A lot of pixels have been spilled lately about “princess culture;” the idea that we program our daughters to love pink and princess and that this limits them; that we direct them to be “pink” and that absent culture they would grow up to be superior “blue.” As if somehow “blue” were superior. I hate the idea that my DD would ever be blocked in or constrained by my expectations.
I’ll cop to this: We own a lot of pink clothes for her. More than we would if I was the sole purchaser of clothing (or if I had any, or offered any, real input outside of occasionally complaining about to wifey). Some of it is unavoidable. Have you ever tried shopping for a 2-year-old girl? If you want to avoid pink you better be ready to dress her in the same 3 outfits. Every day.
On the other hand, she is growing up with two brothers, experience the same rough-house play her 2 brothers participate in. She plays at the same games, plays with the same toys and sees us react to the same things in the same ways. Hell, she is solely in my care 2 or 3 hours per day. I’m not the most manly man on earth by any means, but she gets lots of “boy” exposure.
Despite all this exposure to things “blue,” my daughter acts in a couple ways that tell me that in some ways girls are coded “pink”:
1) She is afraid to approach bugs, often standing several feet behind me. This despite the fact that I’ve approached the bug and her one brother is standing half again closer than I am. I should mention her mother is probably less bug adverse than I am.
2) She is oddly attracted to “babies” and small things in a way that can only be described as genetic. I’m willing to concede that we could have somehow pushed her towards dolls by supplying them. We will explain the fact that the boys don’t play with them by saying we push them on our daughter. What could my wife and I possibly have done to make her affectionate toward smaller than normal pine cones and stones?