vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From the previous post's linked book (paraphrased): in the 1800s, most babies were dressed in white smocks/dresses. Only the most minor decoration on them. Babies were not 'feminine' or 'masculine' per se, as those words would connote an erotic sexuality, much like our word 'hottie' does not get applied to girls under a certain age by people with, well, taste. Babies were essentially neuter socially.

As the modern economy emerged, women began buying their clothing instead of making them, and it turned out (handwave) that people both liked to buy and companies liked to sell relatively gendered baby clothes. This trend continued until the mid-60s, at which point this dramatically reversed (c.f. Free To Be You And Me) until '86, at which point, BANG!, gendered clothes were in. The author notes that pink as a color sold something like 2x better to girls than other colors (to girls) as of 2010 or so. The author notes that pink as a color became the *common* (but not defining) color of femininity in the 50s, vehemently rejected by the second wave feminists in the 70s (defining pink as the female color), and then suggests that in the reclaiming of femininity in 'third wave' feminism, pink also became reclaimed.

The author brings up a regular aspect since the Little Lord Faunteleroy era of people being concerned about effimancy of men and *therefore* a social desire to keep their men Manly.

(disclaimer: I don't claim to condone nor condemn nor espouse these views. I'm just paraphrasing for my own recollection and the interest of DW)

And now for a more personal rumination.

K (The Lady aka The Wife) and I have a relative who is being brought up in an *extremely* gendered environment. Many things are Just Not OK for him to do. "Boys being boys" is a common refrain in that situation. Peculiarly, I note that I don't feel comfortable with boys doing certain traditionally girl things, although I feel that it's OK for girls to cross over. My internal introspection indicates to me that I feel that certain actions are symbolic of weakness and not-success, and these actions are girly. So I don't think I'm without blame here.

Example. A girl playing a doll. OK. A boy? Not OK. A boy playing with a stuffed animal? OK. A girl? OK. (this feels very cognitively dissonant). But note, "playing with dolls" is kind of insult. Hmmm.

A girl wearing a dress? OK, I guess. A boy? Naw. Kilts are cool though. A girl wearing pants? OK! A boy? OK.
To me, most dresses indicate impracticality and foolishness: running not easy, can't bike, can't really do sports, etc. It usually connotes housewife, etc. The only woman I know who regularly wears dresses is a very sad woman who firmly believes that men > women. Oddly, I don't link "showy" dresses with that thought process: Perhaps that's because I place things into two mental boxes: Costume vs. Getting Real Stuff Done. Costumes are free to be silly and impractical. I got married to a woman who was pants, as it so happens. No dresses for her! (she hates them)

High heels are verboten in all forms and genders IMO. Blamey things are bad on the feet.

Football? I'm not really OK with football, period. But I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a boy who went footballing than a girl. Dissonance.

Seeing women fight in a movie makes me excruciatingly uncomfortable. Even more so when a man and a woman fight. Totally, horrifically, horridly uncomfortable. Man vs. Man? Yeah, that's OK. I don't know. I don't really think fighting is really a great thing. But I get a much more viscerally negative reaction when a woman is involved. Hmm.

Okay, relax time is over. Time to get back to moving.
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
I found "Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America"[1] at a local library. Very informative. It's also fascinating to realize that I was brought in what evidently amounted to a fairly hardcore second-wave feminist home. Ironically, my parents don't describe themselves as feminist, but looking back on it, it's *definitely* obvious.

It's also interesting, because the Wife and I are also suuper strongly against heavily gendered clothing and toys. So finding out the history of the gendered kids clothing is enlightening.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Pink-Blue-Telling-Girls-America/dp/025300117X
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
Interesting read. I'd encourage people to read it, if they haven't already. Not 100% sure I agree with everything, but it's definitely worth mulling over.



vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)

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