The lie of the pink and blue onesies

Hadley Freeman wonders, as so many of us do, why shops sell clothes with pink butterflies on them for Girls and blue spaceships for Boys.

Too often, discussions of gender today, rather than expanding boundaries, only contract them. When people say they’re “non-binary”, it sounds to me more like they swallowed the lie of the pink and blue onesies. Because the point is everyone, really, is non-binary – no one’s a wholly pink butterfly or blue car onesie. We are all, to varying degrees, purple spaceship onesies – and, yes, that is the scientific term.

Gender stereotypes are too often confused with biology, and you hear this mistake being made as much on the left as you do on the right. After all, it’s not that big a leap from saying boys wear car prints to Eddie Izzard saying he likes having manicures “because I’m trans”. Suggesting a man can’t possibly like having his nails done is a disappointingly reductive take on gender from Izzard, who was once so determined to tear down stereotypes about masculinity.

I don’t like having manicures (and have never had one); does that make me trans? I don’t like frills, but I do like colors, including raspberry and magenta and heather – does that make me so confusing I have to find a new label?

8 Responses to “The lie of the pink and blue onesies”