How early are we gendered?

Every year, whenever you see a bunch of kids running around almost every where you go, you know that it’s Science Fest time! Watching these kids, I notice that the way girls and boys dress can be easily classified into two categories: (a) camp pink-and-purple and (b) camp any-color-combination-but-pink-and-purple. I also noted the same fashion trend when I visited the nursery earlier this week for one of my classes.

What’s more, as we talked to the kids at the nursery and asked them to tell us a story, ALL the boys rambled on about car racing or Thomas the Train Engine and ALL the girls babbled  on their pets or favorite stuff animals.

That was really surprising to me because, coming from a different culture, I didn’t experience the same kind of gendering when I was little. I would wear whatever available to me and so were the boys in the neighborhood . We, both boys and girls, would play hide-and-seek or some traditional games that only required a skipping rope, a tennis ball, some pairs of chopsticks, some chalks, or marble balls. There weren’t many toys then, and if someone got a nice Barbie doll or a set of Lego given to them by a relative abroad,  we all shared and played it together. Since we didn’t have many choices, we didn’t care if some toys or games are not designed for our gender — we just played it all.

sexist baby products

Sexist Products for Toddlers.

hinking back on my childhood, it happened to me that the process of gendering happens from a very early stage of a child’s development. According to Kidshealth.org, we start to develop a sense of being male or female at the age of 2 or 3; and by the time we get to pre-K, our toys and games further shape how we view ourselves in correspondence with our genitals.

However, growing up having to make do with making toys from scratch and devising games on my own (in addition to the lack of children’s prorams on TV), I’m wondering if it would be easier to fight against gender stereotyping outside of the capitalist system, as you have to be self-resourceful and creative in order to stay away from boredom.

What is your opinion on this??? I am really intrigued by this question and would love to hear your opinion 🙂 .

 

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