I think most of the world is now aware of some ill-chosen ‘trouble with girls’ in science comments Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt made recently. Scientists didn’t disappoint taking to Twitter with images of them going about their work and the tag #distractinglysexy. Unfortunately this was all too reminisce of when astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni described many scientists as “boys with toys.” Scientists responded on Twitter with the hashtag #girlswithtoys to remind the world that science is not gender exclusive.
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It all comes back to gender stereotypes. Comments in this vain get made regularly, whether it be in innocence, or jest. The unfortunate truth is one harmless intended joke at the expense of gender stereotypes, however tongue in cheek, perpetuates the issue.
This isn’t just at the expense of women. How many times have you heard a man being called ‘a big girl’ or been told to ‘grow a pair’ for showing tenderness or too much emotion?
We may make great leaps towards gender equality, but until we stop stereotyping will equality ever be a reality?
From the moment we are born gender stereotypes are thrust upon us, many of us meeting ridicule if we stray from these gender norms. This is what society is teaching our children:
“Of course you can be a palaeontologist when you grow up, you can be anything you put your mind to but you can’t have dinosaurs they’re for boys! What about this pretty doll?” – Society
“Put that doll down, you can’t play with dolls!” “Well, yes, I am fully aware that you are highly likely to go on to become a Father one day, but you know it’s just not right for boys to play with dolls.” – Society
To me, it seems so simple, we just remove the labels.
Rather than market and divide toys, clothes, characters and interests by gender and assigning them a pink or blue label, let’s just make them for kids. That way kids can have what they want, what they like, what makes them happy. With no fear of societies opinions of whether Mark wants a pair of pink wellies or if Helen is train mad. Imagine that, Helen and Mark could just be free AND happy!
We asked the Philosoraptor his opinions:
Exactly. Point well-made Philosoraptor.
There is no logical reason why kids should be segregated based on gender, it perpetuates gender stereotypes and halts gender equality by creating a divide for the next generation. For too long have themes like dinosaurs, space and science been reserved for the boys’ aisles. It seems to us that girls get the colourful options and boys get the inspiring themes. We think a mix of both made welcome to all is a much better idea.
Which is exactly why we are: Gecko Clothing #clothesthegap https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gecko-clothing/gecko-clothings-funkyethical-organic-and-unisex-du
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