usual. It's based on the true story written in the book with the same namesake by Lynn Povich, who was one of the researchers at Newsweek Magazine that filed a lawsuit citing gender discrimination in the workplace in 1970. Women at Newsweek were not allowed to be writers; only men. It's shocking to me that these lawsuits weren't that long ago, and even more striking is to see that in everyday places, this sort of separation still exists.

A woman's place is in the revolution, indeed.


Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Good for you! I am doubly annoyed by the gendered toy thing because I also see it as a big marketing scam to sell more stuff. Why do we need girl Legos? Just make more female mini figs, and we're good with the Legos we have.

I did attend the Austin march, though those same violence worries ran through my head (I mean: Texas!). Fortunately, all was peaceful. The news afterward estimated the crowd to be 50,000. Inspiring! Today, I took Eleanor to see "Hidden Figures," so it's been an empowering weekend in our house.

KMG2010 said... [Reply to comment]

The gender stuff is super annoying. will be buying ellie underwear soon and target selection is basically disney princess or nothing. Will have to look elsewhere. We bought ellie a firemans hat for her birthday because she loves them. I think I'll draw the line at baby boy wearing a tutu but the toy buy/girl stuff is ridiculous and I won't let them stereotype my kids!

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

Amen, sister. Just this morning, my Ben skinned his knee and the daycare nurse was all like "oh we don't have very many big bandaids left." Excuse me? I hate the messages this is sending to my kids.