Gender and athletic animals: Quack, quack!

Image result for ducks


I’ve been reading and enjoying Lisa Wade’s edited collection of essays Assigned: Life with Gender. (It’s kind of a greatest hits from The Society Page‘s website.)

Chapter 1, “on queering parenting and gender-neutrality” has a great discussion of gender neutrality and baby gear. The authors, D’Lane Compton and Tristan Bridges, review for us the many things that are gendered–including patterns and animals. Geometric shapes and lines are masculine.  Polka dots and florals (of course) are feminine

But animals too. Dogs, bears, lions, and dragons are masculine. Kittens, unicorns, horses, butterflies, and dolphins are feminine.

This leaves little room in the gender neutral category for kids’ stuff. The one colour is yellow. And the one animal is a duck. Everything that’s meant to be gender neutral is yellow and if there are animals, they’re ducks. This got me thinking about gender and animal inspiration for athleticism. For example, I’ve written about running like a wombat. See run like a wombat! I’ve also written about penguins and yoga, see Penguin yoga galore. Tracy our guest blogger has written about finding her athletic inspiration in seals.

I’m not sure how ducks fare in sporting competitions. Is your athletic ideal gendered or gender neutral? Still mulling. Quack quack.


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