Saturday 12 March 2016

Reinforcing Sexist Stereotypes

I need to admit, I've never been much of a shopper - I'm just not interested in it. Even in Bali, my partner will go off in search of bargains and I'll read the newspaper by the pool with the kids. I'll grab something if it catches my eye while out doing something else, but the idea of shopping for the sake of shopping is of no interest to me.

I took my youngest to the eye doctor the other day, and as we walked through the QVB, she begged to go into every second shop, proclaiming "I really NEED more make up" or "Can I get some shoes?" She's 7. I have no idea where this is coming from.

I used to silently sneer at women who told me they were spending time with their daughters and going shopping. One girl told me her favourite part of a month long holiday was shopping in Paris. I found it so insipid.

Yet here I am with a dilemma.

My eldest is heading out to the Easter Show with friends. I've suggested my partner take our middle child on a father/son evening to the Show as well. I said to my girl 'We'll have a mummy-daughter night!' which she is very excited about. I thought we'd head for an early dinner to the Hello Kitty Diner, as we both like the feline mogul.

What I then realised, as part of the evening activity, I was traipsing her through a shopping centre, looking at shops - effectively shopping as a pursuit. I am actively reinforcing a sexist stereotype.

So what say you all, on this?

If it is what she likes (not what I like), is that okay? Or should I push the barrow of a less vapid pastime, in the hope of broadening her horizon?

One thing I am reminded of however, is that whenever you judge someone on their parenting, it probably just means you haven't been put in the same position as them. It's not that you do it better, you just haven't hit their limit yet.

Linking with #FYBF


  1. I am a firm believer in letting your child deciding what they enjoy. What I like often isn't what they enjoy and what they like to do definitely isn't my cup of tea.

    I don't really love shopping either. I much prefer to see my bank balance grow. #MummyMondays

  2. Sounds like my seven year old. Both mine enjoy shopping, I think they get it from their father! I only like browsing the shops if I have the money to spend, otherwise it's quite boring.
    I don't think it hurts to broaden their horizons. The trick is taking notice and nurturing a passion when they find it.
    It has to be something they want to do and love to do, and not something you want for them though.

  3. I'm with you Lydia with regards to shopping. If I want something, I go in and get it and then get the hell out of there. I am not a browser and I'm certainly not one of those people who will compare items and prices across the whole city. I just want what I want and then I'm outta there. This is why I like to order stuff online where I can! ;-)

  4. When it comes to spending quality time with our kids, no matter their ages, I think it's a good idea to follow their interests. Hubster is going with Mr 21 to a UFC thing this weekend. Not hubster's idea of a good time, but it means a lot to our son!

  5. My four year is really starting to ask for things now. It's cute as I am seeing what she like and wants. Certainly wont' be buying it all for her.

  6. I love shopping. Frustratingly, it isn't hereditary or contagious. Funnily enough, I'm covering this (my love of shopping and the family dynamic) on the blog tomorrow as I introduce my latest giveaway.

    I have a female friend who hates anything too girly. She was lucky to have two boys but then a little cute girly girl arrived on the scene and she finds it hard with this side of things.

  7. I don't think it's a so much that it's a stereotype, rather that you both enjoy doing different things. Shopping is really a rather sociable activity and good exercise and on the flip side, there's always the Hello Kitty diner!

  8. If she likes it then it is perfect. Allowing kids to be themselves, stereotype or not is good parenting and that is what you are.

  9. I'm with on the shopping front - it really isn't my cup of tea either. But I'm with the others here, if that's what she wants to do, then run with it!

  10. Its a tough one but I do think exposing kids to variety is the key. If they like shopping; so be it. As long as they know they have options.

  11. After all that guilt, the shops were all closing when we turned up, so we went to the $2 shop and got the junk for the Easter Hat parade, and I also let her get these bright purple plaits that you wear in your hair and she was stoked....(apparently my lack of interest in shopping made me unaware shops aren't open on a Friday night...)

  12. I rekon if she likes something let her like it. But personally I would also instill in my daughter on thoughtful spending and not to get too carried away. ☺