Sainsbury’s backtracks over gendered dressing-up clothes 

Sainsbury’s has withdrawn gender labelling on dressing-up outfits like nurses, doctors and pilots after a campaign by the organisation Pinkstinks. Plus other news.
Sainsbury’s has withdrawn gender labelling on dressing-up outfits like nurses, doctors and pilots after a campaign by the organisation Pinkstinks.
Pinkstinks, which has 13,000 supporters, says the supermarket group has agreed to re-label thousands of children’s dressing-up outfits. The store was selling princess outfits and a ‘circa 1940s’ nurse outfit labelled girls, while pilots, superheroes, soldiers and doctors white coats were marked boys.
Abi Moore, Pinkstinks co-founder said: “We asked what sort of message this was sending to girls about what they are ‘fit’ for and what their aspirations might be. As far as we are aware, there are more women at medical school than men nowadays.
“On our website – – one of our most popular role models is Flight Lieutenant Kirsty Moore, the first female Red Arrows pilot. An amazing achievement and yet Sainsbury’s pilots’ outfits were also labelled ‘boys’. As were the army outfits even though women have been fighting alongside men at the front line for years.
“We simply drew to Sainsbury’s attention the fact that it would be a hugely confident and independent little girl who would dare risk the ridicule of her friends by asking for a costume in-store clearly ‘meant’ for boys, no matter how much she wanted to dress up like a doctor, while the nurse’s outfit sends a message to boys that they are not ‘meant’ to be nurses either.”
Sainsbury’s says the outfits with new non-gender specific labels will be in-store from July.
Pinkstinks says Sainsbury’s customer director, Gwyn Burr, told them: “It isn’t acceptable to suggest certain professions are the reserve of any gender.
“This is an error and one I am seeking to address ASAP. The new labels which will be non gender specific will go on the next allocation of clothing, so will be in store from July.”
Says Abi: “Though this may seem trivial, it is important. This kind of labelling is part of the drip, drip of messages that girls (and boys) receive on a daily basis about their roles in life and the expectations that they should have. Pinkstinks is committed to tackling any kind of gender stereotyping, in particular that which is aimed at children, which we see as damaging, limiting or just plain old-fashioned.
“We want to congratulate Sainsbury’s on its swift action to redress this matter and hope other retailers will follow their lead. We will be watching.”

New feminist organisation to be launched

A new feminist organisation is being launched in London on Saturday.
UK Feminista is the brainchild of activists Kat Banyard, Anna van Heeswijk, Sandrine Leveque, and Ellie Cumbo and aims to “help build a national movement in order to effect real and lasting change in gender relations”.
Kat Banyard, director of UK Feminista, said: “We are witnessing a sea change in attitudes towards feminism. Women and men in the UK are busting the myth that we live in a post-feminist age by attending marches, conferences and demonstrations in ever increasing numbers. The reason for this increase? Well, with 100,000 women raped each year in the UK, a gender pay gap of nearly 23%, and women constituting less than 20% of MPs, it is becoming increasingly clear we need feminism now more than ever.
“UK Feminista aims to harness this growing momentum around feminism and ensure it translates into real gains for women’s rights. By acting as a bridge between ordinary people passionate about gender equality and the many fantastic feminist organisations spearheading campaigns, UK Feminista seeks to make the UK feminist movement a force to be reckoned with.”

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