So what would you say might be the most pressing situation for an MP to get involved with? War? Famine? Pestillence? No… pink toys! Yes… that’s right… pink toys. Some humourless gorgon masquerading as an MP has declared war on pink toys for girls.
Bridget Prentice MP, a minister at the Department for Justice, has lent her support to a campaign being run by twin mothers who live in Ms Prentice’s Lewisham constituency. Sisters Emma and Abi Moore have set up a website called Pinkstinks. It’s a campaign and ‘social enterprise’ that challenges the ‘culture of pink’, which invades every area of girls’ lives.
Apparently Pinkstinks will focus on providing real role models who will inspire and motivate girls to achieve great things based on ability and effort and not how they look. Laudable in some ways but totally missing the point by blaming it on pink toys of all things. Pinkstinks is organising a boycott of shops including the Early Learning Centre, which the group claims is leading the “pinkification” of girls' toys which end up crushing female ambitions later in life.
Incidentally, can anyone tell me what a social enterprise is? Could it be a website with not much to sell that exists to grab some headlines, make some cash without the need to sully one’s hands with a business or anything horribly commercial like that?
Ms Prentice threw fuel on the pink bonfire with a few of her own inflammatory remarks: “It’s about not funnelling girls into pretty, pretty jobs, but giving them aspirations and challenging them to fulfil their potential. We want to say to organisations like the Early Learning Centre that we rely on them to be progressive about encouraging girls to think of themselves as equal, and not to reinforce the old stereotypes.”
We live in the age of pressure groups where a couple of people with a computer, a grievance, a spare bedroom and too much time on their hands can set themselves up as if they’re representing a large slice of public opinion. Before you know it they’ll be asking for a grant to spread their lunacy further. I can see it now: pink outreach workers and drop-in centres operating a pink toy amnesty. Before you know it, girls with pink toys will be placed on the local authority's ‘At Risk’ register and the little poppets will be encouraged to denounce and report anyone who buys them a pink toy.
Frankly, it sounds like a damn good idea to me. I’m going to turn this blog into a social enterprise and book my ticket on the pressure group gravy train. With any luck I need never work again.