I wrote a post in March last year called Superhero v Princess. The post was all about my five year old twin girls and although there is only two minutes between them being born they really couldn’t be more different in their likes and dislikes.
I have wondered for a long time whether it’s nurture or nature and I come to the conclusion that it really has to be nature. Neither my wife nor I are passionate about superheroes or princesses so they couldn’t possibly have been influenced by us.
The girls have just turned five years old and after their party we came home and sorted out the many gifts they had received for them to open. The girls started to open them and R opened this particular one and it was a my little pony doll. Her response was amazing. She said I don’t like them and then said to her sister do you want it and just gave it to her. Of course M gratefully accepted it. I imagine she thought WIN WIN !
The girls also had some money given to them early by a family friend and that afternoon we had to go Asda’s to buy their birthday cakes. This also showed their differences again as R picked a Star Wars cake and M picked a Shopkins one. We also said they could spend their money that they had been given and buy what they wanted, dangerous! I know they could pick anything! OMG ! What are they going pick?
We were hoping they were going to pick something sensible, but still never mind we had given them free rein. We went to the clothing department and M is obsessed with Moana, so when she saw a Moana costume it was off the shelf in a split second! M had decided very quickly and was totally happy with her choice.
Both the girls love the film Moana, but again without question, as I have already said M is obsessed with Moana, but R’s favourite is Maui. For their birthday their oldest sister brought them toy dolls from Disney of Maui and Moana and they now sleep every night with them. Infact the girls quite often end up in our bed and I found myself cuddled up to Maui one night because R had brought him into our bed, haha! This again shows how toys should never be gender based because girls are allowed to like all toys.
I also spoke to my eldest daughter about this, and she said the shop assistant asked who are they for. So she explained they were birthday presents for her five year old sisters and the shop assistant gave a look of why would a girl want Maui, because why can’t girls prefer Maui to Moana and she felt she was justifying herself. This is so wrong on every level. I really expected a better attitude from a Disney employee. This goes shows that people’s attitude needs changing.
R was looking around and I pointed out a few things that she may have liked in Asda’s, who have typical stereotypical aisles of boys and girls clothes. I knew all along that we would have to gravitate towards the boys aisle. This annoys me. R started looking and found a Batman Lego t-shirt and instantly loved it. Why for goodness sake is this only in the boys section? Correct me if I’m wrong, but first of all I thought Lego was a toy for either gender and here we are again in Asda’s who are saying Batman is a boys only character. What total and utter nonsense!
When are retailers going to realise that girls like Superheroes too! I was disgusted yet again because R shouldn’t have to look in the boys section. It should have been in a mixed section, but of course that would be too much trouble for retailers to do.
The other most noticeable likes and dislikes they have are shown so perfectly in this photo on the morning of their birthday. Very little needs to be said. The photo shows it to perfection.
I have come to the conclusion that it is without a doubt nature and definitely not nurture. After five years watching my twin girls grow up. We are born I believe to be whatever nature decides for us. We can’t change it. Our children will develop and grow into a skin that they are comfortable in.
The gender stereotyping debate over what society dictates that boys and girls should wear, like or what toys they should play with should be fought against with a passion. Otherwise if we are not careful we will have a generation of children that will conform to society’s restraints and that in turn will stop girls most importantly not striving and achieving whatever they want to be, but it will also stop boys believing that must grow up into a stereotypical macho male.
I think it would be very awesome if my twin girls became Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Saying that the job being done at the moment I think they could do a better job now! After all most MP’s behave like children in the the Houses of Parliament. The girls would probably add maturity to the situation.
I am always disheartened by yet another example of gender stereotyping,with our children. At times it feels like one step forward, and two steps backwards. A change is happening, but it will take years. I for one will be pushing all the way for change, for my daughters to live in more equal world. To be whatever they want to be.
Would love to know your thoughts