UW Prof brings attention to ‘subtle sexism’ in children壽猻 clothing

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UW professor Christine Logel has received media attention in the past weeks for speaking out about a local Target selling children&rsquo;s clothing that emphasizes gender stereotypes.<br />
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The clothing in question, sized for children 0-3 months, were a pink onesie with the phrase: &quot;I only date heroes&quot; being sold in the girls section and a blue one saying: &ldquo;Future man of steel&rdquo; in the boys section.<br />
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&ldquo;Boys and girls get so many messages from the time they are born &hellip; from their toys and their parents, and the media, and their schools, unintentionally a lot of them, but the messages tell them what they are valued for and what their role in the world can be,&rdquo; Logel said.<br />
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Logel was shopping with her two daughters when she saw the clothing and brought them to the attention of a manager.<br />
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&ldquo;She said &lsquo;Oh yeah, those are cute,&rsquo;&rdquo; Logel said of the manager&#39;s reaction. Logel then posted the photo to Facebook and, with her permission, UW professor Aimee Morrison tweeted the photo. Within a week Morrison had 766 retweets of the photo.<br />
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&ldquo;Unfortunately what the messages tend to say is that boys are valued for their abilities and their strength and what they&rsquo;re capable of doing, and girls are valued mostly for their appeal to men,&rdquo; Logel said.<br />
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Target Canada (TC) said they have no plans to remove the merchandise from shelves.<br />
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&ldquo;Target strives to treat all our guests with respect, and it is never our intent to offend anyone. We appreciate the feedback we&rsquo;ve received and will continue to listen to our guests to ensure we offer merchandise that appeals to, and reflects, our diverse guest population,&rdquo; a TC spokesperson said in an email to CBC.<br />
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Logel has received significant feedback from colleagues, friends, and strangers over her photo, most of which were positive, she said. She has, however, received negative emails with comments like &ldquo;get a life&rdquo; and &ldquo;you obviously have too much time on your hands, get a sense of humour.&rdquo; Logel said most, if not all, negative comments have come from men.<br />
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&ldquo;I get where they&rsquo;re coming from. One pair of baby pajamas is not going to ruin anybody&rsquo;s life. And if that&rsquo;s all it was I would think they were cute &hellip; but that pair of baby pajamas is one of hundreds and hundreds of these messages just bombarding these children through their whole lives,&quot; Logel said.<br />
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Logel said that although messages of gender roles are everywhere, they are most often implied and go under our radar, though we still absorb them. By raising awareness of the problem using this one pair of pajamas, Logel said she wants to bring the issue to people&rsquo;s explicit attention and into their conscious brains to allow more people to make an educated choice of whether they want to enforce gender stereotypes through their children&rsquo;s clothing.<br />
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Avoiding gender stereotyping from the beginning will broaden the opportunity of individuals when they are older, said Logel on why we should pay attention to this example and others of subtle sexism.

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