Catriona Stewart: We need to get rid of prejudicial gender roles.


“A “Gender Reveal Party” caused carnage this September when a pyrotechnic system designed to emit pink or blue smoke malfunctioned and ignited a California fire.

More than 73,000 acres of the Sierra National Forest were destroyed by the Creek Fire, while 200 people trapped by the flames and some wounded were rescued by helicopter.

It was not the first time that a “Gender Reveal” celebration ended in chaos – another ended with the death of one of the future grandmothers in 2019; in Arizona, a 43,000-acre fire was sparked in 2017.

There are many ridiculously over-the-top milestone celebrations thrust upon us by modern times, but the announcement of gender is really the icing on the party cake.

By unveiling something pink for a girl or something blue for a child, expectant parents surprise family and friends with what kind of baby they have. This September, when a couple had the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai painted blue to reveal to as many people as possible that the child they were expecting had a penis, there was an especially grotesque case.

And that’s just what this is. And I wonder if if we were more transparent about it, they would be as desirable.

A sonogram does not tell you the baby’s sex, it shows you the baby’s sex. So these strange and not really good parties are simply gender disclosure parties, essentially. To celebrate the genitals of your child and all the pink and blue stereotypes that come with it, you invite people over.

The problem reveals how much work still needs to be done on the damage caused by stereotypes of gender. On the one hand, we have complicated public discussions about the essence of gender, what traditional gender characteristics mean for the sense of self of an individual, and how gender and sex intersect.

Yay, on the other hand, we’re having a pink little princess! A brave blue boy we’re having!

Pink and blue tropes still colour toys for children. An 18-month commission was set up by the equality organization Fawcett Society to investigate the effect of gender roles in early childhood, looking at the damage they inflict and how they connect with race and class.

The intervention proposals fall into three areas: parenting, education, and commerce. They show how lazy myths are still perpetuated by the UK toy industry.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever shopped for children’s presents. For any commodity imaginable, there are always gender divisions. The findings split into “for girls” and “for boys.” also while looking for the most popular toys in 2020 to find gift ideas for my godson and nephew.

And I am guilty of clicking on the offerings for “for boys” and opting for stereotypical “boy” books with dark-colored covers and male protagonists. It’s easier to pick something they’re more likely to like than to face disappointment, even though I’m mindful of the issue of gender roles.

That, in the feminist activist context, is a bit useless.

For years now, the annual gripes over dolls for girls and action figures for boys; unicorns and dinosaurs; the clothing lines of Little Princess and Little Hero have played out.

We know that boys and girls are constrained by gender roles. STEM subjects and professional trades deter girls; boys are discouraged from nursing, childcare, and traditional “women’s” work. All of this adds to a gender pay gap and a vastly unfair burden on working women, who have to do much of the housework and childcare as well.

Emotionally, all groups become limited, which has a negative effect on their mental health. Kids who oppose any acceptable binary sound like outsiders.

Toys are important because it’s through play that kids learn about the world and their role in it. If they see their gender as restricted only to some elements, they are also restricted.

Figures from market research company NPD Group indicate that 86 percent of doll sales go to a female recipient and 90 percent of toy vehicles go to boys, while manufacturers are trying to make packaging more gender-neutral.

Is this because the route of least resistance is so often taken by adults?

It’s not shocking that progress seems to be so sluggish, even though


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