When does gender discrimination start? Pretty much from birth, according to these baby harnesses on sale at Boots.
The reins specifically for boys are blue and carry the slogan “train driver”, while the girls’ product is pink with the words “little cupcake”.
Isabel Rogers, a writer, tweeted a picture of the controversial products when she spotted them on Thursday.
Soon it was going viral on Twitter, with critics citing it as an example of “everyday sexism” , while some men pointed out that they would rather be a cupcake than a train driver anyway.
In a blog post, Isabel, who has a four-year-old daughter, argued that the harnesses showed sexism in marketing was getting worse.
“Boys are in charge, going places,” she wrote. “Girls are both ‘little’ and apparently delicious.”
Nice one, Boots. What are you thinking? Jacky Fleming never more right with her advice: be a bloody train driver. pic.twitter.com/gVmx70Weip— Isabel Rogers (@Isabelwriter) May 22, 2014
On its website, Boots also has a plain harness for sale in black with no decoration.
The outrage follows a growing debate about the impact of separating children’s clothing and toys by gender.
In September, Toys ‘R’ Us pledged to stop segregating its toys after a campaign by anti-discrimination group Let Toys Be Toys.
Months earlier, Tesco had defended its decision to keep a chemistry set as a “boys’ toy”, while selling miniature cookers in the girls’ section.
A spokesman for Boots said parents' feedback was taken "very seriously".
She added: "In line with our commitment to prevent gender stereotyping through signage in our stores we can confirm that these items have already been reviewed and the product and packaging is being updated later this year.
"We base our children’s range on customer feedback and demand, and aim to offer a range of colours and choices for parents.”