Gender Neutral Clothing – A Step In The Right Direction or PC gone mad?

I read recently that John Lewis were to stop putting labels in children’s clothes and were making clothes “gender neutral”.

“Great,” I thought.

Who could possibly have an issue with that? Who could possibly stop a young girl wearing a blue dinosaur jumper, or even a boy wearing a dress if he so chooses. Who are they hurting?

Well according to some people on Twitter the world is about to implode.

“PC gone mad” they cry.

“Those pesky lefty loonies” they type furiously.

So while these keyboard warriors are clutching at their pearls in horror, I can’t help but wonder why they care so much.

Are they so entitled and full of their own self importance they fail to see that it’s really none of their business how someone else’s child chooses to express themselves?

I’ve never understood the obsession with boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink. I’m often frustrated with the “choice” we are presented with.

Pink “Future Princess” tops. Urgh. As if the only ambition a girl should have is to marry a prince.

Where are the “Future Scientist” tops? Oh yes, of course, in the boys section.

Similarly the boys slogan t-shirts are equally as vomit inducing. Slogans about “rule breakers” and “mischief makers”, implying that boys are expected and almost encouraged to misbehave. After all “boys will be boys!”

It needs to stop. Using gender stereotypes to sell clothes is limiting and potentially harmful.

And it’s not just clothes. We went to a theme park earlier this week and in the gift shop they were selling pink animals for girls. Why?! Can we not just buy our daughters a yellow/brown giraffe without worrying they’re suddenly going to grow a penis?

Those who are outraged by John Lewis’ decision need to realise no one is forcing you to dress your children in gender neutral clothing. You don’t have to put your sons in a dress. Your daughter loves pink? That’s absolutely fine. What JL are doing is giving children (and their parents) the choice. No one is saying boys should be wearing dresses. Just than they can if they want to.

The amount of tweets I have read saying the children will be bullied if they don’t conform to the norm. Is that really the lesson we want to be teaching our children? Abandon your beliefs, ignore personal expression…for goodness sake just fit in!

Are we raising children or sheep?

Could we possibly just teach our own children to be kinder and more tolerant?

If you listen to the two toddlers in charge of North Korea and America at the moment, we could be on the brink of nuclear war. Get angry about that. Get angry about gender inequality. Get angry about people being discriminated against for their religion or race.

There are so many things to get angry about right now.

How a child dresses is not one of them.

 

9 comments

  1. I have a friend that feels exactly the same. She stays away from the traditionally girly themes. She wants her daughter to grow stronger, independent and smart. One of the gifts I gave her was a book about an intelligent, strong female role model, which I thought was a great example of what she could be.

  2. I have a niece who will wear nothing but Batman shirts … except for the days she is dressed up as captain America…. I’ve never seen anyone bat an eye at how she dresses and I’ve even taken her out for a girls day in her capatain America outfit because it’s what made her feel beautiful 🙂 people need to mind their own business. As long as kids aren’t running around naked then no one should care what they choose to wear…

  3. I think its so important to let wear what they want and feel comfortable, even though it could be boyish dresses. After all it is we, the humans have created these differences and we need to respect even a kids thought!

  4. My boyfriend gets made fun of all the time for loving the color purple which happens to be one of my favorite colors. Our house is filled with purple everything and he loves it. I get people that pull me aside and ask if he closet gay… no he is not he just loves purple. My youngest’s daughter’s favorite color is blue but finding blue for girls is so hard. Even being pregnant with a girl everything we are given is pink… I am hating the color pink and our color scheme is rainbow so she can decide what color is her favorite when she is old enough to decide.

  5. I think it is lovely that they are doing such a range, I remember trying to find gender neutral bit for a friend when they didn’t want to know the sex of their baby and it was very hard I found.

  6. Is sad that people actually have the time to criticize something like this. I like to dress my daughter in girly clothes but I love colors so always try to get her different colors. It’s so hard though because everything is pink or has pink in it! Even looking for sneakers is hard because I just want a plain solid color that would go with everything and all the sneakers I find are pink with flowers or glitter. I think it’s great that they are making gender neutral clothes and giving parents and kids the option!

  7. Hopefully the next generation of parents will be more open minded about gender neutral clothes. As a person who is happy with the gender I was assigned at birth, I totally agree with your concluding statements that there are other more important things to worry about than this. But I do acknowledge that other people may face a daily struggle with gender issues, so this issue should also be addressed.

  8. Thank you for this! You’re so right! Gender neutral is the way forward, let kids wear whatever the want. And I think the best point you made was about teaching kids to be more kind and tolerant rather than worrying if they’ll fit in or not. 👏👏

  9. How this is even an issue still is beyond me. I was born in 1976 and wore mostly gender neutral clothes as a kid. It wasn’t a big deal then. I guess skirts and dresses were and still are mostly for females, but when it comes to tops and trousers for kids, I don’t see what the fuss is about really x

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