Letting down Team Pink

by

One of my close friends and me are both pregnant, and due at the end of the year within a few days of each other. Our partners are old friends and we spend a lot of time together.

Unfortunately this other couple have very sexist views on pregnancy and babies, which makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and pretty angry.

For example, they’re finding out the sex of the baby this week – just so they can colour co-ordinate clothes. My friend says that as the bedroom is currently blue, if they have a girl they’ll have to redecorate (because heaven forbid a newborn girl should have blue carpet!). She keeps asking why I don’t want to know the sex of our baby, as in her words “But what colour baby clothes will you buy and what colour will the room be?” Again, heaven forbid that I shouldn’t be stereotyping my newborn child!

The final straw for me was a few days ago – we were at a pub with a big group of friends (many of whom already have kids themselves so should know better). Friend’s partner has been adamant all along that their baby MUST be a boy, such comments as “Because older sisters are bullies” and “A big brother can protect a little sister” being good, solid reasons. Anyway, when discussing the scan this week, he said “I’m practising my disappointed face in case we find out we’re Team Pink.” (in other words, expecting a girl). The men in the group roared with laughter.

I was too shocked to say anything at the time, but when I got home I ranted at my husband about how disgusting and disgraceful an attitude it was and actually how sorry I felt for that unborn baby if it is a girl. To be fair to him, he hadn’t laughed when the other guys did, but he did say “Some things aren’t meant for women’s ears.”

Here I was, thinking these kind of disgusting sexist attitudes towards unborn girls was something abhorrent, but I guess it’s #MFIF!

Shouting Woman, UK

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18 Responses to “Letting down Team Pink”

  1. blackrose01 Says:

    That’s terrible! I can’t believe he said that! Any baby should be a blessing whatever the sex is, he is a horrible man and I’m so sorry your husband didn’t say anything to him about it! I’m with you on your last comment, I too thought we were past such views on baby girls

  2. desbarates Says:

    Well guess that guy have to blame himself since is the man who carry the chromosome that define sex

  3. rillion Says:

    Having a preference is one thing, but people who will be greatly disappointed if their kid doesn’t turn out to be one sex or another probably shouldn’t become parents.

    I hated pink as a little girl and hate it now….I don’t plan to have any children, but if I did his/her nursery would be green.

    • jay Says:

      “Having a preference is one thing, but people who will be greatly disappointed if their kid doesn’t turn out to be one sex or another probably shouldn’t become parents.”

      Ex-fucking-zactly. Not to mention that parents who are trying to cement their kid into one gender before they even know what that gender is are the worst possible kind of parents to end up – with from the perspective of a queer kid.

  4. Kris Bradburn Says:

    Parents like that are so frustrating to deal with. I agree with the commenter above, if I had kids, their stuff would be green. Or maybe if I had a girl I would purposely dress her in blue, and if a boy, in pink.

    I read a study once that looked at attitudes towards babies in different coloured clothing. Babies in blue, regardless of their actual gender (which the participants were never told), were way more likely to be told that they would grow up big and strong, and babies in pink were more likely to be told that they were SOOooo pretty and cuuuuuute.

    But there you go, even for babies, it’s TFTF.

    • popesuburban Says:

      This is why I ended up with stuff that was purple, green, yellow, and otherwise neutral. My mom didn’t want any of that shit going down and took steps to discourage people from saying “sooooo cuuute.” I had both trucks and dolls, and frankly, I think I’m probably a little mentally healthier about gender and what I “can” or “can’t” do than a lot of women and girls because of it.

  5. junebug1986 Says:

    My brother and his wife always have this dumb gender party when they find out the sex of their baby.

    It’s pathetic to me because all the men come to the party clutching “boy” things like blue clothes, tractors, and footballs. The women come to the party with pink clothes, dolls, etc. (As if babies have ANY idea what the difference is between such things!)

    At the last party, when they announced that they were going to be having a boy all the men started hooping and hollering in excitement. My dad said “Finally! We will have someone to carry the family name!” The ladies didn’t seem disappointed, and they still offered their “girl” things as gifts anyways.

    At the party before this one, it was announced that they would be having a girl. The reaction was much different. The women cooed and seemed excited, but the men had an attitude of “Well, you’ll just have to try again.” My dad was nearly in hysterics over worry about the continuation of the family name.

    I’m not going to find out the gender of my baby before it is born!

  6. apollarock Says:

    When I was about four or five years old and at a catholic school (or rather, the nursery attached to it) I asked the following question

    “If blue is for boys and pink is for girls, then who do red and white belong to?”

    And then I promptly and firmly declared that I liked blue best of all, just to be contrary… and because even when I was a small child the notion of colours ‘belonging’ to any group was ludicrous.

    In all seriousness though, the worrying thing about this story is that it’s being repeated the world over in similar ways that basically add up to two things:

    1. One gender being valued above another.
    2. Children being forced/conditioned into certain behaviours before they’re old enough to decide for themselves. I don’t want to assume that these parents are going to demand their son play football/daughter do ballet, but it’s not exactly a leap to surmise it.

    Like many stories on this blog, it seems to represent, at best, the thin end of a wedge.

  7. gogocerauno Says:

    I think those friends of yours would enjoy China.

  8. ealasaid365 Says:

    I am also pregnant, and due in a few weeks (thank goodness it’s almost over!), and we decided not to find out the gender of our baby before it arrives, precisely because we didn’t want to end up with all pink or all blue baby clothes. All of my coworkers and my relatives and the random people on the street who think it’s alright to ask me personal medical questions because I’m pregnant are appalled that we didn’t want to find out, and it’s all I can do sometimes not to punch them. As if the baby will care what color it’s clothes are! It’ll take it awhile to see much beyond black and white anyways, babies like high contrasts until their eyes get some practice at coping with the world, so the whole pink and blue pastel issue is ridiculous in the first place. It’s room is painted blue because *I* like blue. If I have a gender preference, it would be that it could try them both out and choose for itself, but unfortunately life is not an Ursula LeGuin story. My husband is hoping for a girl, because he thinks women are much stronger than men, and he wants his children to be tough. As fun as it would be to agree with him, I can’t quite go that far, because that’s not being fair to boys either. Children will rise to our expectations, whatever those may be, and the most we can do is try to treat them the same no matter who or what they are, and to listen to them when they try to tell us who they want to be.

  9. branchmonster Says:

    Just try to imagine the world the way those men seem to want it: no girls are born, so eventually, there are no women. Oh, yes, that’s a utopia, I’m sure.

  10. notemily Says:

    What the hell are they going to do if they have an intersex kid? They probably haven’t even thought of that possibility, even though 1 in 100 people have bodies that differ from the standard gender binary.

  11. fiona888 Says:

    “…the random people on the street who think it’s alright to ask me personal medical questions because I’m pregnant…”

    And don’t you just HATE that! I get the same because I’m disabled, and visibly so (I use crutches or a wheelchair when I go out), so people think my medical history is public property.

    Plus, if I tell them anything, they often go further and see fit to judge the ‘validity’ of my disabilities, or my way of coping. If I don’t tell them anything, politely telling them that my medical history is none of their business, then they treat me like I’M the rude one!

    In my case it’s got nothing to do with sexism, but it’s still annoying!

  12. shoutingwoman Says:

    Well – apparently it’s a boy, so now all is well in the world. *rolls eyes*

    • desbarates Says:

      And what it’s that with older sisters being bullies? I have an older sister and she’s the coolest person in the world and she always took care on me when she can at school (we have a 10 year difference so yeah), and even I have a male friend who have an older sister and he was basically the bully. Guess it’s just that stupid stigma that males feel ashamed if a woman it’s the one who protect them.

  13. blackrose01 Says:

    Has anyone seen that Dulux paint advert where the father is talking to his newborn by narration and all you can see are blue walls with a football mobile above the crib and he says he had it all planned and that ‘you’d’ make it big as a footballer and he says that ‘you’ took them all by surprise, and then you see him painting the walls pink and he swaps everything so its girly with fairies and flowers and stuff?

    Like God forbid a surprise baby girl have blue walls with a football motif, can you imagine what it was like at the hospital?

    Mother: OH God we have a girl! Quick, go buy some paint and change her room before she begins to get ideas about equality!

    Father: I’m on it! No daughter of mine is going to going to grow up as anything less than a girly, girly baby making machine!

    I know it’s only a paint advert but it really annoys me how they can be so blatent!

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