Cherish (mareserinitatis) wrote,

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I recently read an article about a UK organization called Pink Stinks. If you'd like to check them out, they're hanging on the web at

I very much in principle agree with the aims of their organization. "Pinkification" of girls toys is relatively recent, and creates a very segregationist viewpoint about what boys and girls can do...or can't.

Isis also took up the issue in her blog, at least as it pertains to science.

But there is a part of me that really thinks that this "pinkification" may do some good. I know I may be in the minority here, but let's look at it this way: if someone might consider getting a microscope or telescope for a girl because it's pink rather than a traditional "girl toy" (read: BARBIE) in the absence of a pink microscope or telescope, hasn't something good been done?

How much of the "pinkification" is as a result of adult notions of what a girl versus boy can do? And if a microscope is colored pink (or a baseball mitt or whatever else) means that the adults around that girl will be willing to concede that a girl just might be able to have an interest in science or baseball, hasn't that done a tiny bit of good because the adults around that girl may not be putting the social pressures on her that many of us grew up with? That is, even if it is pink, the girl has still gotten a microscope where she might not have had one before...

Another facet of this is how there are still a lot of bright young girls and women who are concerned about fitting in. A microscope may expose such girls to recrimination because it means they aren't being feminine. But maybe the socialization issue would not be so bad for a girl who is the recipient of a pink microscope because it means that she likes that sort of thing but is still feminine.

I agree the ideal is that people wouldn't be so, well, conservative. Girls can do science just as well as boys, and they can use the same microscopes in my world. But I'm not ready to say this is entirely bad if some girls are exposed to things that close-minded adults may have otherwise overlooked or that they themselves may have rejected based on whether or not they are socially acceptable.

It's a hard line to tread, though, and must be done carefully.
Tags: feminism, pink, science, sexism

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