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It is often forgotten that a child remembers and internalises his first view of the world, from home. No matter how insignificant the action is, the child subconsciously learns it and imitates it. For example, the way a parent treats the co-parent, in case of physical abuse, it is normalized in a child’s mind that that’s how parents treat each other everywhere; and grows up to be the same.

Similarly, when a little boy is told not to like the colour pink, instead to like the colour blue, he internalizes that pink is a feminine colour and the additional expression of disgust that a parent associates with pink things when a boy shows interest in them, makes the child think that pink is feminine, pink is inferior and disgusting, and finally arrives at the conclusion that feminine is disgusting; he grows up to exercise that belief in all fields. So, when toys come into the picture, and each time a boy is forced to not buy Barbie dolls and to go for the bright red cars, he is learning of strict boy-girl binaries and of superior-inferior binaries, which creates stubborn bigotry in them during their later years.

A girl child, when she’s encouraged to play with dolls and cooking sets, is being reinforced into the gender norms where homemaking and taking care of the baby duties go to women, and she starts internalizing that idea from childhood.

This creates a very toxic and backward idea in the children, passing it down from generation to generation. All to grow up thinking that women should be weak and feminine and it’s okay for boys to look down on anything that’s feminine.

Recently, younger generation parents have become more open-minded and woke regarding stereotypes and gender constructs and teach kids that there are no specified colours they should like, no specified toys they should play with, no specific emotions that they should show and that they can grow up to be whatever they want. Except robbers and murderers of course. 🙂