"It's just a dollhouse" they say.
It's never just a dollhouse. I've heard that phrase dozens of times about all manner or objects.
It's just a dollhouse.
It's just a color.
It's just a toy.
It's just a shirt.
It's just a book.
It's just a movie.
It's just a pair of shoes.
It's just a coloring book.
It's just a a happy meal.
It's just a tv show.
It's just a doll.
It's just a backpack.
It's just a game.
It's just ONE thing...except it's not one thing. It's a dollhouse, a color, a toy, a shirt, a book, a movie, a pair of shoes, a coloring book, a happy meal, a tv show, a doll, a backpack, AND a game. It's THIRTEEN things in triplicate. It's an entire row of toys in a store. An entire mall store location. It's an entire society!
It's never JUST a dollhouse.
Actually it's THREE dollhouses that my daughter has been given over the years...all of them pink. All of them blatantly saying "I'm a toy for girls and girls alone."
"Oh but MY son would play with a pink dollhouse."
Sure, he might now....but what happens when his peers start telling him that pink isn't acceptable for boys? Will he continue playing with it? If he does will he feel the need to hide it?
I recently fielded a lot of harsh criticism for wanting to repaint a dollhouse purchased for my daughter by her grandmother before Christmas. I've been told that it doesn't matter. I've been told it's ridiculous. I've been told it's wrong of me to FORCE a non-pink dollhouse onto my child.
How can it not matter? As my husband pointed out, if kids "don't notice or care" and it "doesn't matter what color it is"...then why was it pink in the first place? Why are 9 out of 10 dollhouse on the market either entirely pink or heavily accented with pink if it is such a non-issue?
I'll tell you why: because girls are taught from an early age by society, media, and marketing that they like pink and want pink things. Pink is pretty. Pink is girly. Pink is what you WANT TO HAVE. This is why pink sells.
When you complain about media and marketing you are, of course, told that it's up to PARENTS to police what comes into their homes. It's the PARENTS job to pick and choose what messages their kids are getting....BUT, experience has taught me that IF you actually do that, you will be attacked and told you are wrong to do that. You're "limiting" your child. You're "shoving your views" on your child. You're "forcing gender-non-conformity" on them.
Whatever I do, someone is going to criticize me. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't....so I say screw the haters. I'm doing what I feel is RIGHT. I'm giving my kids rainbows instead of monotone. I'm giving them "boy" toys and "girl" toys and stripping off the color-coded labels so they're just TOYS.
It's not just a dollhouse. It's everything.