Vtech and their Gender colour coded products.

Vtech… there are others… we’ll get to them… but Vtech!

My daughters first xmas she was bought a Vtech Crawl & Learn ball in pink (I’m hoping this year we have managed to get across the message re no pink please)

crawl ball

The other one despite having blue on the bottom & rim I would consider to be pretty gender neutral.  After asking Vtech several times on twitter to explain to me why the ladybird on the pink one needs to be pink they said I could change it.

vtech convo

Which I did, daughter now has the orange one.  But still the question has never been answered.  Why Mr Vtech is the ladybird pink? Red seems to me like a perfectly serviceable exciting colour for a ladybird.  This just seems to me like the representation of pinkification.  There is no needfor it… it would look better red… the contrast of colours for baby eyes would seem much preferable with a red one so why is it pink?  Did they show kids a pink one with a red ladybird? If they did what age were these kids… does it give evidence to them already being gender brainwashed? All questions I don’t know the answer to and Vtech don’t want to get involved in.

I would think in a neutral environment young children would gravitate to a ball with a nicely contrasting red ladybird.  Why on earth were they offered a pink ladybird in the first place?  I believe it’s because Vtech haven’t even thought about it.  It’s a girls one, for a girl… therefore we’ll make it pink…

But this is Vtech, and this is why I will never buy anything by Vtech until their gender divisive range changes to a gender neutral range:-

Their all singing all dancing InnoTab 3s is available in guess what colours?

innotab 3s

Their Innotab 3 is available in guess what colours?

innotab 3

Their Challenger Laptop is available in guess what colours?

challenger laptop

Kidigo guess what colours?

kidigo

Kiddizoom guess what colours?

kiddizoom

Pocket Laptop guess what colours?

pocket laptop

Baby Bear Laptop guess what colours?

bear laptop

I could (and some would say have) go on. This is gender division at such a young age by a massive company who really should be giving us a proper choice… not a pink or blue choice but how about something completely different.  How about releasing an InnoTab in a single neutral colour so that boys & girls don’t get separated and parents with both don’t feel the need to buy 2 of everything? How about a choice for parents who want to buy your stuff but don’t want the gender stereotypes forced on them.

How about a choice Vtech?

Gender specific labelling… Not just about a sign that says girls/boys.

OK… So one of the things that really annoys is the massive way that the pink/blue divide is permeating into almost everything.  Under the guise of giving us choice companies are giving us no choice at all.  You will buy it in pink or blue or not at all.

Pink & Blue are no longer simply colours though.  They have become the gender labels themselves!

The wonderful campaign by @LetToysBeToys has had amazing results in making shops and the public aware of the horrendous gender divide in toy advertising and labelling.  Now lots of high profile shops have agreed to remove all signs saying girls & boys.  This is no mean feat… Shops like toysrus and the entertainer have removed all such signage. This is a vast improvement.  However if you go into the entertainer in Lincoln the floor still turns pink and all the pink boxed sparkly beauty and domestic servitude toys are bundled together.  The gender divide signage has gone but all the implications are still there.

Pink & Blue are in themselves signs.  A boy may well want to have a toy cooker…  But most probably will not want a pink/lilac one.  The colour is telling parents and boys “this is not for you!”.  At the community centre we go to they have a little wooden kitchen and both boys and girls play with it in exactly the same manor.  If it were pink I imagine a lot of the older boys wouldn’t be so keen.

A few days ago I tweeted @sainsburys with the following photo from their store.

image

Below is a screen grab of the brief conversation:-

sains baking set upload

Now, I do appreciate they say they they have taken my point on board.  But they have also said that these items aren’t gender specific.  Well, no… technically they are just colours but as we and @sainsburys know very well that’s not how it works.  They are defined and labelled boys and girls by their colour…  and just because there is no specific sign that says boys or girls that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Why do these items need to be sold in 2 different colours at all?  Is this just a con to make parents with both sexes buy 2 sets of everything rather than one random coloured one that will be agreeable to both Sons & Daughters in the family?

It’s not just baking sets either, if you look around it’s everywhere. It’s easy to take down a sign that says boys or girls but not so easy to change the way items are manufactured, packaged and marketed.  I guess a lot comes down to cost, it would be an expensive undertaking to change all this now, but I am of the opinion that it’s in dire need of change.

I’m going to add a small poll and I hope some of you may take the time to vote on it.

You can also contact me on twitter, @ch33sl3y or @pinkitorlumpit

A word about conditioning.

What does it matter some people might ask.  Does it really affect kids like you think it does?

Well, I think so.  A few weeks ago we were in the park on the swings. Having a lovely time of it. (Daughter loves the swing!) These 2 girls come over with their parents and got on the 2 swings next to us.  Both girls, around 7 or 8, wearing little pink shoes & pink coats.  They start swinging and chatting.

Girl A:- “What’s your favourite colour?”

Girl B:- “Pink, Lilac and purple… yours?”

Girl A:_ “Pink, lilac and pale blue!”

Now, when I was a kid, if you asked anyone of that sort of age their favourite colour you would pretty much without fail get a red or blue answer, sometimes it might be green or yellow. I can honestly say I never remember anyone ever in my childhood declaring their favourite colour as pink! As for lilac? Seriously?

This is surely a result of conditioning.  The little girls in question say those are their favourite colours because they think that’s what they’re meant to say… probably don’t even think it any more it’s become so ingrained in their psyche.  Their clothes, their toys everything they see in the toy shop aimed at little girls has been telling them since the day they were born that little girls like pink, that is what you get… pink… not blue because blue is for boys and you’re a girl… girls stuff is pink!

Am I over reacting, is this a normal state of affairs?

I think not, I think this has been forced on our daughters and parents are just blindly going along with it because… well I don’t know why, maybe one of you can tell me.

Other peoples confusion re my Daughters Gender.

I can’t even begin to count the amount of times my daughter has been called a boy in her first year.  I can honestly say that she has rarely been taken for a girl in random encounters despite not looking like a boy (and not wearing blue by their logic).

The simple lack of pink seems to be enough for most people to discount the possibility of her being a girl. Even through the summer wearing her beautiful yellow girly hat.  Add that I don’t put her in dresses because she’s not yet walking and It doesn’t look like much fun for the other little girls I see crawling inside their dresses and getting stuck… And anyway trousers are so much more practical.

So I constantly have to say “she” at people when they comment how beautiful she is. All just another sign of how ingrained this seems to be in the psyche of the general populous.

I can also say with all honesty that there isn’t a single other little girl at any of the groups I take her to that seems to have a pink free wardrobe… This I can sort of understand because it’s really really difficult to do! There’ll definitely be more on that in another post…

My first inkling that something was wrong.

I’d never thought about the gender separation issue really. Other than seeing a lot of little girls in pink… And noticing teenage girls with pink phones/cameras and stuff. It hadn’t really entered my world.

When we discovered we were having a baby we decided we didn’t want to know the sex. We bought stuff in neutral colours but that was the point we did start to notice the manic pink/blue divide.

First question out of everyone’s mouth when they see you’re pregnant.

“What’re you having?”
Answer “a baby”

Blank looks… Like somehow we’re mental because… How would we know what colour to paint the room? How would we know what colour (insert item here) to buy?

So that was our first inkling that a child’s gender had somehow apparently become the most important fact of any purchase you ever want to make for it.