Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Pink Stinks and I'm up to my neck in its signature scent

I knew the rot was setting in when I wondered aloud why Bob the builder was wearing earrings. It happened to be a female character and as a sociology graduate I was rightfully ashamed of myself. I deserved to be put in the stocks and have Haralambos text books thrown at me. I've been devouring gender stereotyping theories since I was 16. I've taken two term courses on feminist literature, written dissertations on the matter and here I was with a son, knee deep in Thomas the Tank Engine, stubbing my toe on diggers as I hung out his blue pants.

Fast forward a few years and one daughter later, I am again hanging out the washing. (No this will not descend into the tiresome division of labour debate.) I stand back and realise that I have created an entire pink wash, we've later renamed this the "Barbie load." Why does a woman who swore never to marry in white or shave her legs, buy her female offspring a pocket mirror that tells the infant peeping into it that she has pretty hair. It was a Bob in earrings moment and I decided I needed a kick up the proverbial.

Like everyone else I'm a product of my time. I played with Sindy dolls, devoured Enid Blyton and was force fed a Catholic doctrine, whose chief female role model was a compliant Virgin, so beautiful she never needed to wear make up, (According to Sr Francis.) I loved girly gubbins but my main passion was for books, and as I grew, the books became a bit more radical. I read Germaine Greer on the back of the bus for fun. So why was that poxy pink mirror with its cutesy voice irritating me from the toy box, as I sipped my wine? Because I detest Bob the builder, couldn't give a hoot if it's a digger or a fork lift truck and if I trip up on another Thomas figure again I'm going to kick it from here to Christmas. I hate boys toys, am sick of camouflage, dinosaurs and skulls. I went overboard in the opposite direction and now all this pink is making me feel a little sick.

It is time to be mindful. I am not above it all, just because I understand it. Meanwhile the mirror is no more. Tossed overboard on one of our jaunts out in the pram. Pearl Rose has now adopted George's fighter plane, it runs in the family but that's another story. Meanwhile I want to know why builders need to wear earrings at work?



  1. I keep away from characters in general and can't say I've ever watched any Bob the Builder!

    Blondie Boy has pink shirts and skull tops. He loves his pirate ships and his stuffed puppies. I think we have to remember that kids are kids and they'll play with what they like.

  2. Yes kids will play with what they like, but social factors, peer pressure and advertising certainly have an effect on the choices they make.

    Thanks for reading

    I like the sound of the pink shirt!!