Over at Faraday’s Cage, Cherish is thinking about gender color codes:
I know I may be in the minority here, but let’s look at it this way: if someone might consider getting a microscope or telescope for a girl because it’s pink rather than a traditional “girl toy” (read: BARBIE) in the absence of a pink microscope or telescope, hasn’t something good been done?
How much of the “pinkification” is as a result of adult notions of what a girl versus boy can do? And if a microscope is colored pink (or a baseball mitt or whatever else) means that the adults around that girl will be willing to concede that a girl just might be able to have an interest in science or baseball, hasn’t that done a tiny bit of good because the adults around that girl may not be putting the social pressures on her that many of us grew up with? That is, even if it is pink, the girl has still gotten a microscope where she might not have had one before…
I’m not convinced this would actually work, but I’m not a toy retailer. As the father of a young girl, though, I can say that I have refused to buy the pink-and-white “girl” version of a construction toy set for SteelyKid, because I object to color-coding toys that are by rights gender-neutral. My parents got her a primary-color set, and everybody is happy.
My gut feeling is that anybody who would be more likely to buy a microscope for a girl if it were pink is vanishingly unlikely to buy a girl a microscope of any color. Even if she asked for it. But it might be that “pinkification” (which sounds like a process that ought to leave lots of people saying “NARF!”, but I digress…) fools some people into buying the “girly” versions of science tools.
Anybody with useful knowledge, please leave a comment and let me know. Do “pinkified” science sets sell?