Girls shouldn’t think pink and boys musn’t feel blue

As teachers, we have a duty to try to smash gender stereotypes at primary – particularly because young girls can lose self-confidence surrounded by such attitudes

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My son and I are locked in a stand-off over a drink bottle. He is refusing to drink from a pink one because “pink is for girls”. I am refusing to change it.

“Of course pink isn’t just for girls,” I tell him. “It’s just a colour, like red or blue or green.”

Both he and I know this isn’t strictly true. We know that some colours, like some toys, jobs and even human characteristics, have gender. Pink, blue; doll, tractor; nurse, soldier; pretty, strong: we know instinctively which are boy words and girl words. I have tried to teach him the opposite but four years on the planet means that he knows ...

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