Friday, November 30, 2007

Indoctrination from the crib!

La Presse, on how to pick an appropriate Christmas present for a girl aged 0 to 4 years old:

Les fillettes apprécient en général les items féminins et empruntés à la mode pour adultes, comme le boléro, le poncho, la jupe paysanne et la minijupe plissée. La collection Oiseaux d'amour de Souris Mini propose des vêtements chics et coquets tels que des jupes de laine bouillie, la blouse-boléro et son pantalon à frisons assortis. Les fillettes adoreront aussi les collants et les accessoires.

I'm sure girls as young as this really do prefer "feminine grown-up fashion." Yeah, right. I'm sure they do.

(As opposed to, say, capitalism and patriarchy.)



I guess I just never really understood the social pressure to clearly identify the gender of infants and very young children, by dressing them up in stereotyped uniforms.

Baby boy in a baby blue outfit with boats and cars... Baby girl in a light pink ensemble with lace/fur/frizzy stuff, with kittens, shoes, little purses and whatnot...

Is it just easier for people to interact with other human beings who are so categorized and identified, when there are clear assumptions about how people who belong to a given category are expected to behave?

If, at that age, it's impossible to tell apart a boy from a girl, but for the way they're dress or the length of their hair, why bother dressing them differently? The only plausible answer to this question is: so as to make sure that people will treat them differently.

Different "but equal," of course.


Click here to read a very good post by a feminist mother-to-be, who's trying to sort this all out.

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