Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Using Gender Norms as a Mnemonic Device

Gender-specific marketing has been getting more attention lately: The Lego Group came under fire for a girl-focused product line called Lego Friends (though consumers aren't boycotting the toys  in fact, sales shattered the company's expectations), and a female-oriented Bic ballpoint pen has been mocked mercilessly in Amazon reviews.

In our home, we try not to overdo the pink clothes for Alice and the blue clothes for Elliot. But there is one area where gender roles help make my life easier: sippy cups.

In the morning, I try to always pour Alice's milk into a pink cup. Elliot gets a blue one.

Otherwise, my sleep-deprived brain will never remember whose cup is whose.

I guess I'm not striking a blow for equality, but maybe this is a battle for people with kids of only one gender. Other than writing the children's names on everything, I'm not sure how else to keep track.