One of my good friends is having a baby in March. That baby happens to a be a girl.
Can I just say, it was really disturbing to find out how gendered - or rather, gender stereotyped - the shopping experience is for a baby-to-be!
First off - every online baby clothes and accessories store or site I've been two is segregated. There are things for "baby girls" and things for "baby boys." Guess what colors they are?
Refusing to jump on the gender train, I have ordered what I thought she/her kid would like.
My most recent online receipt looks like this:
Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Magnificent Baby Baby-Boys..." and 3 other items. We’ll send a confirmation when your items ship.
So a gray hat = a boy, of course. So does anything blue, green, or yellow. Anything pink or purple is a "girl baby" item.
Fuck this shit!
I wrote back: "Maybe if I get a blue one, she'll grow balls!"
Then there are - apparently - baby headbands. I was stunned when my friend shared this news.
Me: "Why would a baby need a headband?"
Friend: "They don't. It's just in case - gasp! - no one can tell if it's a boy or a girl."
So right from birth we go on and on with the gender imprinting - or the imprinting of how we define gender - and the fact that we're sending kids the message straight from birth that their genitalia (as opposed to their brain or their personality) defines who they are, or who they are supposed to be. This is distressing for so many reasons, I don't even have enough space to write down all of my thoughts on it.
Have we gone backwards since the 1970s and 1980s? Apparently. Because my clothes (which weren't pink, by the way) were saved as hand-me-downs for my brother N and my male cousin A, and no one blinked. My brother played dress up in an amethyst necklace that was my mother's, and all that occurred to me was to be jealous.
You can be damn sure my parents didn't make me wear a headband.