A former politician has called out Waitrose for selling a selection of children’s birthday cards that portray gender stereotypes for boys and girls.
Sir Peter Luff shared a photo on Twitter of the cards that are noticeably pink for the girls and blue and green for boys.
One of the girls’ cards has the words “Birthday princess” on the front, while the boys’ equivalent says: “Birthday boy, football star”.
The majority of the girls’ cards in the photo feature girls in tutus and dresses, whereas the boys’ cards feature dinosaurs, sport and ships.
“Dear @waitrose, do you think your children’s birthday cards may be just a bit stereotypical? #everydaysexism,” Luff wrote on 16 January.
Explaining why he shared the photo, Luff wrote: “Gender stereotyping does real harm to children and society by shaping and limiting ambition – pretty important.”
Some parents responded to Luff’s tweet agreeing with him that the cards conformed to gender stereotypes, although some other commenters told him they thought the matter was too trivial to raise as an issue.
As of yet, Luff does not believe Waitrose has replied to the tweet. He tweeted on 18 January: “If you’ve replied, I’ve missed it – sorry.”
A spokesperson for Waitrose told The Huffington Post UK: “We have a wide range of cards which we are constantly updating to reflect what our customers want to buy and these already include many cards which are suitable for both boys and girls.
“We are working with our suppliers to explore how we can reflect a wider range of children’s interests which aren’t gender specific.”