Think Pink?

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Miss Rose is often mistaken for a boy. Personally I think she is incredibly feminine and beautiful looking, but I also sometimes call her Winston Churchill so I can’t really blame people for the error. That said, how it comes about sometimes intrigues me.

The first time I introduced her to my uncle, her great uncle, he said “Oh I thought you were having a girl?” I said, “She is a girl”He said, “But she’s wearing blue” I said, “It doesn’t mean she’s grown a penis”

The blue in question was a powder blue suit with white polka dots and ruffles on the bum. He was so sure that I wouldn’t have dressed her in blue that he assumed I’d got the sex of my child wrong. Indeed whenever she is dressed in any colour other than pink I get comments of “What a beautiful little boy” or “How old is he?” I don’t mind saying “Thank you, but she’s a beautiful little girl” or “She is 9 weeks”, but I do find it a little odd.

I don’t only dress her in girly clothes, and she wears blues, browns, reds, greens, greys etc. But so do I. I get a lot of her clothes, second hand from charity shops and often buy things obviously originally designed for boys, but they’re lovely clothes and look nice on her so why shouldn’t she wear them? I love the colour pink, I’m wearing a nice pink knitted cardigan right now, but I also love other colours and if I wear lots of colours shouldn’t Rose be able to as well? Are we so sure that boys wear blue and girls wear pink that there is no possibility for cross over?

I don’t get offended when people get her sex wrong, they are often very apologetic and it’s not exactly an insult, but it does make me wonder. I don’t believe in any way that pink is an evil colour like some do, that it programmes girls to only want to be a princess and takes away all ambition, but I do worry that it creates limitations if you will only focus on the traditionally girly things in life, there’s so much more out there for us, both men and women.

I say this as a girl who grew up loving pink, had barbies, and did ballet, and is currently a stay at home mum and housewife. But I also climbed trees, learned karate, and was a beast at the scalextrics, and being at home with my child is my choice which I have been fortunate enough to make having experienced both working away from home and being here with her. We need balance, and we need choice as women, and those choices need to be respected.

Lego have recently been criticised for releasing a range of Lego bricks in shades of pinks, but I would have loved those, I’d have used them with the other colour Lego. I loved my Lego and I will be buying Miss Rose Lego, both in “boy” colours and the new “girl” colours. Balance. Acceptance that girls can play with boy stuff without being “manly” but that also playing with girl stuff doesn’t make them simpering little princesses with no futures beyond marrying for money.

Whilst I believe the colour pink does not create a world where girls cannot be ambitious and cannot achieve, I do wonder if perhaps the attitudes of others do? If this day and age where equality is supposedly here, then why should dressing my daughter in any colour other than pink make her a boy? Do adult women only wear pink? If you saw a woman walking down the street in blue jeans and a grey t-shirt and a red sweater would you think “Oh that’s a feminine looking man?”

My thoughts on this are that we should all, men and women, be able to cross into one another’s worlds from a young age, to experience masculine and feminine activities, and find our place through that experience. Do not restrict boys to just boy activities, and do not restrict girls in the same way. We are fortunate enough to now live in a world where for the most part men and women are able to do what is right for them regardless of whether it’s traditional, but surely acceptance of this new balance starts from childhood, and we are doing our children a disservice if we don’t allow them to experience as much as the world as they want to because of their sex. If your son wants to do ballet that’s wonderful, and if your daughter wants to climb a tree and pelt apples at her baby brother (eh hem) then celebrate it. Or maybe not celebrate, maybe remove said daughter from tree and discipline her, but celebrate the fact she likes to do more than sing to bluebirds whilst sweeping the floor.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work.  There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters.  If you want to subscribe on Patreon,  its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week,  you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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One response to “Think Pink?

  1. “The first time I introduced her to my Uncle…”

    Oh Dear, that was my father, wasn’t it?…

    Like

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