Why are children’s magazines so obviously gender specific?

I think I embarrassed my niece and nephew a few days ago. I ranted in public.

We went to the shop because nephew wanted some football stickers, and both of them ended up buying a magazine each.

My nephew bought a football magazine about the World Cup, my niece bought ‘Girl Talk’ and ‘Girl Talk Art’. While we were waiting to pay I scanned the magazine rack and noticed the magazines aimed at boys were black, green, yellow, blue etc but those aimed at girls were exclusively pink and white.

The free gifts for boys were books, toys, sweets. For girls it was make-up in pink, art supplies – pink etc.

Argggghhhhhh!!! Pink, pink everywhere!

Well done magazine publishers, you’re doing a splendid job reinforcing gender stereotypes. I’m sure little girls love being told the only colour they should like is insipid pink, that they’re only value is how they look, that they aren’t worth giving books to, that they should be satisfied with the vapid and inconsequential. And don’t forget the boys, who apparently should only be interested in computers or sports, not art. I’m sure it does their self-confidence wonders, knowing that if they don’t like football then they are weird.

It really irritates me that instead of having ‘children’s magazines’ there’s ‘girl’s magazines‘ and ‘boy’s magazines‘. Instead of allowing children to explore and decide for themselves what they like – hobbies, colours, clothes – these magazines reinforce gender stereotypes. Why do children need gender specific magazines?

They don’t!

There are magazines aimed at all children – Nat Geo Kids, Horrible History, Okido, Aquila – but they are rarities compared to the overwhelming majority, and often subscriber only.

Gender specific anything is ridiculous; we’re not born with a preference for pink or blue (or whatever the sex-specific colours are in your culture) depending on whether you were born with a cunt or cock, but are told that you should from the second you arrive in this world.

These stereotypes are cultural concepts not biological. I wish people would stop assuming every girl and woman had the same interests, and every boy and man shared completely different interests.

Stop indoctrinating children, stop reinforcing false stereotypes, just stop!


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