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.