Let Socks Be… Socks?!

Most folk are aware of the ” Let Clothes Be Clothes” movement, which encourages retailers to not label clothes by gender and instead allow children to choose for themselves. There’s also the sister movement – “Let Toys Be Toys”. I’ve found a lot of retailers are great now for not labelling things. There’s a whole other battle to get on with, but for the most part retailers are starting to listen or at least try to understand a little.

Imagine my suprise when I saw this on Facebook from a user named Elle…


Picture used with permission

Socks?! Socks are being labelled “Boy” socks and “Girl” socks? Like there’s some substantial difference in the foot shape or make up of a male and a female? PLAIN white socks, labelled “for boys”.

Quite a few people responded on the post along the same vein that I did. “What?” “Huh?” and “Do the socks have a penis?” were commented again and again until eventually Mothercare did respond. Unfortunately they responded with nothing but excuses. “Our customers prefer products to be separated by gender” (even though those commenting ARE customers), and “There’s no reason why girls can’t wear them” (even though they are labelled as “boys”, which would put some girls off). It makes me sad that children can be so sensitive about these things, so a little one may well not choose a toy or an item of clothing once they realise that it is labelled “for” the opposite sex.

I just don’t get it. They are socks. SOCKS?! Every time I look at this post and Mothercare’s response I think how absolutely ridiculous it is that SOCKS are labelled by gender. I mean, honestly who cares? Who would refuse to buy socks for their boy if they were not labelled “for boys” and similarly “for girls”? I know I don’t even look at gender when buying socks. Fact is, they’re only going to get eaten by the washing machine monster anyway.

Apparently this has now been elevated to Mothercare management. If you want to keep up with the thread you can head to the Mothercare Facebook Page and leave your comments about #sockgate.

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