It is the New Year 2011 and I am catching up, on one bit of scrap paper was a scribbled ” http://www.pinkstinks.co.uk – pink is ok punk is better.” It was inspiring to see the changes and challenges this UK based group is bringing to the sterotyping of young girls and boys by the media and department stores. For me it brought home the commercialisation of young children’s desires to be like and copy their parents and grandparents in daily activities. I am questioning myself on whether organic blusher and brush was sensible for a seven year old who for the past 2 years has be asking me to buy her ‘make up that won’t give me itchy bits.’
In the seventies first readers come home from school that had Betty in the apron in the kitchen and John sitting reading the paper after work. At least both the male and female children were playing with the dog, but that did not stop the reader returning to school with pasted over changed text and illustrations, including what I like to think of as gender neutral, equal, and what then was called ‘role reversal’. A meeting with the head master,and teacher did not change the reading program drastically overnight. It did allow for some of the early feminist writers and their childrens book to come into the school and be read. It is interesting to note one of the books involved a small girl fighting dragons and it is being read to the third generation right now. (Title …… Author ….to be sourced)
Sometimes I think we have a long way to go and have look at what I have achieved -2 mortgages on four properties today, when my first attempt was met with ‘we don’t lend to women, you can only keep the house if you get your (soon to be ex) husband to allow you to stay on the title.’ He did, but can you imagine my feelings on this issue, when I was the one wanting a house and paying a good share of the mortgage. That is until I was told if you don’t resign we will fire you. You have to stay home and care for the baby. It is not your husband’s job.’ The husband wasn’t working and wanted to care for the baby, I was interested in working. The mortgage had to be paid and good jobs for women were opening up.