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Pink is a preference policed by experience

Cordelia Fine reviews the scientific literature, and discovers that the evidence that girls innately prefer pink toys just isn’t there.

Existing science simply doesn’t support the view that gender-neutral toys or books are, at best, a pointless railing against nature or, at worse, politically correct meddling with children’s "true" natures. Social experience isn’t something that interferes with the emergence of a child’s "real," underlying design. It is an integral part of the construction, step by step, of the developmental pathway—destination uncertain.

Moreover, developmental psychologists have found that children are very aware of the importance placed on the social category of gender and highly motivated to discover what is "for boys" and what is "for girls." Socialization isn’t just imposed by others; a child actively self-socializes. Once a child realizes (at about 2 to 3 years of age) on which side of the great gender divide he or she belongs, the well-known dynamics of norms, in-group preference, and out-group prejudice kick-in.

I don’t know why so many people discount the importance of socialization. It’s a very intense experience, and almost all of us went through it — most children will freak out if you try to get them to wear inappropriately gendered clothing choices. Put a 5 year old boy in a pink dress and send him off to school, and he might initially have no problem with it…until the other 5 year olds of both sexes in the Gender Police start mocking, teasing, and tormenting him. We learn fast what will help us fit into the group.

Try to figure out what is disturbing about this image. Do you think it’s because it violates genetic norms?

(Well, he might think so.)

Comments

  1. karmacat says

    That color scheme is just too jarring. the purple eye shadow just doesn’t go with the outfit. And I would not put teal with so much pink.

  2. qwints says

    This brings to mind an old article about how the colors got assigned in the first place:

    “When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?”

    “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

  3. says

    *Boggle*

    That image is not mine! I found it in a Google image search for “gaystapo” (apparently the homo conspiracy that forced Brendan Eich out) on, in fact, what looks to be a virulently anti-gay paleo-Catholic blog which failed to realise that both the picture and the words were eminently quotable by its targets.

    A lot of people don’t realise, since we only had black-and-white film back then, but Mussolini actually dressed in clothes sewn together from rainbow flags. It’s well documented that the very first thing he did on attaining power was to imprison all the anti-gay protestors. He also wore really very fetching cutoffs by preference. Yeah, Mussolini was a weird dude.

    Anyway, Gay Hitler is way more iconic than Rainbow Mussolini. And Homo Hirohito, pfeh! He browses with w3m.

  4. says

    Also, my 7yo daughter just so happens to LOVE pink … so we get to fight over who’s going to get any hot pink item I just happen to get. She always wins.

  5. twas brillig (stevem) says

    1) Why is he wearing only one glove???
    a) Was Michael Jackson impersonating him?
    What’s offensive (to the eye), is the color scheme.
    0) Did this thread FAIL a priori, by Godwin’s Law?

  6. David Marjanović says

    Try to figure out what is disturbing about this image.

    The combination of brown with all this pink. And wearing just one glove feels wrong.

    0) Did this thread FAIL a priori, by Godwin’s Law?

    Godwin’s Law only states that as a discussion progresses, the probability that someone will make a comparison to Hitler/the Nazis approaches 1.

  7. says

    But that’s a photo of Mr Hitler from 1939 and (as any fule kno) the pink OberMinneHertzenDerHochländerKommando, Wehrmacht uniform wasn’t in use until late ’34 or early ’44

  8. says

    I’m always wondering how far back the 1980’s must be for people to have completey forgotten them.
    A time when there were clothes for children (red, everybody wore red, quite fashionable).
    Toys for children (do you remember LEGO back then?)
    And only one kind of Bobby Car.
    Probably a violation of human rights.

  9. doublereed says

    Do people seriously argue this? People don’t seriously argue this, right?

    Pink is a color. Who the hell would argue that there is an innate biological propensity toward pink? That’s the most random nonsensical bullshit I’ve ever heard.

    No one believes that. And please don’t provide me evidence that someone does. Just let me have this delusion.

  10. craftlass says

    Pink being a “girl color” is far too recent a phenomenon to be anything but a socialization phenomenon, isn’t it? It was solely for boys in the past, it only began to be fashionable for girls in the 1940s, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

    When I was a young girl I naturally recoiled from anything pink from birth, according to my parents. But that may have been because my (adopted) mother didn’t like it, hard to say if I was born to revile it or conditioned from my 4th day breathing air to dislike it.

    The only disturbing thing about that picture is that black and white things should always stay black and white. Well, and the subject himself, of course!

  11. opposablethumbs says

    The colour of the glove and the shade of the eyeshadow, which both clash horribly with the uniform. And, well, the subject – images of Hitler are always disturbing.

  12. says

    I’m reminded of that old episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes to an insane asylum because he wore a shirt turned pink in the wash to work. (Aided by Bart filling out the psychologist’s questionnaire.) Coincidentally enough for this thread, he meets Michael Jackson there. Sort of.

  13. A. Noyd says

    doublereed (#17)

    Who the hell would argue that there is an innate biological propensity toward pink? That’s the most random nonsensical bullshit I’ve ever heard.

    *cough* Ben Radford *cough*

    No one believes that. And please don’t provide me evidence that someone does.

    Oops, too late.

  14. iknklast says

    Beat me to it, A. Noyd. That fight he lost with the 3-year-old was classic.

  15. =8)-DX says

    Hitler was evil.
    That much pink is evil.
    What is disturbing about that image, is that one watches it with a feeling of dread, trying to spot the real mark of true evil, Kitty-chan

  16. John Horstman says

    Cordelia Fine reviews the scientific literature, and discovers that the evidence that girls innately prefer pink toys just isn’t there.

    Well, yeah, no kidding. This norm is less than a century old. We have records from when it wasn’t a norm, clearly demonstrating the social construction of the norm. This isn’t even proving the obvious, this is disproving a claim that has no possible proposed mechanism of action that accounts for the evidence in question: if the preference was essential, why would it change so quickly? Not enough generations for natural selection to shift the mode of gendered toy color preference…

  17. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    It’s the eye shadow, mostly, and the fingernail polish that upset me.

  18. Numenaster says

    I was disturbed by the fact that there is only lipstick on his top lip. Who leaves just the bottom lip unpainted?

  19. says

    But these findings are far less compelling than they appear. For instance, if the preference of female Rhesus monkeys for stuffed animals shows that love of dolls is “innate” in girls, what do we make of the fact that the favorite toy of male vervet monkeys was a stuffed dog, which they played with more than a third longer than a toy car?

    Yes, well, their lack of preference for the cooking pan still needs to be accounted for!

    Seriously, what do we make of the fact that the dumbest, most ridiculous study in the history of psychological research was ever published, much less taken seriously by anyone?

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Rev BDC, #4:

    That’s what I found disturbing about this image. I can’t separate it from the constant attempts to paint queer folk as Nazis.

  21. qwerty says

    It makes him look like a commie pinko fag.*

    Something he hates and railed against.

    *please pardon the use of the “f” word.

  22. says

    Ugh, that reminds me. I am sure plenty of people that have been involved in activism for a long time know about this book, but I was looking for some reading material about the Nazis and came across “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party”. Not knowing what it was I started reading it, thinking that the topic would be interesting. Thankfully it quickly makes it clear that it is really just a hack job of historical research so I did not end up wasting that much time reading it before I stopped.

  23. says

    @31 – it is literally from an attempt to paint queer folk as Nazis, as I noted in @6. But I thought GAY HITLER was just fantastic and could benefit from repurposing. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

  24. Nick Gotts says

    For instance, if the preference of female Rhesus monkeys for stuffed animals shows that love of dolls is “innate” in girls, what do we make of the fact that the favorite toy of male vervet monkeys was a stuffed dog, which they played with more than a third longer than a toy car?

    Well obviously, those male vervet monkeys’ fathers didn’t play enough football with them!

  25. lopsided says

    If anyone is actually SURPRISED by this finding… I have no words. It’s only a century old association.

  26. says

    Thirty or forty years ago, pink (now what we’d call pale pink) was a color for infant girls. What we’d now think of standard pink was “hot pink” or “shocking pink” with the connotations those names suggest. I haven’t quite figured out the history of the current use of pink, but I think it is less than twenty years old and probably spread from Barbie accessories. Current pinkness isn’t anything like as old as pink as the baby girl color.

  27. julial says

    Franz Liebkind: ‘Baby! Baby!… Why does he say this “baby”? The Führer has never said “baby”‘

    Und his eye shadow was always green

    with glitter.

  28. lochaber says

    But women like pink because of evolution. Like with lions, women did most of the hunting, and developed a visual preference for the color associated with the most nutritious parts – the brains and internal organs.

    Men learned to like blues and blacks from all the berry picking.

  29. Duckbilled Platypus says

    My 3.5 year old son loves pink. Really, really loves it. The pink-infested girl sections in the toy stores are Valhalla for him. He’s slightly confused that the packaging for the toys features photos of girls only – it gives him the message that this isn’t the kind of toy he should be playing with.

    Anyway, last Sinterklaas (Christmas for most of you) he got a toy pink microphone and a pink vacuum cleaner. The ads for a comparable toy vacuum cleaner, the one we didn’t buy, said ‘now you can really be like mommy!’ I’m happy to say that this met with considerable public frowning where I live.

    Our son also asked me to paint his room pink, but I’m going to draw the line there because we had it painted already (lame excuse, I know but he will have a different favorite color in a few months time I think). I’ve settled for a compromise – still looking for some transparent pink paper foil to cover the lights in his room with, so he will get the next best experience.

    Also, he dressed up as Snow White at his daycare’s carnival party. I’m proud of him, the way he is defying gender roles like he does, even if he is still delightfully clueless about them. The innocence will probably be lost when he goes to primary school, though.

  30. frankb says

    #4. There was color photography back then. Kodak was getting into it before WWII. Just look up “color photography of Hitler” for lots of photos.

  31. mesh says

    @doublereed #17

    No one believes that. And please don’t provide me evidence that someone does. Just let me have this delusion.

    I realize you’re not being serious, but unfortunately this is exactly the attitude that gives rise to such inane ideas; ignoring reality is preferable when it’s in stark contrast with the comfortable narrative you’ve woven.

  32. says

    @14 Giliell

    Maybe certain toys have got a hell of a lot more pink since the 1980’s but I think it was still pretty bad then. Growing up “as a boy” in the 80’s myself I sure knew what toys I was and wasn’t allowed to play with. But I sure was I in heaven whenever I could get my hands on my sister’s barbie camper van. “No mom and dad it isn’t a girl’s toy. It’s like a truck.”

  33. frankb says

    #44, Josh. Just a few minutes ago was the first time I had seen color photos of good ol’ Adolf. But I remember seeing color photos of German soldiers years ago. Strange that I don’t remember ever seeing color photos of Allied soldiers. Maybe color equipment was more common in Germany.

  34. ChasCPeterson says

    I don’t know why so many people discount the importance of socialization.

    what?
    I bet you can’t name even two (2) people that “discount the importance of socialization” (in general). And I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you can think of even one.
    so, so many.

  35. says

    You might be surprised or might not be at the amount of people who are supportive of my wife and I “letting” our 6 year old transgender daughter express her gender as we see fit who then have this completely baffled look with when she then wants to battle as ninja’s with them and babble on about Skylanders endlessly. It blows their minds.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But who wants to talk about VERVETS??!!!!

    Now you are stooping to mere trolling….

  37. bumsandwich says

    Myers, who cares? Throughout history different societies have chosen to associate different colours with males and females. Currently pink is associated with girls and blue with boys.

    Who gives a shit?

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Who gives a shit?

    Actually, quite a few folks who should know better….

  39. bumsandwich says

    Oh btw, Myers, it’s “Wear RED on Equal Pay Day” tomorrow.

    http://www.pay-equity.org/day.html

    I expect you to make a post about how those poor women earn less than men without taking into consideration the fact that men work longer and harder than they do.

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I expect you to make a post about how those poor women earn less than men without taking into consideration the fact that men work longer and harder than they do.

    Or that other privileged males give other privileged males bigger wages than they deserve due to a penis rather than job performance….

  41. bumsandwich says

    No, men don’t get PAID more than women for the same work, they EARN more because they work more. If women want to earn as much as men they need to work as much as they do.

    That’s true equality.

  42. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    At three years old my daughter’s favourite colour was black. It was so much her favourite that she kept insisting that we paint her room in our new house black. We bought a black towel to assist with the bath extraction when she went through a period of fighting that. Then she got to preschool. A month later her favourite colour had become pink.

    Every time it gets discussed I say:

    “I don’t care what your favourite colour is honey, it can be whatever you want it to be. That’s not my decision to make. But I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be pink.”

    Her response:

    “Yes Dad I know.”

    [six year old eye roll]

    “How many times are you going to tell me?”

    “As many as it takes honey. As many as it takes.”

    And in one of those coincidences so loved by the woomiesters, as I was typing this she was looking at our ipad. She wanted to see “the fastest thing people have ever made”. She was watching a video of the New Horizons probe lifting off and began to chant: “I saw pink flames! I saw pink flames!” Ah well, at least she thinks rockets and mag-lev bullet trains are cool.

  43. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    they EARN more because they work more.

    Fuckwit, I notice a LACK OF CITATION. Either put up or shut the fuck up like blowhard losers should when challenged on facts…

  44. bumsandwich says

    The statistics are all over the internet, it takes takes a quick google. Men work more hours than women. That is why they earn more. It’ very,very simple.

  45. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The statistics are all over the internet, it takes takes a quick google. Men work more hours than women. That is why they earn more. It’ very,very simple.

    THEN WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU PRESENTING THEM HERE, LIAR AND BULLSHITTER…..

  46. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Because women are also expected to be the primary caretakers. And in the US, many are hesitant to create equity there..

    But please, continue with you Christina Hoff Sommers/MRA talking points.

    But if you do so, take it to ThunderDome.

  47. Who Cares says

    What is wrong? Hitler was aware of how dressing would impact his presence.
    So he’d never wear a glove like that on a uniform that brightly colored.
    The same thing goes for the make up. It has been applied by a rank amateur instead of by a specialist who for example would know where to apply the rouge to accent facial features instead of just splashing it on like that.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here’s one graph. The pattern is very clear.

    No, that is the time on the job, not the hours worked. I’m an old baldbhead male. Your type is a water-cooler denizen, not a desk denizen….

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    WTF are you on about?

    Your lack of cogency about the fact males don’t work as efficiently as females, who complete the same work in 40 hours it takes many males, with their socialization breaks, 50-60 hours to compete….MRA LOSER…

  50. bumsandwich says

    That’s complete bollocks. If that was true companies would prefer to employ women and save money. Instead most prefer to employ men because they know they work harder.

    You’re full of crap.

  51. says

    Oh, good grief, bumsandwich. Men work more paid hours per week, because so much of the work women do is discounted.

  52. says

    Where is that graph from? Who believes people in their sixties work more hours than younger people, on average? Who calls men and women “boys” and “girls”? And where is that graph from?

  53. Ishikiri says

    My favorite soccer team, Cerezo Osaka, has a pretty loud pink kit. That occasionally gets me some incredulous questions about my smartphone case.

  54. bumsandwich says

    @ivyshoots

    It’s just one of many graphs you can quickly find. Men work more hours than women. There’s no doubt over that.

  55. lochaber says

    whelp, “all over the internet” is probably about the best citation we can expect for that “graph”.

  56. says

    Please answer my questions, bum. There’s nothing about that graph which looks legit. It’s from an unidentified blogspot. That’s the best you can offer?

  57. Who Cares says

    @Bumsandwich(#76):
    Discounted in this context means that the same work with the same results is valued less if done by a woman. Which tends to boil down to they get paid less.

  58. says

    Nerd, back off. The way you shoot this guy down is not by yelling at him that his opinion is wrong, but by digging up the evidence that shows he is wrong.

    When you compare wages per hour, compensating for all the other differences (like education, seniority, etc.) women still get paid less than men.

    That link takes you to Forbes, by the way, which tends not to be a friend to the working class, so any bias in the site is going to tend to favor bumsandwich’s dumbass position, yet still they can’t find any sign of equality.

  59. says

    All right, that settles it: I just put that fucking condescendingly stupid lmgtfy into the filter list. Don’t waste everyone’s time, and don’t use it anymore.

    bumsandwich, throwing up a garbage link that animates a google search is goddamned stupid, and not a source.

  60. bumsandwich says

    MOST of the wage gap disappears when adjustments for working hours are made. What remains is unlikely to be the result of womens’ work being “devalued” somehow but simply due to women not working as hard as men.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Women don’t get PAID, less they EARN less.

    unevidenced assertion, dismissed without evidence…

  62. bumsandwich says

    The reasons for women working less hours than men is irrelevant. GIVEN that women work less, it’s only to be expected that they EARN less.

    This is not complicated stuff.

  63. Who Cares says

    @bumsandwich(#86):
    So let me get this straight. You just get referred to an article that specifically states that they get PAID less and then have the gall to claim that they don’t but that if you multiply their working hours with what they get paid they earn less?
    The conclusion happens to be right since getting paid less means earning less. Don’t get any points on that due to the type of inference you are using having a wrong premise to start from invalidates the rest of your argument.

  64. says

    #85, bumsandwich:

    Did you even bother to look at the link I provided, which shows the opposite of what you claim? The very first paragraph:

    There is no denying that women get paid less for doing the exact same jobs as men. Ample research has persistently shown that the wages of women, irrespective of qualifications and experience, are lower for the same kind of work.

    It describes a study of temp workers in which they could match skills, and found…

    And she found that, even in temporary jobs, women get paid substantially less than men, for the same type of work. Women earned an average of $25.08 per hour while men, for the exact same job with the same qualifications, would earn an average of $29.66. And we can’t blame that on firm specific skills.

    The only variable was sex. Women got paid less because they were women.

    And to claim that women work less, and basically deserve less than men…what kind of bigoted MRA asshole are you?

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The reasons for women working less hours than men is irrelevant.

    Only if society doesn’t expect women to do housework, child care, etc, that the privileged males aren’t expect to share 50-50, and don’t like the male chauvinist pigs they probably are….

  66. bumsandwich says

    Almost all, if not all, first world countries have strict laws against PAYING women less than men for the same job. If women are EARNING less than men they must therefore be working differently than them somehow.

    Check fucking mate.

  67. zenlike says

    … and CEO’s work 100 times more hours then factory workers and therefore earn 100 times more.

    What? Wages and hours worked are not linked to each other? Shock!

  68. says

    #89, Nerd of Redhead

    Read my comment at #83. Now. unevidenced assertion, dismissed without evidence… is NOT A HELPFUL COMMENT.

  69. zenlike says

    94 bumsandwich

    Almost all, if not all, first world countries have strict laws against PAYING women less than men for the same job. If women are EARNING less than men they must therefore be working differently than them somehow.

    “All countries have laws against murder, therefore murders don’t happen.”

    Check fucking mate.

    You are one of the more stupid MRA’s we’ve had in a long time.

  70. jodyp says

    Ah. Since women aren’t out there suing their employers over wage discrepancies, it must be their fault. Makes perfect sense. If there’s one thing people love doing, it’s suing their employers.

  71. says

    bumsandwich: Again, from that Forbes article (did I tell you I’m generally no fan of Forbes? I’m not.)

    Hence, “firm specific skills” are a nice story – but not much more than that. They belong to the greater works of fiction. Because, as Isabel showed, they do not explain the difference between male and female wages. And that is rather unfortunate, because it leaves us with the nasty but inevitable conclusion that the world of business does on average still discriminate against female employees.

    You’re the one ignoring the facts for your “feelings”…although I’d prefer the term ignorant bigotry.

  72. zenlike says

    Yawn, after bumsandwiches ‘contribution’ at 100, the question is: which one of the previously banned trolls is he?

    Bye bumsandwich, we won’t miss you.

  73. Who Cares says

    @Jodyp(#101):
    Could also be that people don’t talk about what they earn, at least people did not where I work(ed). So unless there is a study (like the ones referred to in the Forbes article) you don’t find out how much more/less you earn then the average.

  74. jodyp says

    Who Cares #105:

    Yes, exactly. I was trying to figure out how to work that in. Lots of women don’t even realize they’re getting ripped off because it’s taboo to discuss it in our culture.

  75. says

    Last guy to scribble ASCII penises was “shitboy”; before that it was “Benn Dover”. It’s one of those obvious clues that you’re dealing with an utter idiot.

  76. Anathema says

    @Bumsandwich,

    If the pay gap only exists because men work more hours than women, then we would expect to see the pay gap disappear if we were to compare the amount of money men earn per hour to the amount of money women earn per hour. Yet if we look at hourly wages, we see that women make 84% of what men make.

    Of course, even if the wage gap was explained by women working fewer hours, telling women that this is their fault for not working more is a completely asinine solution. Did you ever consider telling employers to make sure that they are just as willing to offer full-time jobs to women as they are to men? Have you considered telling men that they should do more housework and childcare (and other tasks traditionally assigned to women) so that their wives can work longer hours? Or do you just like blaming women while doing absolutely nothing to address the problem?

  77. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    I’m simply astonished that there is actually anybody that still clings to the idea that income has much of a relationship with how much or how hard you work. I’m fairly aged, have worked in a variety of industries around a lot of the western world and never, ever, saw anything that could make you think that.

    The way the intertoobz keep illustrating that the bulk of humanity is less intelligent than a cabbage and possessed of less empathy than a fire arm suppressor really, really annoys me.

  78. says

    Why do guys like the latest subject of the Red Letters of Doom pop up in threads like this? Is there some evil version of Commissioner Gordon who activates the Dumbass Signal to summon them for an attack?

    And speaking of gender and pink, here’s a couple of guys who had no problem with pink.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpPjRwanVSk

  79. says

    Oh god, the pinksplosion.

    It’s not just toys, it’s clothes too. I had a hell of a time finding rain boots for DarkToddler that weren’t sparkly fucking pink with a heel. (I ended up buying a pair of boys boots in drab green.)

    Seriously, she’s a year and a half. What kind of sick fucks think it’s desirable for a toddler to look feminine?

  80. Jacob Schmidt says

    Almost all, if not all, first world countries have strict laws against PAYING women less than men for the same job. If women are EARNING less than men they must therefore be working differently than them somehow.

    This sent me into a small fit of giggles.

    OH MY GOD GUYS! ITS ILLEGAL! IT LITERALLY CAN’T EVER HAPPEN! IF SOMEONE IS FOUND DEAD, IT MUST HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIABLE SELF DEFENSE!

  81. says

    Isn’t it obvious, Alexandra? If you don’t get them indoctrinated as young as possible you might end up with a generation of women that don’t know their True Place in the Proper Order of Things.

    The scary thing is that you know that someone actually believes such bullshit, and some of them may work in the appropriate industries in the hope of doing just that.

  82. chigau (違う) says

    Alexandra
    I totally agree on pink heeled rainboots for a munchkin is weird.
    But why can’t I get some in “womens” size 9?
    Actually size 10 because I want to fit some nice warm socks in there.
    and
    *hugs*
    How’s things?

  83. Jacob Schmidt says

    I had a hell of a time finding rain boots for DarkToddler that weren’t sparkly fucking pink with a heel.

    The fuck?

    Have they met toddlers? Like, spent 15 minutes with wakeful toddler playing outside? Why the hell would anyone give an periodically hyperactive little monkey something as impractical as heeled footwear?

    I mean, sure, I probably tried on my mom’s heels, and I know one of my brother’s did, but no one gave me them to running around outside in the snow or mud.

  84. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Not at all related to pink, but, David Gerard @#6:

    It’s well documented that the very first thing [Mussolini] did on attaining power was to imprison all the anti-gay protestors.

    Citation? Because:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22856586

    Inquiring minds, etc.

  85. says

    tim:

    The scary thing is that you know that someone actually believes such bullshit…

    A lot of people believe that bullshit. They might not say it out loud, but there are plenty of people (that I personally know!) that believe that rigid gender roles are are good thing. Consumers aren’t completely blameless in this– parents willingly and excitedly deck their girls out in pink.

    (Do they not remember being kids themselves? I grew up in the 80s, and I’ll be damned if I remember ever wearing pink. I don’t remember any of my three sisters in any amount of pink, either.)

    chigau:

    I totally agree on pink heeled rainboots for a munchkin is weird.
    But why can’t I get some in “womens” size 9?

    Boom.

    *hugs*
    How’s things?

    *squeezes*
    Things is things. I’m gonna wander on over to T’dome if you want to chat.

  86. says

    Jacob:

    Have they met toddlers? Like, spent 15 minutes with wakeful toddler playing outside? Why the hell would anyone give an periodically hyperactive little monkey something as impractical as heeled footwear?

    To be clear, they weren’t like a high heel, but whereas the boys boots are flat, the girls boots were not. (I’m looking for an example right now). Still pretty silly for stomping in puddles.

    But this is a problem with girls clothes in general. Entirely too much of it is completely impractical for any sort of play. Either parents are treating the clothes as disposable or they are somehow convincing little girls not to run and jump and act wild.

  87. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    David Gerard, I realise I might be taking you too literally.

    Hopefully. My gaycomedydar has been on the fritz. WWII pun intended. ;-)

  88. gog says

    @tim rowledge #110

    I’m simply astonished that there is actually anybody that still clings to the idea that income has much of a relationship with how much or how hard you work.

    You shouldn’t be surprised. This is an idea for and from wealthy, well-connected, and–let’s be honest here–white people. It’s really easy to justify your personal contribution to income disparity when you truly believe that you work harder, or that your work has an intrinsic–but difficult-to-quantify–higher value.

  89. lochaber says

    Alexandra (née Audley)@123>

    Remember a couple years back, there was a couple up in Canada (I think?) who refused to reveal the gender of their infant, and were raising it in a pretty much gender-neutral manner.

    The internet lit up with idiocy. I even heard people on public transit talking about it, claiming they were: stupid, crazy, abusive, and/or manipulative.

    Physically beating a kid is fine, ’cause that’s “instilling discipline”, but let a kid wear what clothes they want and play with what toys they want, and that’s reason to take away custody.

    humans are really disappointing…

  90. saganite says

    I know this wasn’t your point with the photo at all, but this is really messed up.

    It reminds me of the far-right Christian fundamentalist extremists that condemn homosexuality and perpetuate the myth that the Nazis were driven by a “homosexual agenda”. There actually are people who consider Nazism an outgrowth of homosexuality and rail against today’s supposed “gay agenda” on the grounds that same sex marriage and other equal rights will, of course, lead to another Nazi regime or something… somehow.

    If you know anything about how Nazis treated homosexuals, how they gave them a distinct symbol when they put them in concentration camps (a pink triangle), how they slaughtered so many of them and how they put so much emphasis on motherhood and spawning new soldiers for the Reich… every time some fundamentalist loon talks about “the homosexual Nazi agenda” or something, I get really angry because of how these bastards are trying to turn victims into perpetrators. In fact, there are many other groups that the Nazis hunted and put in concentration camps that you rarely here about and some of them, too, people attempt to turn into the perpetrators, like Socialists, Communists, Social Democrats…

    Speaking of motherhood, when I first heard of the Quiverful movement and their constant talk about spawning soliders for the army of their god, guess what other ideology I was reminded of…

  91. rq says

    The glove should have been white leather with rhinestones.
    I have three boys currently in a princess-movie phase (right down to requiring pink sparkly princess toothbrushes for one of them). All interspersed with ninja turtles. It’s awesome.

    lochaber
    I remember that, and I believe they were from Canada but somewhere else in the world, teaching English abroad. Either way, a big fuss about their child, who looked like a normal, happy child. Because people couldn’t identify it as this or that, and so had to *gasp* think outside the box. Sad.

  92. says

    @122 – now that I think about it, it’s possible the bit about him wearing clothes made from rainbow flags and favouring cutoffs was also less than Wikipedia-quality accuracy.

  93. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend, Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Monitor Note:

    Alert sent.

  94. says

    <jodyp

    Ah. Since women aren’t out there suing their employers over wage discrepancies, it must be their fault. Makes perfect sense. If there’s one thing people love doing, it’s suing their employers.

    What happened to Lilly Ledbetter anyway?…

    +++
    BTW, if employers actually paid for productivity then the hourly wages for people who work more than 8 hours a day should get lowered significantly, because there’s ample evidence that your performance takes a big dump after 8 hours.
    Not that ample evidence has been presented that women get paid less even when looking at hourly wages.
    Not that research has been done that shows that people will fit the job-description to the qualification of the man but not the woman (if he has experience bit lacks education, well, experinece is super important. If he has education but lacks experience, it’s the other way round…)
    +++
    Alice
    Maybe it was different in different countries, but the 80s in Germany way not totally gender-neutral, but much more so than today. I had a big box of toy cars and most boys had a doll.

    Everybody, please spot the girl

    +++
    I’m always fascinated and aborred by what makes something “for girls” or “for boys”.
    It is usually not the toy/motiv/thing itself but the coding.
    Shirt in blue-gold-silver=boys shirt
    Shirt in green-pink-purple-silver=girls shirt. The green shirt was, btw, from the boys aisle.
    Treassure map = boys
    Treassure map on a pink shirt = girls
    Yes, I actually consciously use pink to give my daughters a greater choice of designs and “girly” designs that give them a greater choice of colour. Because male is the default and female the exception. I doubt that butterfly and flower designs on navy blue do make a shirt for boys. As long as there’s any “girl” marker on it it’s enough.

    +++
    Alexandra
    Don’t mention shoes. It’s a fucking nightmare. Heels and sandals with small straps, whites and delicated materials. Everything made so the girls are having a hard time running, climbing, being active. Cute ruffled skirts and dresses. bad for climbing, bad for wearing in the sandbox, because there are parts sand shouldn’t get into…

  95. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    @Giliell,
    I discovered at some point in my teenage years that because jeans for women only rarely have stretchy material in them, sometimes (depending on weather and what’s currently in the laundry) the best thing to climb trees in is a (loose, unrestrictive) skirt. Although you do have to wear shorts or something underneath it, which slightly defeats the point.

    Don’t get me started on trying to find jeans that I like as an adult. I finally got up the courage to start shopping in the mens section and haven’t looked back.

  96. Anri says

    Little late to the party, but…

    bumsandwich @ 55:

    Myers, who cares? Throughout history different societies have chosen to associate different colours with males and females. Currently pink is associated with girls and blue with boys.

    Who gives a shit?

    (bolded for deep cluelessness)

    This is the mark of a well-informed individual.
    Really.

    It’s one thing to barge into a thread with puerile jokes and failworthy trolling attempts, but to do so while publicly demonstrating this level of general-world ignorance, that takes talent. Or something we can call talent, anyway.

  97. vaiyt says

    @129:

    Not to mention that the homosexuals who were freed from the concentration camps in Germany were then incarcerated again for sodomy.

  98. vaiyt says

    It’s really easy to justify your personal contribution to income disparity when you truly believe that you work harder, or that your work has an intrinsic–but difficult-to-quantify–higher value.

    If you prod them enough, you’ll get them to admit that the higher value of their work comes from being white and having a penis, thus closing the circle.

  99. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    I wear a pink shirt with a black leather jacket, and I am stylin’.

    I’m also single, but I dunno if there’s a positive correlation there.

  100. says

    Huh. Yeah, the link someone gave.. Despite being an ancient post, there is nothing in the replies, not even the recent ones, that would help anyone that stumbled over it. So, I.. well, was possibly a bit long winded, but I think I am correct in my final description of evo-psych when I say that its the alchemy of evolution, and that, unsatisfied with finding trivial things in the genes, like what makes someone’s eyes blue, they are instead rambling on about how someone might, one day, thanks to their efforts, find the “philosopher stone” of genetics, which can tell us why someone would, say, prefer blueberries over strawberries. I.e, total gibberish, until/unless they stop making things up, ignoring things that contradict their stories (or bother to even look for them), and actually try writing something that is based on fact, instead of conjectures.

    Oh, and the real problem with the picture is the same one the “red coats” have. People where trying to assassinate this guy, why would wearing something that could stand out on an overcast night, possibly even with the lights turned of, be at all sensible in a war? lol