I read a very interesting article in ‘the Hindu’ last Sunday. It was titled as ‘Pink Stinks’. I happen to like pink colour, so much so that I could not stop myself from reading the full article right away. However, as I went on reading it, I realized that the fuss was not about the colour in itself, while it was about the ‘Pinkification’ of girls.
The ‘Pink Stinks’ is a campaign that targets the products, media and marketing that prescribe heavily stereotyped and limited roles to young girls. It was launched in UK by two sisters, Abi and Emma moore, who were alarmed by gender-segregated products in their homes. While Emma’s house was filled with her daughter’s ‘pink’ ‘girly’ products, that of Abi was full of ‘masculine’ toys of her son. This kicked off the ‘Pink Stinks’ campaign three years ago. According to most of the followers, this campaign was overdue, as the ‘Pinkification’ process had been like a ‘pretty- pleasant and polite imprisonment’.
They are absolutely right. The campaign was indeed overdue. The girl-boy segregation is done right from when the baby is born. They are given ‘gendered’ toys to play with, they are given the ‘gendered’ products to consume, and they are hammered with ‘gendered’ comments all the time. Everything they are surrounded by is heavily ‘gendered’. While girls are provided with everything ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’, boys get the ‘rash’ and ‘tough’. While girls are made to play with dolls, boys play with airplanes, submarines and robots. The celebrated justification in such circumstances is usually ‘she loves this doll so much’ or ‘he likes to fly fighter plains’, etc. However, the question here is that, how can a kid (aged 2-3 years) simply ‘love’ something without somebody making him/her love it.
When I was a kid, I used to love playing ‘Ghar Ghar’ or ‘Bhatukali’ with my friends (including both male and female friends). But, similarly, I liked playing games like ‘Teacher Teacher’ and ‘Chor-Police’. This is usually the case with both male and female kids. Every human being is the product of his surroundings. He likes the things which he grows up with. When the girls are given only dolls and ‘Ghar Ghar’ utensils, they are bound to have their long-lasting impact. These toys block the thought-process of girls, as everything that is pretty and weak is equated with femininity.
Nevertheless, in the modern times, when women are touching new heights, this ‘gendered’ segregation does not seem to be really relevant. The parents who want their daughters to become pilots, IAS officers, lawyers and so on, should not really go for only ‘pink’ ‘pretty’ toys for them..
.. as ‘Pinkification’ really stinks!!!