Minister’s Letter – December 2013

Dear Friends,

Do you find it difficult to know what to buy for your grandchildren or the little (or not so little) boys and girls in your life?  There’s so much advertising and so much choice – the possibilities could be almost endless.  But, actually, I don’t think they are.  The choices are limited by colour – blue or pink.

In a world that thinks that men and women are equal and that little boys and little girls all have the same life opportunities why are so many of the presents on offer blue or pink?    I can’t stand pink on little girls – there’s just so much of it. Pink clothes, pink hair bobbles, pink walls in their bedrooms.   A quick look at the top presents this Christmas will easily show which are meant for girls and which for boys – they are pink and blue.   Pink fairies, pink fashion dolls, pink computer tablets and, with the slightest nod to aspiring girls, a pink doctor’s set. Lego is blue, nerf guns are blue.   It makes me almost angry when I ask little girls what they want to be and the answer is a fairy or a princess but I can see why that’s their answer.

In the adult world this is played out in the fact that in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related jobs, women do not come near making up half the workforce and it’s not because they are ‘male’ jobs.    Women do equally well when given half a chance.

So are our Christmas presents defining our children’s future or even who they are?

Wishing you love, joy and peace this Christmas.