Robyn Lawley uses only ‘gender-neutral’ toys & clothes for her baby

Robyn Lawley

Robyn Lawley has had a huge year, personally and professionally. She appeared as the first plus-sized model in SI Swim (you can see her slideshow here). She also became a first-time mother in February. Robyn previously fended off criticism after admitting she had a tough time deciding whether to keep the baby. But once she made her decision, Robyn fell in love with motherhood. She and boyfriend Everest Schmidt chose a cute name, Ripley, for their baby girl. I was thrilled to note a celebrity baby name that wasn’t overused (Ava or Jackson) or completely weird (most other examples), so it never dawned on me until now that Ripley can easily work for a girl or boy.

Robyn has a new interview with Australia’s Brands Exclusive magazine. She confirms that she chose Ripley for its androgynous status (and because she loves Ridley Scott’s Aliens). Robyn also revealed how she plans to raise Ripley in a completely gender-neutral environment: “I want gender-neutral toys and clothes. In all honesty, I think we separate the genders too greatly by the toys and hobbies.” So … she won’t be dressing Ripley in pink ballerina outfits. Robyn will avoid a clichéd princessy bedroom theme for Ripley. Hopefully, the baby won’t be stuck with a taupe-colored wardrobe.

I don’t want to stereotype first-time mothers (because I was and still am one), but this feels like a new mommy thing. During pregnancy, we all gobble up the baby-prep books and develop grand ideas about how we’ll raise our children. Then the kid arrives with personality largely intact and blows our theories into smithereens. My daughter gravitated towards pink and lavender dresses until about 4th grade. Then her sartorial taste shifted abruptly (all jeans, all the time). Her formerly pink decor is now all-blue, by choice. So I think Robyn is overthinking things, and Ripley will make her own choices when she grows a bit older. We make parenting hard for ourselves, right? Kids will be kids.


A photo posted by Robyn Lawley (@robynlawley1) on

"If I can't have you I don't want nobody baby, " ❤️❤️❤️#beegeesbaby

A photo posted by Robyn Lawley (@robynlawley1) on

Photos courtesy of Sports Illustrated: Swim, Robyn Lawley on Instagram & WENN

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87 Responses to “Robyn Lawley uses only ‘gender-neutral’ toys & clothes for her baby”

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  1. Kara says:

    Robyn, let’s talk again in about a 12-16 months. Eye rolls for days.

    • Jegede says:

      So much this!

    • Audrey says:

      So true. It’s funny, we all have an idea of how we’ll raise our kids while pregnant. Then they arrive and it all goes out the window within a year(for the most part).

      The most important thing is to let your child make their own choices. My daughter chooses what to play with. If it’s a truck, cool. If it’s a doll, okay. I let her pick her clothes too.

      I think that’s what she generally is trying to say, she doesn’t want to push her daughter into thinking she has to wear pink and play with dolls. Which i agree with

    • sofia says:

      I actually congratulate her for giving some thought to this. If you read some books on how education based on gender influences kids in a negative way, conditioning what they perceive they can and can’t do/feel you’ll probably try to approach education differently. It doesn’t mean she will get it right because we don’t live in a bubble but why roll your eyes? A bit judgmental no?

      • Kara says:

        Most of us aren’t judging. We actually pretty much agree with her (although I am more of the mid set to offer all options to my children and allow THEM to choose). But again, she can talk to me in about a year. And then again after her second. I am willing to bet my life that she will be laughing at all of this, thinking she can control the wants and opinions of her child beyond the first months of his or her life.

      • Sofia says:

        ” I am willing to bet my life that she will be laughing at all of this, thinking she can control the wants and opinions of her child beyond the first months of his or her life.” How can you say you agree with her when basically what you are saying is that there is really no point because she can’t win, she won’t be able to give their kids a choice? Because gender neutrality is exactly that and not just offering beige solutions, the idea is just not reinforcing one way or the other and letting them choose. And that starts when they are born and then gradually they will voice their opinions.

    • Sarah says:

      Yep. IMO, all toys are gender neutral. Its when you ONLY get guns and action figures and Legos for boys or ONLY buy dolls (and the pink Legos and Pink Nerf guns) for girls…..My son has commented that he thinks its weird that there need to be pink Lego boxes – as in, “Don’t girls just like Legos too?” And really, what are action figures other than dolls for boys?

      • Lucky Charm says:

        Our middle son and my daughter loved to play dolls together. There really isn’t any difference between G.I. Joe and Barbie. They both loved to cook in the play kitchen, and play with the Tonka trucks outside. I think it’s easier when you have kids of both genders, to “blur the lines” of traditional boys and girls toys, since they will play with all of them together and just treated as toys, without assigning a gender to them. At least that was my experience.

    • PinaColada says:

      I agree with many of you. I don’t thibk most parents set out to force stereotypes on kids. Both of mine always had access to any toys. Trains, barbies, trucks, no gender colored Legos, puzzles etc. They like what they like. Like most kids, mine play with stuff across the board. They are more drawn to traditionally girl things, but really- why is that bad? Maybe those gender ideas started from real preferences. I don’t wear makeup, heels, heck I wear almost all black! And my kids are not in daycare. And yet here we are. 75% dolls, 5% play dough and art, 5% Legos, and 5% trains or trucks. Unless we have decent weather- then it’s 100% bikes, sandbox, swings etc.

  2. Amanda says:

    Yeah I feel like that’s a great idea until they go to grandmas or go to daycare and get all those gender expectations from elsewhere. It’s not like you can raise your child in a gender-neutral bubble where Frozn doesn’t exist.

    • Amanda says:

      Exactly. It’s a nice idea, but just doesn’t work in the real world.

    • Esmom says:

      Lol, yes, or in the case of my niece, Thomas the Train. She came home from daycare all chatty about Thomas and it took my sister a while to figure out who/what she was so excited about since they’d never stumbled across him in any form at home.

  3. mj says:

    I really like this decision. I’m not a mother, and, frankly, I never intend to become one–no shade at mothers or those with aspirations at all, I respect you–but I agree with too much of binary gender being dictated by consumerist-targeted advertising. My friend’s son was recently upset that he couldn’t choose a totally innocent product he liked because it was supposedly “for girls”. Also, I remember my younger brother being upset that all the girls got their finger nails painted while he was told it’s “just because” that he couldn’t partake. Kids should be allowed to like what they like so long as it’s not harmful to themselves or others. Personally, while i identify as an effeminate woman, I remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable during childhood when people would ask why I would choose the green shirt over the pink one. Or why I wanted to be Rafael instead of April.

    • Wilma says:

      The thing is that you don’t have to go the neutral way. Just offer stuff from the entire range and see what your kid likes. It should be about having options.

      • JosieJ says:

        Exactly Wilma. Why take away Barbie, pink clothes, etc. if that is what the child likes. Just give them options and see what they like. Their likes and dislikes will change with age.

      • ISO says:

        My boy loved babies and trucks with the same affinity. He actually dressed like ziggy stardust until his cousins style shamed him around age four. I’m pretty sure he’s an effeminate guy and is now an x games athlete. Options make for a child who is unique in the gender spectrum.

      • mj says:

        The neutral thing is to offer all options. The entire range is neutral in so far as it gives kids a chance to determine what they like.

      • swack says:

        @mj. I was thinking the same thing. Offer all options. Get “girl” toys, “boy” toys and gender neutral toys. My 5 year old gradson LOVES having his nail polish on his nails and his mom lets him. I think as a new mom (and many new moms are this way), she is taking it too far to be totally gender neutral.

    • Esmom says:

      I hear you. A co-worker of mine was appalled because his son wanted his wife to buy Barbie band-aids. He was seriously freaked and upset about what it “might mean.” I could not convince him to relax. So sad.

    • Wren says:

      I was into stuffed animals and dinosaurs as a kid and HATED dolls, pink, dresses, and anything “girly”. My parents dressed me in outfits of just about every color, and when I got old enough to start expressing opinions, the pink clothes got put away for good.

      I’m all for giving kids options from the entire spectrum. Some kids will gravitate along “gender lines”. Some will not. Of course they’ll get pressure to choose one thing over the other, “You sure you want to play with the toy dump truck and not this lovely doll?” Yes, I’m quite sure I don’t want the stupid doll thanks. As a parent all you can do is give them options and than support whatever choice they make.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I don’t think it’s really possible to be completely gender neutral. I remember a few years ago, some family was in the news for raising their kids completely gender neutral, and when I read interviews with them, it seemed like they were pushing their older kid into the feminine spectrum i.e. he had long hair, wore “feminine colors” (and pink tutus), but wasn’t allowed to play with stuff like GI Joes, wear army green/pattern….stuff like that. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but that’s the sense that I got from the parents, and from what the child said–that it was fine when he (I think they revealed that the kid was a boy, while they wouldn’t say what the baby was, and gave both names like “Rainbow” or “Cloud”) wanted to do/wear something that was traditionally feminine, but he wasn’t really allowed to go full out “masculine”……

      I just think some parents overthink it. My idea of being gender neutral is to buy my kids a)the toys that they want, and b) not tell them they can’t play with something because they’re a boy/girl. You know how many of my baby cousins (boys) LOVE playing with baby dolls? They don’t play house, but they cart them around, kiss them, etc.

      • sionainne says:

        I remember that story and wondering if the parents realized they were making their kid’s upbringing an experiment…which didn’t seem a fair thing to do with a kid. And you are right…they were trying so hard to be “neutral” that they were pushing the kid in a certain direction.

        I always let my kids do what they wanted. While they were babies, it was up to me what they wore and yes, my daughter wore pink as part of her many colored wardrobe and the boys had dinosaurs, trucks or whatever on their clothes. As they grew older and could make their preferences made, it was fun to let them wear the clothes THEY loved and made them feel good. My daughter switched it up and had pink days and brother’s hand me down overalls days and one of my sons liked his toenails painted once in a while because his sister did it, but chose his favorite color (green). All four of my kids played with all kinds of toys since they were available to them but gravitated to what they liked. I think this is what most kids do and the adults in their lives should just go with it.

  4. Lindy79 says:

    I’m all for not sticking rigidly to gender stereotypes for kids for example it bugs me that Kinder now do a boys and girls egg, or seeing on the front of toy kitchenettes etc only girls however, as they get older, dressing in gender neutral just wont be workable. As long as kids are happy and doing what they want then each to their own.

    • Sos101 says:

      ^This! Wtf, Kinder?!

      • Lindy79 says:

        It annoys me more than is probably healthy. I used to love getting the kinder eggs and making whatever was in them (they also had a lot more parts in them).
        The girl ones are always princesses or flowery things and the boys cars and trucks, it sucks!

  5. Dash says:

    It’s a nice idea, but kids end up making their own choices. My niece and nephew definitely weren’t pushed towards specifically gendered toys, yet they ended up being obsessed with princesses and trains respectively. It just happens as they interact with other kids and develop their own interests.

    • **sighs** says:

      It really does just happen. My son was certainly never pushed into stereotypically boy things, so we were actually pretty surprised when he gravitated to trains and cars and what have you from when he wasn’t even old enough to walk. He would very occasionally pick out a pink toy or something, and he does have lots of stuffed animals, but he definitely likes gender stereotypical things. While my husband and I are both far from liking most of those things.

      • A says:

        You would be surprised by how much kids pick up on societal expectations for gender roles. There are all kinds of subtle and not so subtle reinforcements of what toys boys are meant to like vs girls.

      • Artemis says:

        Mm, if you have a child that is is a people pleaser, you bet that they will do what other people imply (or just straight up TELL) you need to do. I’ve heard nursery nurses taking away toys and encouraging stereotypical play for children too many times.

      • **sighs** says:

        True, of course, but I don’t think my 8 month old who didn’t watch tv and didn’t go to day care or have brothers/sisters was picking up on societal expectations when he planted himself in the car aisle in the store. They really do tend to (not all, but a lot) certain types of things. And you can either fight it, or just try to offer them choices from everywhere, and let them choose as they will.

  6. TeaAndSympathy says:

    I can understand how she feels as she does, but won’t her daughter (is the term “daughter” acceptable?) notice mummy dolling herself up and using her female attributes to earn her living?

    • Kara says:

      my thoughts exactly. i think its more to get points on social media, not a true conviction. kids mostly see what their parents do and so much of later life is influenced by that.

      not dressing your daughter in pink wont help if you are super stereotypically girly.

    • megs283 says:

      I agree. I wonder if her “gender neutral” decision came about because she doesn’t like that her job is based on her looks and femininity? Constantly being told that you’re not pretty enough/skinny enough etc. can do a number…and maybe she’s trying to protect her daughter from that (an attempt that is sadly impossible.)

    • Wren says:

      Of course she will, but maybe she won’t care. I emulated my dad as a kid, I wanted to be just like him, dress like him, do the things he did. My mom wore nice, feminine clothes that you couldn’t get dirty and what was the point of that?

      Kids see everything. And then make their own decisions about what they like and what they think is dumb. Nobody in this world is immune from societal pressures, sadly, and we’ve all got to deal with it the best we can.

      • TeaAndSympathy says:

        Wren: Yes! As an early childhood teacher (kindergarten), I’ve had many parents express the same as Ms Lawley. When we have developmental play sessions, we put out a range of toys and activities – play dough, craft box, blocks, beads, puzzles, art supplies, cars and road mat etc. etc. We also have a kitchen, doll house, dolls and prams and a dress-up corner. Kids eventually do their own thing: Just about all the boys make guns with connector pens or immediately make a bee-line for the cars and mat or the train set and bridge building kit. Most of the girls race to get a pram and doll or head for the kitchen or doll house. Of course there are exceptions; I see boys making pizza with play dough, baking or making bead bangles with the girls, too, and girls helping boys to build the bridge just right. Regardless of what the parents say, I let the kids explore whatever activities they choose. It is “developmental play”, after all.

  7. Jessica says:

    Well exactly, kids will make their own choices when they are able. But until they do that, why push one very rigid set of choices on them from the day they’re born?

    FYI gender neutral doesn’t have to mean no pink or blue, just that you don’t buy all pink or blue, or only buy your daughter princess stuff and your son superhero stuff even if they’d like more options. It’s not about making everyone wear taupe. It’s about not limiting choices! Instead of boys clothes and girls clothes and boys toys and girls toys, there’s just children’s toys and children’s clothes.

    I recently tried to give away a bunch of my old baby stuff, and the reaction was insane. Multiple people who needed them declined the cot and pushchair (both still worth hundreds) because they wanted a girl/boy one, whatever the hell that looks like. I ended up giving almost everything to a women’s shelter because no one else wanted anything that didn’t announce to the world which gender baby they’d happened to have.

    • ab says:

      I would have loved your gender-neutral hand-me-downs! Most of my daughter’s stuff is hand-me-downs from friends and family, and most of it is in various shades of PINK. I can’t say no to free stuff, but it would be nice to get some different colors and maybe some toy cars instead of a bunch of ruffly princess things.

    • Lindy79 says:

      My sister bought a pram that was beige and mint coloured and people told her to her face that it was very “boyish” even though she had a girl.

      She told them to f*ck off

  8. Kaley says:

    She’s going to receive a lot of hate and push-back for this but good on her.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I don’t think it’s hate as much as eye rolls because it seems sort of like Shea Woodley’s Miraculous Discovery of Beef Broth. Does anybody force their son’s baby doll out of his hands and replace it with a gun or a truck anymore? Of course your kids shouldn’t be held back by antiquated gender “rules.” They should have choices that explore all sides of their personality. We knew that already, I thought.

      • Kara says:


      • Kaley says:

        Uh…no kid of any gender should be paying with a gun. No, not even a toy gun. That is one thing that I think should be universal.

        Aside from that, don’t eye-roll at the way other’s raise their kids. Say “I don’t agree with that or That isn’t the way I would do it.” Nobody over 13 should be rolling their eyes. :P

      • Kara says:

        I’m pretty sure most of us agree with her in theory, actually. But she’s acting like this is some revolutionary idea, it’s not. Woman who have been moms for more than 2 months know this concept is easier said than done as they grow up, even if we wish it wasn’t. That’s the point being made above by GNAT.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Kaley, you missed my point entirely. I’m too lazy to explain it. I think you’ll survive. Lol

        Thank you, Kara. You can be my interpreter.

      • Jessica says:

        “Does anybody force their son’s baby doll out of his hands and replace it with a gun or a truck anymore?”

        My son carried around a female Cabbage Patch Doll for about a year when he was 3-4. I don’t think we ever managed to spend time out of the house without at least one person telling me I really shouldn’t let my son play with a doll. My in-laws were always trying to distract him with more ‘boy-ish’ toys. My otherwise very liberal friends were all surprised and a bit sour-faced when I bought him what he wanted for Christmas, a toy vacuum cleaner.

        I have an almost two year old daughter atm, and people are always trying to foist uber girly clothing at me because her gender isn’t obvious by looking at her, and apparently this is unacceptable. I’ve had multiple people suggest I put extensions in her hair so she ‘looks like a girl’. People are nuts.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, Jessica, I’m sorry you have to deal with that! I really thought that kind of crap was in the past. I think you summed it up beautifully, though – people are nuts. Truly. How ridiculous.

  9. Belle Epoch says:

    I had one of each, and I really believe little boys and little girls are different from the get-go. “Boy energy” is a real thing. It’s not ONLY cultural conditioning. My son was making his knives and forks fight with each other before preschool. Also, psychologically kids WANT to know if they are like mommy or like daddy. (Transgender kids have it extra hard.) Raising a “gender neutral” baby strikes me as kindof sad. It’s FUN to celebrate which type of kid you got. Eventually they’ll let you know how they feel and they’ll take control!

    • Artemis says:

      Girls have boy energy too, they’re called tomboys. I was one, my grandmother put me into dresses and discouraged to play rough whereas I would build stuff with my grandfather and go on ‘expeditions’, climb trees etc. i would wrestle my cousin and we would watch wrestling matches together.

      I don’t have a mother or a father, my parents where my grandparents who weren’t allowed to form their identity because they were too busy to survive WWII and working since the age of 14. So I didn’t have any example and as far as I know, only my mother had some of the traits I had and still have but she died when I was 2.

      I also babysat a lot during my teens and I had some big families. Sometimes, the girls were much more restless and active than the boys. One family in particular had 1 girl and 2 boys and that girl was a handful. Wild as hell and did not listen whereas her brothers would try and make her listen and behave. Another family had 2 girls and 2 boys and as soon as the parents where out of the door, the girls would use furniture to slide over the floor and they would build forts and NOT sleep for what seemed like hours. Horrible but very fun :) The boys were so calm, like all they wanted was to watch a DVD and not a peep would come out of them. They also helped me cook.

      Lawley’s child is only a baby, she has enough time to form her identity. Until then, her mother can choose whatever parenting style she sees fit until her child will show what she wants and needs. I don’t see the fuss over this.

      If it doesn’t matter, why are people kind of against it? It reminds me of those KK threads where people cannot fathom North liking black although she is at an age where she would be able to voice her opinion.

    • Wren says:

      I’m not sure what all the fuss is about really. I knew I was “like mommy” because I was a girl and she was a girl, but my dad was the parent I looked up to and copied as far as who I WANTED to be like. Didn’t make me confused or whatever, I’m still a girl, but dad had far better toys and actually wanted to run around outside with me and play in the dirt. My mom’s prissiness did not rub off on me at all.

  10. GirlOne says:

    Jon Stewart talked about trying not to raise his kids according to traditional gender roles on Letterman a few years ago. It’s really funny: (starts around 2:20)

  11. Greenieweenie says:

    Don’t see what the big deal is. I chose gender neutral stuff for my son. I buy him clothes I like, whether from the boy or girl section. I refuse to buy any toys that are overtly assigned a gender. Toy stores annoy me to no end. That’s how my mom raised me in the 80s….me and my seven siblings. So no, I don’t think it’s a first time parent thing. It’s okay to not care whether your baby’s pacifier is pink or blue–despite the insistence from others that pacifiers have gender connotations.

  12. Greenieweenie says:

    I was into the same transformers, Legos and dinosaurs that my brothers were into. And they liked paper dolls. I refuse to believe that girls inherently like princesses. They have to be introduced to the idea first, and then made aware of the aspirational element. I never was, so I never once dreamed of being a princess. I dreamed of being a Native American, a doctor, David Livingston, and a puma.

  13. Luca76 says:

    I had never heard of her before but I actually really like how she spoke about keeping her kid in the linked article. As far as the neutral gender thing more power to her. Even if when she’s older that desire to be girly comes from her kid I think there is a huge difference between that and the way it’s instituted on kids pretty much from the day you find out the gender.

  14. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I have a son and two daughters, and have always been fascinated by the “nature versus nurture” aspect of gender roles in young children. How much of gender association is built in and how much is learned from their environment? With all of my children I tried to make toys of all kinds available. My son was my first, and he had Hot Wheels but he also had baby dolls, and plenty of gender neutral bedroom decor, clothes and toys. But he was just such a BOY from before he could even walk! When my first daughter came along we had all these ‘boy toys’ around, and she became the biggest Disney Princess fanatic in the world. I, on the other hand, was a major tomboy growing up (probably because I had 4 older brothers I idolized)–I still don’t quite understand my 4yr old’s constant desire to dress up in pink frilly dresses & have princess tea parties, so she didn’t get it from me.

  15. Brittney B says:

    I recently watched a TED speech that emphasized how important it is to buy gender-neutral toys… not only for kids, but to show manufacturers that there’s a demand for them. Separating toys into male & female sections is foremost a marketing move — they sell more toys when there are two separate categories — but it really does condition kids to have a limited perspective.

    I’m not a mom yet, but I plan to buy gender-neutral toys as well as “girl” and “boy” toys, no matter what gender my child is. In a society that’s still massively patriarchal, certain gender-based themes actually teach kids to view girls as inferior, weaker, etc.

    Basically, Robyn’s statement isn’t extreme at all to me. She’s specifically talking about toys and hobbies — she won’t encourage her daughter to do ballet instead of play soccer; she won’t provide princess dolls instead of trucks. Her child has the freedom to choose… and I’m sure she won’t limit those choices to gender-neutral things. She just doesn’t want to pigeonhole her from the start. I don’t think nursery colors have anything to do with it.

    • sofia says:

      THIS ^^^
      I guess a lot of people is really conditioned by years of marketing strategies dictating what’s right/wrong and possible/impossible and using their empirical experience with their kids as a proof that could be applied to everyone else. There’s scientific evidence supporting the importance of not imposing gender but instead giving them choices. This isn’t new, it’s just a bit against the norm.

    • Magpie says:

      Great comment. These toys are about marketing and big business. I am of the crunchy sort so I always avoided those kind of toys just because they were plastic. My daughter’s room has always been white and wood and primary colors. She is now 5 and likes both “girl” things and “boy” things, but mostly she likes to draw and play make believe. I see nothing “eye-rolly” about this woman’s statements.

  16. marie says:

    Kids are going to like what they like. My daughter tucked in all of her cousin’s dinosaurs then fed them with a bottle when we were visiting. It annoyed my nephew to no end, but that’s just how she likes to play. She didn’t have to have a baby doll to play mommy.

    Just give kids choices. Let your kid pick their clothes, toys and hobbies. Trying to force being “gender neutral” can be restrictive too. Sometimes boys are rough and tough and some are calm and nurturing. Let them just be who they are.

  17. Nonny says:

    Quite right too. Just because you are born with a va-jay-jay doesn’t make you a girl.

  18. the blonde one says:

    wow she looks like vintage Tawny kitaen in that top picture.

  19. mollie says:

    It is a nice idea, and I think she comes from a good place with the thought, but, little girls tend to have minds of their own and are going to want to express their own style, whatever that might be. I know mine did.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      When I had my first, I decided that no matter what they dressed themselves in, all the outfits would match. That sounded great in theory…HOWEVER, without taking into account all the other people who would buy them clothes, my idea quickly bit the dust the fist time my little darling dressed herself!

      Although after my daughter started kindergarten, she did go through a “twirly dresses only” phase and refused to wear jeans or pants, or any dresses that didn’t fly when she spun around.

  20. Lisa Danielle says:

    It’s a good sentiment but whenever things like gender-neutrality comes up it really bugs me that “boyish” colors – blue, green, red – are gender neutral but pink and purple are only for girls. Same with Blake Lively naming her daughter James: cute sentiment, but when are feminine names going to be okay for boys, then? Reminds me of this Gwen Sharp quote: “Femininity is depicted as weakness, the sapping of strength, yet masculinity is so fragile that apparently even the slightest brush with the feminine destroys it.”

  21. veronica says:

    I get the toy thing, we buy our daughter mostly gender neutral toys but that’s because we want more then one kid and don’t want t to buy tons of new toys if the next baby is a boy. As for clothes, she’s not dressed overly girly, mostly leggings and cardigans in “girl colours”, but that’s more of a comfort thing.

  22. Janna says:

    I’m due with my first daughter in a few months. She has three older brothers, and our house is packed with cars, trucks, Ninjago, swords, Lego, balls, etc, so she’ll have “boy” toys to play with from the get-go (plus a few dolls and a play kitchen). She will also be wearing plenty of “boy” sleepers and onesies because I have a TON of them (my last babies were twins) and they grow out of them so quickly that it just doesn’t make sense to get all new “girl” stuff (although I’ve definitely bought a few but only because I loved them). I don’t see why a little baby girl can’t wear brown, grey, blue, or monkeys. I keep getting, “But everyone will mistake her for a boy!” and I just can’t bring myself to care, probably because this is my fourth baby and I’m too busy/tired. That all being said, I’ll be thrilled if she gravitates towards pink and princesses, because it will be new to me!

  23. Thank God I didn’t have her for a mother!!

  24. Rachel says:

    Four kids later this makes me giggle. I vaguely remember having the energy to care a lot about these things with the first… and maybe a little with the second…

  25. Micki says:

    This idea has floated around for several years.
    I haven’t heard so far consistent arguments what this is suppose to achieve and some hard facts to show such achievement. Last time I heard it was last year when some news about a kindergarten project in Sweden (I think) mentioned that the children would get EVERYTHING gender neutral. It was a by-line that thus girls especially won’t be forced into cliches ets..
    I personally think it’s the wrong way to hide your predispositions and affinities and hope you won’t be bullied for them. The parents should teach their children to stand up for their rights and be brave exploring “other zones” instead of removing all the stones from their way.

    • Hanna says:

      Micki, I live in Sweden and most kindergartens (or preschool as we call them) here are fairly gender aware. However, it doesn’t mean that they remove all stereotypical girls or boys toys. They have all types of toys and materials but are trying to see the individual rather than the gender/sex. The kids often plays in mixed groups and with all types of toys. It’s more like keeping all options open and encouraging the kids to develop an interest in what they like – not what they’re suppose to like.

      • Micki says:

        Hanna, I guess the majority kindergarten in Sweden are the normal type.I don’t mean that many kindergarten follow this example.
        As I mentioned it’s was a “pilot” project. I remember pictures of children in khaki hoodies (gender neutral) and they really looked the same. I couldn’t see any diference. The reasoning behind this project was a throw of apples and oranges so that as many parents as posible can identify with it I guess. I great deal of thought was invested in the forms of address (some pronomen I don’t remember but gender neutral). Alot of talk covered the desire to raise feminists.
        It wasn’t stated that the children will play in separate groups or else, just that everything gender specific is going to be banned in this kindergarten.

        I remember my husband saying that even if the families fully support this project (at home) the children will face the gender specific world on the street, at school ets. and will ask questions. I don’t think that avoiding an issue will help raising better generation.

        We avoided guns at home in any form. For years. And as the older one was progressing in kindergarten and found friends outside it the guns somehow found their way in our house. Plasic guns, wooden guns, make belive guns and so on. Not a single doll. So we started to explain how shooting around is wrong, war is evel and so on. I still can’t say if my boys “are in touch” with their feminine side but I for sure won’t press them in gendel neutral mould now.
        The only way I see to make them “better” people is to explain again and again the general ideas of freedom, rights, equity- take your pick.

  26. meme says:

    This is ridiculous. The baby is either a girl or a boy and dressing them like a boy and a girl is normal as far as I’m concerned. If your daughter wants to play with trucks and stuff, FINE. If your son wants to play with dolls, FINE. Maybe she should just refer to her child as “human” and not boy or girl.

  27. angela says:

    And mean while she, as a female, walks around in non neutral clothing…. Your child is female…let her be female….not some weird neutral frog

  28. Itsa Reallyme says:

    Gender neutral—the term that’s almost always used by parents of girls and almost always means they’ll be dressing her in boys clothes and giving her what are traditionally boys toys. I have friends like this. They’re completely opposed to pink or purple or dolls or princesses or anything feminine. But somehow, trucks, cars, sporting goods, etc are just fine. Spare me the “gender neutrality”. If you really want to consider yourself neutral then provide ALL kinds of toys and clothing and allow your child to choose what they like without judgement from parents. You just never see parents of boys talking about being gender neutral. You know these same people aren’t going to let their boys choose pink or give them opportunities to play with dolls if they want to.

  29. Hanna says:

    I’m a mother of three, so not really a new mum :-) But I don’t get the whole gender neutrality thing. For me the point is rather to introduce all types of toys and allow for all colours and clothes to be used regardless of the sex of the children. My kids have cars, dolls, trains, cooking equipment etc. My five yr old son loves dresses and most days he goes to school wearing tights and a dress.

  30. Abby_J says:

    She is way overthinking this whole thing. Kids will like what they like. Of course you should expose them to all different types of things. My daughter is a total girly girl. She loves dresses that you can twirl in, big bows and sparkly shoes. That said, she also loves trains, and is obsessed with Legos. I mean obsessed. She actually hates the girly Lego Friends sets, preferring to build her own, or play with Star Wars sets (much to her Daddy’s happiness). She also prefers her Hulk costume/Pjs to anything, since she is obsessed with “her Hulkie.” We didn’t push her in any way, and she just is what she is.

  31. Jaded says:

    Looking back on my childhood, which was wayyyyy back in the 1950′s, the gang of kids (boys and girls) I hung with played whatever the hell we wanted. Some days it was traditionally “boy” stuff like war and cowboys and pirates and climbing trees, other days it was more girlie stuff with dolls and Easy Bake Ovens and such. The thing is our mothers just stayed out of it and let us create our own fun, which is the best way to be.

  32. jenn12 says:

    This is the time when you study the One Step Ahead catalogue, thinking you need everything in there. It’s cool that she isn’t automatically like, “Princess!” but going on about neutrality is a bit much. Let the kid pick when she’s old enough. My little one is a mix of Cher and Snooki, dressing-wise (cheetah print! glitter! SEQUINS!!!!!) but she can rip you a new one on the field. My big one is a total feminist, quiet, dresses mainly in yoga clothing, but is not only a terror on the field, she also loves makeup and braiding. Our kids are not our dolls and are not extensions of us.

  33. krtmom says:

    What an idiot!