Saturday, December 19, 2015

What is it with Boys and Sports?

...or, more accurately, boys' stuff and sports.

Probably about 75% of the monster's clothes and toys are 2nd hand. Which means that it's not always about style when I'm shopping for clothes; it's about what condition something is in, whether or not it will be comfortable, and how long it will fit.

I look everything over before I buy it, but I don't really look at it. I'm looking to see if there are stains, tears, worn patches, etc.

So I bought the monster a pair of fuzzy PJs.  A little pilling, but in otherwise good condition. Plus the nice guy was working at the thrift shop, so them, the other pair of PJs I bought, 9 pairs of socks, 1 pair of mittens, 2 decorative spoons and a book only cost me $4. The PJs are cookie monster - pretty cute.

And then I got them home and noticed... football helmets?

The fabric is seriously: baby cookie monster eating a cookie, baby cookie monster in a diaper eating a cookie, jugs of milk, cookies on their own... and random sports equipment. Helmets, sneakers and whistles.
They're sadly not footie pajamas, so I grab the monster one of his new pairs of socks.  Giant 9s on the side, in the same font you get on the back of football jerseys.

And this isn't even the first time it's happened. Not long ago, he outgrew some great quality PJs that were covered in various sports paraphernalia and had numbers and a baseball applique on them; when he was a newborn, I bought a set of hats on sale, only to get them home and find out that the cute little bulldogs were surrounded by footballs.

I could pay closer attention, if it bothered me that much.  But it's not so much that some of his clothes are sports-related, that gets to me.  It's more the insidious way that sports and construction themes get sneaked onto boys' clothes, and the glaringly obvious way they're omitted from girls'.

It's all the: this is for boys, this is for girls bullshit that's still going on, even though it's nearly 2016. You know what you never see on boys' clothes? Horses. Unless there are cowboys involved. You never just see a horse, on its own, on a boy's sweater.  Or a cat. And you're equally unlikely to see a dump truck on a girl's shirt.

It's like, at some point, there was a secret meeting, and not only did all the various activities, professions and interests get divided by genitals, the fucking animals did as well.

Dinosaurs? Obviously for boys. Dolphins? Girls. Cats and horses are for girls, too.  Lizards and sharks, boys. Dogs can go either way, but need accessories to gender things up.  A bow or a sparkly collar indicates a girl-appropriate dog, while a surfboard or suspenders make it for a boy. Nerdy glasses are a bit too ambiguous, so a second accessory is usually required.

Seriously, people, what the crap are we teaching our kids?

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