Kate Long Profile picture
Aug 13, 2018 35 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
In last night's #VintageMagTweets I asked how come boys are generally raised to be confident, and girls to be compliant (and the impact that has on their education and career progress). Well, today I was in Primark and I had a look at the messages on girls'and boys' T shirts.
Here are what the boys' T shirts told them they are/can do:
Is this what girls are being told about themselves? What message are they being given about what's important?
5 minutes - no more - assures girls their chief duties are to be lovable, beautiful, shimmery, magical, sparkly, smiley and dreamy.
Meanwhile boys get on with being epic, the boss, awesome, rule-breaking, fearless and legendary.
I'd say we have a problem here.
Although, honorary mention to just 2 of the hundreds of T shirts labelled as being for girls:
So it can be done!
Forgot to say, if you want more examples, or it's a subject you're interested in, do follow @letclothesbe
And @LetToysBeToys while you're at it!
A friend just sent me this. Boys' clothes are for doing, for moving about in the world and exploring. Girls' clothes are for looking pretty.
Two last points: for those who say, 'Well don't shop in Primark', it's not just Primark. This stuff is everywhere, on clothes and bags and pencil cases. You cannot escape the messages. And even if parents see through it, many girls will be too scared to try and be different.
Because the power of peer pressure is insane.
And yes, I do think the issue of appallingly-paid workers providing ultra cheap clothing is something we need to be shouting about as well. Just so we're clear.

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More from @volewriter

Sep 13, 2018
Tonight's #VintageMagTweets come from this amazing stack of Women's Monitoring Network home-made magazines. They date from between 1981 and 198, though I think the group was active outside those dates.
This was their brief: to choose a date, then get women from all over the country to spot sexist or misogynistic items in national and local publications, cut them out and post them to the WMN for compilation.
The group was methodical in their approach, and the result is a revealing snapshot of attitudes to women as portrayed in the print media in the early 80s.
Read 131 tweets
Aug 24, 2018
Yesterday we saw this graph being passed around regarding gender bias in GCSE subjects. Green is boys, and purple is girls. graph shows only a tiny proportion of girls interested in construction.
Now, where would youngsters get the idea that construction was a field reserved for boys and nothing to do with girls? Here are some boys' T shirts on sale at Asda right now. t shirt showing construction vehicles
boys'T shirt showing construction vehicles
Read 18 tweets
Jun 21, 2018
Here we go, then, with a Cosmopolitan from 1981. There is some upsetting stuff about sexual violence in this batch, so please mute or unfollow if you need to. x
Very much the theme of magazines around this era: be careful, girls, don't ask for too much equality because it might upset the guys and we really don't want to do that.
In fact, here is the possible effect of feminism on a decent man. You've been warned.
Read 37 tweets
Jun 14, 2018
Here are tonight's vintage mag tweets. They all come from just one copy of Cosmopolitan, and I think make an interesting snapshot of the state of the world for women at that time.
So first off, a first aid quiz in which the idea of domestic violence against women is treated as a bit of a rib-tickler.
Still, they can redeem themselves later in the article and stress how unacceptable men beating up women really is, can't they? Oh.
Read 19 tweets
May 31, 2018
Just to tip you off, tonight's vintage mag clippings will be about the tax system and how it discriminated against women in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The effects of those policies are of course still being felt by #waspi women.
OK, remember the Equal Opportunities Act of 1975/6 that was supposed to bring parity to women's financial status? here's what it left out.
Here are some of the impacts of those exclusions, in 1976.
Read 42 tweets
May 15, 2018
Because I was so impressed by the Brownie pack tonight, I'm going to begin an off-schedule vintage mag thread about girls and science/technology teaching in the 70s and 80s.
Jackie magazine gives us the only reason to bother learning about computers.
This from Pink magazine, about 1980. Even our own comics were telling us science was for Men!
Read 46 tweets

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