The Boy With The ‘Girly’ Pink Cup
My son is a boy, and he has a ‘girly’ pink cup…
And boy oh boy, I NEVER hear the end of it.
He has a pink fairy Lamaze doll… in fact, he has lots of pink toys, as well as blue, and some multicoloured.
‘But he’s a boy, pink is for girls!’
Yesterday, it really hit me just how deeply entrenched heteronormative principles are in society when young children, we’re talking primary school age here, identify simple objects as specifically for one gender or the other because of something as simple as the colour.
Max was using his 360 cup, his favourite pink one, and a young wee lass asked ‘why has he got a pink cup? Pink is for girls!‘
Smiling, I responded that Max has lots of pink things, and lots of blue, that he loves all colours and that pink can be for boys too. She happily accepted this and skipped merrily off to play – it was as simple as that. The pink cup gets lots of indirect comments from adults too; ‘ooooh, his cup is pink’, with a tone of cheerful surprise barely masking the underlying question ‘but he is a boy, right?’
It’s easy to see why kids are being indoctrinated in gender stereotypes and ‘colour association’ though… visit a toy shop and you’ll see what I mean. The ‘girl section’ and ‘boy section’ can be easily distinguished by colour.
Girl? Look for the explosion of pink, with dashes of lilac and glitter.
Boy? Look for the melee of blue, with streaks of green and camouflage.
Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with blue tool kits and pink dolls houses, green toy guns and purple pony dolls, I just find it daft that as well as being heavily marketed towards specific genders (just look at the kids playing with the toy on the packaging), that people look down on boys liking ‘girly’ stuff and girls liking ‘boys’ stuff!
Case in point; I’ve overheard boys being chastised by parents for wanting the pink princess costume and not the Spider-Man costume, girls teased for playing with an Action Man rather than barbie… I could reel off 1000 examples but I’d be here all day.
The point that I am trying – and hopefully not failing – to make is that colours are colours, toys are toys, and it’s bloody stupid that there are gender associations for bleedin’ everything. Let my son drink from his pink cup and play with his pink toy without giving us the side-eye, be as easy to inform as the sweet little girl we encountered yesterday and we’ll all be friends.
Max gives zero fucks whether his cup is pink, neither do I, and you shouldn’t either.
It’s 2018 – time to lay aside all that heteronormative nonsense!
Tell me your thoughts in the comments – agree or disagree?
Love from Katie. Xx
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