Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Pink-Blue Switch - What Liberals Do Not Tell You

This is my first post in a while, hopefully it's a good one. Enjoy my somewhat original take on the "pink-blue switch" liberals are always going on about.

In the middle of the 1800s, parents began to dress their babies in pink and blue coloured clothing as opposed to white clothing, but at that time the colour of the clothing did not signify the child’s sex. In other words, both boys and girls could wear either blue or pink clothing without being viciously bullied for wearing the “wrong” colour. Around the time of World War I, the colours pink and blue did begin to be associated with the child’s sex, but unlike the parents of today, parents from that era were encouraged to dress boys in pink clothing and girls in blue clothing. For some reason, these expectations were switched. The switch took place around the time of World War II and from then on blue was considered a “boys’ colour” and pink was considered a “girls’ colour.”

Therefore gender is a totally random set of rules which have no political implications and exist purely because mean people want to control people for the sake of controlling people, right? At least, this is the impression you get when you listen to university lectures given by liberals (who else should we expect to hear from, right?) Since I’m sceptical of liberalism, I decided to look up the “pink-blue switch”, as I termed it, for myself. According to this article, from the Smithsonian magazine, what my liberal lecturer said was accurate, but important details were left out. This is usually a more effective way to deceive people than outright lying. Was my lecturer trying to deceive people? Or do liberals, given their individualistic, anything-goes-ist worldview, simply fail to grasp the significance of what they’re leaving out?* I’ll let you, the reader, be the judge of that. 

Has Gender Really Changed?

“Every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity...” or so the subtitle of the article would have us believe. While different countries, ethnic groups, political movements and time periods have varying ideas about exactly what behaviours are appropriate for males and what behaviours are appropriate for females, there are certain continuities which are more interesting than any differences. We humans are pattern seeking animals and (as much as liberals may try to stamp such thinking out of us by insisting that the world is a super complex, incomprehensible, meaningless mess) our ability to detect patterns is useful for understanding the social world. See if you can spot the pattern here.

“The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” According to the article, this quote is from an article published in Earnshaw's Infants' Department in 1918. It really shows how society’s notions of masculinity and femininity have drastically changed since then, NOT! 

The quote states that boys need a “decided” and “strong” colour, presumably because they themselves are supposed to be “decided” (whatever that means) and strong, while girls are supposed to be “delicate”, “dainty” and most importantly “pretty”. Has anything really changed? Whoops, I forgot, back then girls were supposed to be pretty so that they could let their future husbands know that they would make good decorations life partners, but nowadays girls are supposed to be pretty so that they can let every guy around them know that they can bring them lots and lots of sexual arousal using their bodies.

Anyhow, like I said, the continuities are more interesting than the differences. Boys were encouraged to be strong back then and they’re encouraged to be strong now. Girls were encouraged to be delicate and pretty back then and they’re encouraged to be delicate and pretty now. The “pink-blue switch” tells more about how the meanings attributed to colours can change than about how masculinity and femininity can change. For some reason people back then associated pink with strength and blue with weakness and prettiness, but people today associate blue with strength and pink with prettiness. 

The Political Significance of Gender

If the “pink-blue switch” is the only argument liberals have as to why gender is a fluid, random mess then I daresay that their viewpoint remains unproven for now. So what is the alternative? Should we accept that masculinity and femininity are simply natural products of genetics? 

No, they are creations of society (note that I use the word “creations” rather than “constructions”, there is a reason for this which I may discuss in another article.) Does that mean that they are random and meaningless? No. Masculinity is a set of behaviours which enable those who are taught to adopt them (male-bodied people) to rule over and dominate others. Femininity is a set of behaviours which make those who are taught to adopt them (female-bodied people) easier to dominate. Hence gender is a key mechanism through which the domination of male-bodied people over female-bodied people is maintained. This is why “strength” was considered a masculine characteristic in 1918 and is still considered a masculine characteristic today. One must be “strong” in some form or another (though not necessarily in a physical sense) in order to be dominant.

Equality between male and female bodied people cannot be achieved unless males stop behaving in a dominant (masculine) manner and females stop behaving in a feminine (subservient) manner (although I must stress that females should not be blamed for their oppression.) This really ought to be obvious, but liberal academics have a way of covering up the obvious with jargon about “fluidity” and “essentialism” and other words which they throw at you without proper definitions.

Conformity and Indoctrination

What about those who insist that they do not conform to masculinity or femininity, despite having been raised to conform to one or other? Well, the less they conform to those harmful ideals the better, but can one really be sure that they were totally uninfluenced by years of indoctrination? In case you have not noticed, the notion that male-bodied people should behave differently from female-bodied people and vice versa is all over the place and it is especially prevalent in things aimed at children. Films, televisions shows, books, video games, toys, toy advertisements, sports, you name it, all these things contain highly repetitive and highly consist messages about how boys and girls should be behave (although such messages are usually promoted in the form of “boys/girls do behave this way.") Young minds, consistent messages, a huge amount of repetition, if that is not indoctrination, then what is?

Of course we all respond to this indoctrination in different ways and the degree to which it sticks may well be shaped by the behaviour of our parents and other individual-specific circumstances. Class and race may also play a role in influencing the gender indoctrination process (for example, girls from poorer families may receive less toys and thus be less thoroughly indoctrinated into femininity), but can anyone who grew up in such an environment really claim to be unaffected? I know I can't.


Does this mean that change is impossible? No, real change can happen, but only if the culture is transformed and only if this transformation does away with gender, the idea that male-bodied people should behave in one manner (masculinity) while female bodied people behave in another manner (femininity) and that it is acceptable for some people to behave in a dominant manner, while other people are encouraged to submit to them. Masculinity and femininity may take on different forms across different societies, but they have always been anti-egalitarian ideals and equality between the sexes cannot be achieved until gender is abolished.

*To be fair, this Jezebel article does include the quote which I discuss, but no significance is attributed to the pink = strong, blue = pretty idea. I think the quote was used only to show that people in the past really did associate pink with boys and blue with girls.
If you disagree feel free to leave comments, just try to be polite and original