I was shopping online at Old Navy. Because I needed their warm footy pajamas for one Mr. Boy-o .and can't find them anywhere else in a 5T. And they have a big old sale. So after purchasing some Boy-o clothes - because he keeps freaking GROWING - I was perusing their baby section. There are lots of new babies coming to the world near me soon, and I loves me some brand new baby clothes for the brand new baby set. Anyhow.
And surprise! I encountered a few problematic things in the old baby department.
1. No gender neutral baby clothing whatsoever. None. Nada. Zip. Not a stitch of it.
2. Boys' clothes had fun and entertaining slogans such as: "formula powered," "muscle machine," "babe magnet," and "young rebel," with a few pirate motif duds thrown in for good measure.
3. Girls' clothes had far less slogans (and far more pink, natch) but there was a kitten with a tiara and pearls, along with "daddy's natural beauty."
This is so stereotyped and so obvious that it's kind of like a caricature of itself. However unintentionally.
The girls are once again reduced to beauty and the boys reduced to speed, power, aggression. (Though interestingly enough, the problematic stuff was mostly all baby clothes - once you got into the kid clothes - aside from the ever-present boy colours/girl colours crap, the slogans were blessedly absent. Perhaps the gendered brainwashing has sufficiently set in by the age of 5 and we no longer need it?!)
I'd like to say that I dumped my online cart and wrote a strongly worded letter to Old Navy. But I really needed those footy pajamas. And the free shipping.
In my own defense, Boy-o's need for warm footy pajamas is a serious thing (and yes I am mostly mocking my own fickleness here... though to be fair - our house is really drafty in the winter). But I did write the old strongly worded letter, which though it will likely languish at the bottom of someone's email inbox unnoticed, made me feel at least marginally better.