So back in February I became an uncle, this is not really news but I have been fairly surprised by how protective it has made me feel; along with a load of other feelings about the baby industry that seem to drive me nuts. I find myself looking at clothing to buy my niece but am mostly disappointed by how gender specific the clothing is because of course babies want to be dressed in shocking pink or ‘cute’ stuff if they are a girl (it is no better if you are a baby boy). I am not saying there is not a unisex market for babies but it seems pretty limited and also very plain.
We as a society seem to define what gender our children are by colour and we also seem incapable of realising that the stereotypes that many of us pretend to hate, we only perpetrate by continuing to adhere to the unspoken rules that make it okay for companies to aim colours like pink and blue at specific genders. I am angry about this.
Gender is such a big issue, even today in my Facebook feed that was a linked article on children an gender I think that we often try and define gender to society rules rather than allowing our children to choose for themselves. I know that I am a little angrier about this because of my person issues around gender and that even as a full grown adult I am regularly asked to state what gender I am on forms and in life. Plus I guess on a personal note I find this hard as genetics has proved to me that I am both male, female and something I have trouble describing at the best of times.
I am aware this reads a little like a rant, but it is my blog so you will have to cope with that, I think this is not a case of gender equality as I personally believe we are all equal whatever our gender and even gender equality conversations tend to pigeonhole people into either male or female roles. Genderqueer does not really help as I find that this is used as a ‘wide-ranging blanket term’ for those who don’t quite fit into male or female roles… What I am really saying is why should we try to fit into terms like male or female these are I think are society ‘norms’ that we have not yet managed to change rather than something we should all just identify with. This of course does not prevent people from picking one of the two ‘norms’, I am not preventing people from picking what they want to identify as, I am just saying we need more options or in fact the right not to pick anything at all (most forms don’t give you this option).
I am aware that gender issues are not helped by the sheer fact that we are assigned our gender at birth often by what sex we were when we were born. Maybe we need to re-examine this as a choice later in life, saying that of course I think it is very changeable and I am not sure what I would choose even now, I feel I have traits of everything in me.
I am aware that my rant started off on children’s clothing choices and that I have somewhat deviated from this. I am just irritated that it seems so hard to get clothing that is positive and unisex.