We are two friends, French and feminists. We used to complain while having a drink (or two, or more…) about gender stereotypes, men/ women inequalities, etc.
When we became mothers, we realized how much gendered marketing and social expectations, especially through toys and clothing, were terribly harmful for our children. Grumbling by ourselves is not enough anymore, we want to contribute to the debate, shame bad practices and encourage good ones. Stereotips is born from this.
Children integrate without questioning stereotyped models imposed by mass marketing. You can struggle as much as you can, with all your strengths, when starting school girls become fans of Hello Kitty and/or Frozen, and boys like Cars, Planes or Spiderman (The exceptions prove the rule 😉 ).
– And if a boy likes pink, can he wear a Barbie backpack?
– It’s impossible, Mum, it’s forbidden for boys!
– Who forbids it?
– (He paused to think about it) I don’t know, that’s how it is… (beginning of a tiny doubt for Ph. 7 years old)
Our children wear clothes and play with toys that too often reflect gender bias and thus contribute to narrow their choices, their passions, and their future: “Mum, can a girl become an astronaut?” Is it normal to hear such a question from a 5-year-old girl?
Why kittens for girls? And tigers for boys? Can boys wear pink? And girls collect dinosaurs? Are our daughters doomed to be kind, gentle, fragile and sensitive and our sons strong, brave, reckless, careless, and insensitive?
Because our daughters must be able to dream of becoming astronauts, because our sons should be able to love pink or dance, because we don’t want to hear anymore phrases like “tomboy” or “boys don’t cry”, we dream of an environment without clichés where children have the right to be themselves. Because boys or girls, kids are just kids!
Elodie & Nadia