I’m not actually sure why the Guardian ran this piece since its basically an unpaid advertisement for Harrods. And, even then, it’s not a very good advertisement; after all it’s not really degendering to ‘theme’ rooms whilst still dressing employees in pink and blue. Apparently, staff can “choose” to wear the colour of the opposite sex because the colours were only “chosen” because they are “pretty”. But, they are cut “differently” which, I assume, means blue t-shirts on a woman will make them look like aliens and the men wearing pink will turn immediately into fluffy bunnies or something equally heinous. Or, Harrods staff think their customers are really, really stupid. I’m leaning towards the really, really stupid bit.
I nearly fell of the chair laughing when I read this bit:
“We felt it was a bit of a risk, when that formula traditionally works, to turn around and break the mould,” said David Miller, director of Harrods Home, who said the store was aiming to create “retail theatre” and attract the customers of the future.
Dude, in no way shape or form, is pink fairies and blue trains a ‘risky’ business decision. It’s the same old shite just packaged slightly differently. Frankly, you’d have to have been raised on a cave on Pluto not to get the pink fairies = girls and blue trains = boys. And, you aren’t “trail-blazing” in making this decision. Feminists have been banging on for years about how dangerous the colour-coding of children actually is. All Harrods are trying to do is capitalise on the work of Peggy Orenstein and Pink Stinks. Plagiarising the work of women isn’t a new thing for men. After all, D.H Lawrence, Thomas Hardy and William Wordsworth weren’t pioneers of the cultural femicide either. If you don’t believe me, you should read Dale Spender’s The Writing or the Sex?
I loathe being patronised by companies who assume that I lack all critical literacy skills. It’s a marketing gimmick based entirely on the concerns of parents and activists. It isn’t new or clever. Lying about your geniusness just pisses me off. And, it makes me want to boycott you even more for lying about degendering. I prefer my misogyny straight up. The pretence of the “we aren’t misogynists, we’re just giving customers what they want” makes me nauseous. I’d rather buy from Toys R’ US who, while utterly horrendous patriarchal indoctrinators don’t try to pretend they are anything but.
The gendering of children is a harmful cultural practise and should be treated as such. The Guardian is a news organisation. They shouldn’t be running such utterly stupid free advertising for over-priced toys which harm children.