Doctor Who is a woman, who’d have thought it? Well, quite a few people, in fact. Truth is, it was on the cards, because things are changing, and the times we live in are now all about gender no longer being a barrier.
Let’s be clear though, this isn’t so much about feminism as common sense. It’s like a fog is lifting and we can finally see the wood for the trees: and the answer is that girls can do it too!
We’re not going to say we told you so, but at Kidult and Co we’ve been championing gender neutrality for some time now. Is a minimal kid’s t-shirt design important in the scheme of things? You bet it is.
Let’s start early. What will determine the future for your little girl, or boy? Will it be pink and frilly or blue and no-nonsense? Of course not! That’s why you need to give your children the freedom to be themselves, and we can help. Here are our thoughts on positive role models that are no longer confined by gender.
What Are Role Models For?
Role models are there to inspire, at many different levels. While they can be deeply serious and noble people, they don’t always have to be. So, you can quite easily have a list of female role models that includes Michelle Obama and Margaret Cavendish (17th century philosopher, scientist and author), but also has room for Wonder Woman, Ghostbusters, and now Doctor Who.
The point is that female role models, whether real or fictional, can introduce the idea of possibility, rather than reinforce gender stereotypes.
While we mention Ghostbusters in passing, it’s worth noting that there was a nasty online backlash against the all-female team in the recent remake. It’s sad that some people feel so threatened by change.
Doctor Who changes all the time. Jodie Whittaker is the latest in a long line of actors taking on the role, but she just happens to be a woman. There will be some grumbling from people who think world has just caved in, but this is about keeping people inspired.
Female role models can also highlight the fact that girls can do things that are traditionally the preserve of boys, while still being girls. They can be essentially female, they can be themselves, but they can do more things, if they want to. Because, as our hoodie says: I Can and I Will.
Boys Need Female Role Models Too
If boys are discouraged from taking an interest in girls’ things, are they also missing out on female role models?
Traditionally, female characters were often a love interest, sidekick or victim in peril, awaiting rescue by the male lead. Where the Doctor Who casting has a huge value is in placing a strong, female role squarely at the centre of the action, in a programme with mass appeal.
Hopefully, this means boys can identify with Doctor Who as much as girls. What people see, and read, helps decide how they’ll relate to people different to them. Introducing boys to strong female characters who can compete on the same level as male characters is teaching them something of value.
The news frequently focuses on a lack of positive male role models for boys but this over-simplifies what a role model can be. The risk is that we downplay the value of a female role model, and how mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends can all play a positive part in boys’ lives.
What people value most is consistency, trust, affection and respect. These qualities are not restricted to one gender or another.
Role Models Also Benefit
The other side of this is what the role models themselves get out of it. If you extend the idea beyond fictional characters to everyday mums and dads, then they can benefit from being seen in a different light by their kids too. We’re not saying every mum is Wonder Woman, but to see a strong, central female character can help see mums as more capable of other things, as well as being appreciated for what they do.
While we’re at it, girls can benefit from different male role models too – where someone’s worth is more than the ability to earn a living for the family while putting up shelves. Dads may give advice, and show affection, differently to mums sometimes, but it can be as important in how kids develop.
The vital thing is to be free of unnecessary constraints on what people can and can’t achieve.
Doing Our Bit
We may not be travelling through space and time and saving the world, but we are trying to do our bit to help things change.
Here at Kidult and Co, we believe that what kids wear can make a big difference in their lives, which is why we’ve designed our unisex kids’ clothing with the idea of individualism in mind.
We’ve had moments of our own as kids where we were told certain things were not for girls, and where what we were supposed to be wearing was helping determine what we could and couldn’t do. So, when it came to Kidult and Co, we wanted to shape our approach around not constraining kids in roles they didn’t need to fit into, but allowing them some valuable free expression.
Our minimal and monochrome kids’ clothing designs are about kids expressing themselves as kids, with a neutral approach to whether they’re girls or boys. Let kids be kids we say, with all their own quirks and interests, and, most of all their curiosity about the world they share with others.
It boils down to this, the future is theirs, so we want to make them feel as good about themselves as they can. That’s why our clothes are versatile and strong, and made from 100% cotton. They’re not too serious, which you can see from the messages they carry, but the thinking behind them is.
Get In Touch
Whether your kids are set to become superheroes or just be as happy as they can be, we’ve got a great collection of clothing for them – and for you as we carry adult sizes to match. Why not drop us an email at email@example.com, or fill out the contact form on our website and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.