So I think everyone saw the response from so many of the science world to the ill advised comments made by Tim Hunt and Shrinivas Kulkarni on #distractinglysexy #girlswithtoys, to remind the world that science is not gender exclusive. Science is Universal.
It all comes back to gender stereotypes. Negative comments, playing to stereotypes, however harmless in intention,n perpetuate the issue. This continues the stigma.
This isn’t just at the expense of women. How many times have you heard a man being called ‘a big girl’ or been told to ‘grow a pair’ for showing tenderness or too much emotion?
We may make great leaps towards gender equality, but until we stop stereotyping will equality ever be a reality?
This is what society is teaching our children:
“Of course you can be a palaeontologist when you grow up, you can be anything you put your mind to but you can’t have dinosaurs they’re for boys! What about this pretty doll?” – Society
“Put that doll down, you can’t play with dolls!” “Well, yes, I am fully aware that you are highly likely to go on to become a Father one day, but you know it’s just not right for boys to play with dolls.” – Society
The solution seem simple to us. Just remove the labels. Stop the needless gender marketing. A car, a dinosaur, a doll, or a science kit can be for a child that is interested by them.
I’m not proposing overhaul on all that’s available to children. Just rather than needlessly segregating them girls or boys, let’s just make them for kids. That way kids can have what they want, what they like, what makes them happy.
We asked the Philosoraptor his opinions:
Exactly. Point well-made Philosoraptor.
There is no logical reason why kids should be segregated based on gender, it perpetuates gender stereotypes and halts gender equality. For too long have themes like dinosaurs, space and science been reserved for the boys’ aisles. It seems to us that girls get the colourful options and boys get the inspiring themes. We think a mix of both made welcome to all is a much better idea.
These are the frustrations that led us to create Gecko Clothing. With 2 boys and a girl we have seen both sides of the coin. So we set about doing something about it. We are a small family run company a husband and wife team aided by their 5 year old son (you would be surprised how much business acumen and generally awesome usable ideas a 5 year old has), you probably would be less surprised at how much input our 15 year old daughter wants, generally modelled by our extremely cute 2 year old. We create clothes that are of: colourful & funky unisex design; ethical & eco-friendly; practical & hardwearing; that don’t cost the earth.
Right now we have an awesome collection of science, space and nature clothes we are hoping to launch using this here Kickstarter campaign. Do check us out and support us and share if you can. In addition to our designs we have our ‘Science is Universal’ poster and our space poster with a quote from Astronaut Mae Jemison AND temporary STEM tattoos, which we are quite excited about: