The power of girls, or why pink Kinder Eggs?

Photo by John Lypian

Photo by John Lypian Hannah Martensen throws like a girl, which is to say, better than most boys.

My daughter and I went grocery shopping yesterday. At the check-out line she picked up a Kinder Egg. A pink Kinder Egg. For girls. “I do not approve,” she said.

I don’t either. Was that really necessary? Saddest of all, though, the Kinder Egg people just created an egg that 50% (approximately) of the population will not buy. Boys won’t want to be seen eating pink Kinder Eggs. And why is that? Because our society is still broken.

In the eyes of the world, being a girl is still less than being a boy.

In March, Kaspars Daugavins, a former Ottawa Senator hockey player, tried an innovative move during a hockey shoot-out. Some people criticized the way he pushed the puck toward the net under his stick as a “ringette move.” This is harsh criticism, because girls play ringette.

Or should I say gir-uls. Two syllables. In a sing-song tone.

This morning, I saw this poem by Eve Ensler on It begins: “I think the world has essentially been brought up not to be a girl.” “What does it mean to be a boy?” she asks. Not a girl.

I, for one, am tired of it. Ti-erd. Two syllables. In an exasperated tone.

In January, a friend’s daughter gave birth to a baby girl. I sent the new parents a blue baby card. Yes, I did. Why should the colour of the card I sent even be an issue? (If anyone I know has a baby boy in future, don’t be surprised if you receive a pink card.) Let’s teach the next generation not to define themselves by a colour.

And the least we can do for the next generation of girls is to let them start life without feeling like a disappointment.

6 thoughts on “The power of girls, or why pink Kinder Eggs?

  1. Chris

    I have to tell you, Arlene, that I’ve always had some pink shirts in my wardrobe. I used to wear them because I liked them. Then, for several years, I wore them to irk my son, but of late – guess what – he’s started to wear a few pink items occasionally too.
    And I have to say, as well, that for several years of my career as a professional engineer, my superior, a woman, was one of the best mechanical engineers I’ve ever met, a great manager, and just a great person.
    I’m with you and your daughter – let’s help mend society.

  2. Phil


    I always read your blog. An interesting one. The gender issues are interesting to me as women are soooo sensitive about these issues and rally around them as though they are important when they are often are not. Pink Kinder Surprise eggs is not, in my view, a big issue. Obviously, someone (maybe a woman) figured they’d sell more if they were packaged in the pink colour. Maybe; maybe not. I’m not sure that it means that women are under-valued by the society. Probably just an example of the fact that women spend most of the money in the marketplace so most of the marketing is directed at them.

    The issue that always catches my attention is the gender-biased way in which the media report tragedies. “200 killed in market place bombing in Mogadisu; 30 of them women.” It always seems to me that the pretty clear message from that sort of reporting is that the 170 men don’t really count for much. That issue never seems to resonate with women.

    In the work I do (a lot of matrimonial law) there are tremendous gender divides. Mostly the men are working and ordered to pay a lot of money to women. There are lots of gender issues and mostly it just amounts to people trying to get a sympathetic ear to favour their gender. The great feminist issues of the past and the search for “equality” has rather lost its appeal as it becomes obvious that it’s a largely un-principled exercise in simply trying to gain an advantage. The woman who receives spousal support feels it is fair, but is outraged that her new husband is paying spousal support to his first wife. The woman who got admitted to med school because they were trying to balance the gender of graduates sees no issue with 70% of the grads being women.

    Sometimes emails lose the tone of the discussion. I’m not upset by your comments or angry or anything, but I thought I’d send you some thoughts on the topic. If you sent me a blue card for my daughter’s birth I think I’d assume that you had a blue one handy and didn’t have time to go out to get a pink one.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I tell you honestly, Phil, this very SECOND I was thinking of you. I’m working downtown these days, and I thought to myself, “I should get in touch with Phil. We could have coffee.”

      I see all your very valid points. My husband raises the same very valid points.

      But (and it’s a big but) if there is an imbalance in favour of women now, (and I still don’t think there often is) it is because there was for so very long a desperate, overwhelming imbalance the other way. Perhaps in some cases the pendulum has swung too far. Either way, our society is broken around gender issues. It just shouldn’t matter! It does, so there’s something wrong.

      There remains the foundational fact that boys do not want to be seen as girls or girl-like. To be perceived that way, they believe, would make them something “less than” what they want to be.


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