Monday, July 18, 2011

The Colour Pink

Evan loves pink shoes. He doesn't like anything else pink. He doesn't have a pink shirt or any pink clothing but he loves wearing his sister's pink Crocs clogs. He would choose them over his blue ones or grey ones. And I have no objection to him wearing them out. He looks good in it and he's happy with it. I have even let him wear a different coloured shoe on each foot.

Anyway, Evan wears the pink Crocs on a school trip and returns home with his first lesson in gender stereotyping. We are about to go out again and I tell him to just put on the Crocs that he had worn earlier. He shakes his head and rummages in his shoe collection for a more 'presentable' pair all the while muttering that his friends had laughed at him and that boys couldn't wear pink.

When I asked him what happened and he repeated out loud what he'd said, I was extremely saddened because he had this injured look in his eyes and a resigned acceptance that it was undesirable behaviour. It wasn't like he had spat on someone. But the judgements of four-year-olds are harsh.

Part of me felt that it should be left alone with no intervention on my part. Packrat and I did make a point to tell him that if he wanted to wear pink shoes, he was most welcomed too and should he get laughed at again, he should say that there was absolutely nothing wrong with wearing pink shoes. The other part of me, the more protective part of me wants to go to school, find out who said that to Evan and smack him silly or dress him in a pink tutu fairy dress.

I am in the midst of reading this article that talks about how kids learn resilience when they have to fight their own battles and when their parents don't make a big deal about it. Much as it pains me to see my son hurt by such accusations, I can only arm him to defend himself against rude little kids who only parrot what their parents say to them. The rest of it, is up to him to figure out.

But out of all this, I truly hope he doesn't stop wearing pink Crocs. Personally, I think it gives him a bit of spunk. But that's Mommy talking.

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  1. My son's fave colour is pink but I don't discourage that cuz I also don't believe in gender stereotyping. But I had to think real hard that day when I saw a fuchsia jacket. Looks lovely and I know the son wld like it but am I prepared for him to be laughed at and teased by others who are used to gender stereotyping?

    In the end, I put it back on the shelf.