On Dinosaurs Being ‘For Boys’

I’ve been harbouring my dinosaur obsession for a while now – by harbouring, I mean refraining from buying any more books, models or generic bits of tat. That is, until I splashed out on a dinosaur duvet cover set, which despite its little facts about the dinosaurs illustrated (who could resist, to be honest?), caused a mini family feud. On one side, there was my dad, who usually likes me to be ‘expressive’, will generally support me with the argument that ‘it’s her life, she can do what she wants with it’, and went so far as to suggest that I get dinosaur curtains to match.Which I have done. On the other hand is my mum, who gave me ‘the look’ (which normally forewarns eternal disappointment and damnation) and then proceeded to moan about ‘why I can’t be like other girls’. Sigh.

Anyway, I have been searching for ways to dinosaur-ify my room on Pinterest (I’ve got a bucket of toy dinosaurs on their way), and am irritated about the number of comments that so-and-so product would be ‘awesome in my son’s bedroom’ or ‘my son would love this’. I have rarely seen a comment about dinosaur decor being for a girl’s room. DINOSAURS ARE FOR EVERYONE. Just because they’re generally massive and ferocious and more interesting than fluffy whiny creatures like chihuahuas (another of my pet hates, pun intended) does not mean that they’re exclusively for guys. SOCIETY, FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP STEREOTYPING WHAT GIRLS (AND BOYS) CAN OR CAN’T BE. Female Black Widow spiders eat their mates. Male birds are often prettier than females. Nature breaks these imposed stereotypes, so we can (more like need to) break them too.

I had my fair share of looks when wandering round clutching a dinosaur bedding set, the dirtiest of which from my mum. I don’t give one. I’d rather by happy stomping around my ‘boyish’ bedroom with my dinosaurs than miserable in a sickening floral, inspirational quote affair. I’m off to order my dinosaur curtains now.

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18 thoughts on “On Dinosaurs Being ‘For Boys’

  1. I’ve never understood this obsession that society has with grouping girls and boys into being a certain way to be truly girls and boys. Why are certain emotional and physical traits always sectioned off into one gender or the other? It makes no sense. I say enjoy the dinosaur stuff. It’s DINOSAURS for god’s sake! Dinosaurs are cool! 😛

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    1. Exactly! I hate the way in which, from an early age, we are shepherded into liking certain things, whether that be princesses or dinosaurs, based on our biological genders. Long live dinosaurs! (not exactly the right wording, but you get my gist! 🙂 )

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  2. I think anyone can be who they want to be, regardless of gender and what they like. You can like dinosaurs, boys can like Barbies or wearing makeup, anyone can like anything that’s not “traditionally” their gender because it’s their preferences, and no one can tell them otherwise!

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    1. *applause* Let’s hope that people stop being so judgemental, and we see more kids not caring about what they ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be. I saw a small boy in a princess outfit the other day and my heart melted!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that’s so so adorable! I had a friend in reception (when I was 4) who dressed up in Princess outfits and it was just normal but when we got older, people teased him about it which was so unfair!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. aw! I swear that if I have kids I’m going to teach them that breaking societal expectations is totally fine, but teasing others will result in a (metaphorical) kick up the rear.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I never even thought about dinosaurs being a gender stereotype. I’ve kind of always just gone “Eh. Dinosaurs.”
    It seems ridiculous that animals are grouped to gender.
    Like lions are for boys and cats are for girls? Or wolves are purely male but dogs are unisex?
    That’s ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, I never thought about animals being gender-grouped until the dinosaur duvet incident. Each species of animal has two sexes that usually have similar attributes… I totally agree with your comment!

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  4. I’m glad you mentioned how nature breaks human imposed stereotypes. Stereotypes are human constructed and human imposed. Nature has no stereotypes because it operates by being efficient. Whichever mechanism or process allows life to propagate most efficiently from one generation to the next is what’s used. Inefficiency is death in nature.

    Human dimorphism is one such efficiency. Human females have always tried to be “pretty” (give the appearance that they can raise many healthy children) to attract as many potential mates as possible and then selected the best of them. Human males have always tried to prove that they are the strongest and toughest to discourage rivals and prove to the females that they can produce strong healthy children AND that they can defend their mate and children while they are vulnerable.

    Girls trending toward “pretty” things and dolls, and boys trending toward big strong things (as role models or to test themselves against). This isn’t society imposing stereotypes but society perpetuating biological history. And that isn’t a problem in society because it’s just how we were made and an important part of who we are as a species. Paleontology is a perfectly respectable career or hobby for either gender. Your mother is just concerned about her prospects of passing on her genes, through you, to another generation. It’s only since the birth of modern medicine that we’ve been able to truly start moving away from these biological imperatives that took thousands of years to create. Differences between boys and girls are a good thing and should be celebrated. The differences between us as individuals are good and should be celebrated too.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment. I’ve been literally studying this topic for the last two weeks in my spare time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow… there’s no need to apologise for that comment! I’ve not thought deeply about ‘society perpetuating biological history’, but now I’m rather intrigued – I want to do some more research into that now. Thank you so much!

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  5. I find it absurd that society deems it acceptable to force gender onto history. ‘Dinosaurs are solely for boys’ is like saying the Tudors are only for girls and the Victorians are only for boys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Preach! I love history in general to be honest, but personally I do prefer the Tudors… the tumultuous marriages of a fat ginger king are far more interesting!

      Like

  6. My sister and I have loved dinosaurs from a very young age, something that was, in part, encouraged by our mum (she loves all things fossils). I recently bought a pack of glow in the dark dinos for my room at university. Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I’m 22. No, I don’t care what anybody else thinks. They look amazing and I have no regrets!

    Liked by 1 person

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