My wife and I were trying to recollect the memorable incidents involving B +ve and O +ve. One event that certainly happens whenever we are out is a query about the girls – Are they twins? It would be followed by another question – Are they both boys? When answered in negative and even before we clarify further, one of the girls would be pointed at and asked – he is surely a boy. To the dismay of the person, we have to answer that both are girls.
We were recalling numerous instances when this situation would have repeated itself, anywhere and everywhere, with most of the people. It does not happen anymore. After the girls turned three years, they have started having long hair. Hence, their gender gets identified with the prevalent societal norms of girls having long hair.
I was trying to come up with reasoning as to why, earlier, the majority of the people got the gender of our twin daughters wrong. I do not suppose anybody would intentionally state the incorrect gender of a child. Why would this keep happening so frequently?
The simple answer, I suppose, is that the girls did not wear PINK.
Seemingly, for whatever reason, the colour pink has got associated with the girls; similar to colour blue for the boys. There is no ingenuity about this colour-coding, but it seems to be universal.
The way the products get marketed and show-cased clearly demarcate in our minds as to which gender should be wearing what colour.
There is of course nothing wrong with the colour pink. Our daughters look adorable in the pink coloured clothing. But, they look equally adorable in any other coloured clothes. Why should their gender identification be limited to seeing the colour pink around them?
It is as if the society, at a sub-conscious level, has got it ingrained in our minds about how to dress a girl and how to dress a boy. The gender stereotypes are so deep-rooted in our culture and it gets entrenched further with the marketing ploys of the companies wanting to sell their products to the children. They want the girls to be defined as girls in the manner in which it suits their sales.
We get restless when we come across a child not adhering to the norms of the colour of a dress. And the child mercifully is not even aware of it.
Why cannot a girl wear blue and a boy wear pink? They obviously can. But we as a society would not want it to happen for it fails our ability to straitjacket a child.
I understand that B +ve and O +ve might as well take a liking for the colour pink when they grow-up as they get influenced by their peers. From my side, I am going to do whatever I can to ensure that the girls know that there is no right way or wrong way to dress as a girl.
Our girls have a right to all the colours of the rainbow. If it means getting clothes tailored and customised for them, then so be it. They are not going to be dependent on any colour for the identity of their gender. They can choose their own way, what they are happy with and identify themselves with.
It is not to make them a tom-boy or a girly girl, but a girl, nothing more, nothing less.
What is your view of labelling of a child as a girl / a boy basis the colour of their clothes?