Why is your son wearing pink?

Inspired by a Jessica Hagedorn piece.

Because it’s really “salmon”.

Because it’s a hand-me-down.

Because it was on sale.

Because the rest of his clothes are dirty.

Because the rest of his clothes are dirty, and by the way, they’re all very masculine, colored blue, and have phallic symbols all over.

Because there’s nothing wrong with boys wearing pink.

Because we’re raising him to be a hippie.

Because we’re raising him to be gender-neutral.

Because we’re raising him to not care about socially-ascribed identities.

Because we’re raising him to not care about the opinions of people who are so ignorant and short-sighted that they’d make fun of a five-month old boy for wearing a pink shirt.

Because there’s nothing wrong with boys wearing pink.

Because it brings out his eyes.

Because it has a calming effect on people.

Because it has a calming effect on him.

Because he’s five months old and doesn’t care what he wears.

Because he’s five months old and we don’t care what he wears.

Because “pink” is just a color.

Because “pink” is not an indicator of anything but tint.

Because “pink” does not determine what he’s made of.

Because there’s nothing wrong with boys wearing pink.

Because his parents support breast cancer research.

Because “real men” wear pink.

Because there’s no such thing as a “real man”.

Because being a “real man” is a frame of mind, and he’s not yet old enough to adopt, ignore, or reject  it.

Because pink shirts are “in” this season.

Because pink shirts are “out” this season, and we just don’t give a shit about what’s “in” or “out”.

Because we don’t care what gender or sexuality our kids have, as long as they’re healthy and happy.

Because even if pink is for girls, what’s wrong with being (like) a girl?

Because we’re doing our part to make sure the next generation is a little less misogynistic than the ones before it.

Because we’re raising him to think for himself.

Because we’re raising him to be proud of who he is, and not just what he’s wearing.

Because we’re raising him to be an individual.

Because there’s nothing wrong with boys wearing pink.

32 responses to “Why is your son wearing pink?

  1. So how is forcing a male child to wear pink (because YOU want him to, without getting his input on it) in any way related to him thinking for himself?

    Sounds like you want to think for him, and use him as a “LOOK HOW PROGRESSIVE I AM” trophy.

  2. @ Maria – Thank you for the comment, lady! I was starting to think you’d dropped my sorry ass, ha!

    @ Merri – Thank you!

    @ Paige – Thank you for the comment, and welcome to my blog :)

    @ Angelia – I dunno if he likes pink shirts, since he’s only 5 months old, but this way, he’ll have a chance to make up his own mind about it.

    @ Uh – My son is only 5 months old, and therefore too young to make up his own mind. By dressing him in a pink shirt, I’m preparing him for a time when he can make decisions, and sending the solid message that all colors are worthy of wear.

  3. Ah, so it’s the “look how progressive I am” trophy, then.

    Just FYI, you have a son.

    Stop trying to make him your daughter, too. You aren’t preparing him for anything, you’re dressing him in a pink shirt because YOU want the attention it provides, so you can puff yourself up, pat yourself on the back, and announce to everyone who asks about it that you’re so very progressive.

    If it didn’t cause people to ask why you’re dressing a boy in girl’s clothing, you wouldn’t do it. If it provided YOU no attention, you wouldn’t do it.

  4. love the post!

    To Uh: You know, in victorian times blue was considered the feminine color and pink was considered more masculine.

    That aside, the gendering of colors is stupid and puts both boys and girls in constraining boxes. the first step to breaking these boxes is showing how the logic behind them is ridiculous.

    Even if the author of the post was a giant attention hog, (which I personally do not think is the case) her argument would stand.

    If you believe that gendering colors is not wrong, I think you’re on the wrong site. You need feminism 101

  5. @ Dinosaurkitten – Thank you for the props and the history lesson! I hope you stop by again :)

  6. Pingback: The very gendered baby « blue milk

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  8. This is great. I always say to kids that ask why my boys are wearing pink “because girls don’t own pink”. That always causes some thought.

  9. Thanks for sharing. The idea that colors have gender is ridiculous and limiting to people of both genders.

  10. @ Earwicga – Thanks for stopping by! I thought of your comment when my son wore his pink shirt yesterday. I told the fully-grown adult that was laughing at him, “I don’t know why you’re laughing; girls don’t own pink!” She replied, “Um, YEAH, they do!” smh

    @ Mandy – I totally agree!

  11. Pingback: Reflections on Gender « Dead Wild Roses

  12. I am glad it was useful to you mistressmon. I do tend to find it works well with children – they have an inate sense of fairness and when it is explained that it is unfair that they are only entitled to like half the colours/toys/books etc. that are available it really does make them think.

  13. YES!!

    And…
    “Because he suits the colour”
    “Because being assigned male at birth doesn’t necessarily mean “boy” anyway”
    “Because in Victorian times, pink was the ‘boy’ colour and that means it’s practically steampunk, doesn’t it?”
    “Because I don’t believe ‘pink stinks’ as it happens”*
    “Why is your son wearing blue?”

    … and more.
    *refers to recent campaign in the UK “Pink Stinks” – campaign for real role models for girls. Great campaign, but imo, dreadful name.

    (Only quibble: “Because we don’t care what gender or sexuality our kids have, as long as they’re healthy and happy.” – my bold.
    I do sometimes get annoyed about the “as long as they’re healthy” thing because of the implication that having a child with disabilities is something dreadful.)

  14. Uh –
    My son wore pink (and lots of other colours) when he was a little boy. When he was a toddler his favourite T was pink with flowers – which he chose himself. When he was 5 he went on holiday and the fashionable Italian guys on the beach were wearing the same colour pink that he was.
    As for the mother making a statement – how about ‘I’m forcing my boy to wear gray and navy because I want everyone to know that I accept convention unquestioningly and I’m preparing him to be a business man. Oh and my daughter over here in the pink frilly dress is going to be a nurse or a hairdresser. If she can’t find a rich man of course.

  15. @ Ruth – Thank you for your comment! I love that I had to google “steampunk”!

    Also, just to clarify, when I mentioned health, it was in the context of sexuality. I meant it along the lines of “just as long as he’s using condoms and dental dams!”

    @ Judy – Word. Booty… I think I love you.

  16. @ Ruth – I have never equated ‘as long as they’re healthy and happy’ with disability. Disability doesn’t mean illness. And if one’s child is disabled or able bodied – everybody would wish health on them.

    Perhaps it’s just me…

  17. This is awesome! When I have kids, they will definitely be wearing all different colors, pink included. Thanks for preparing me for the barrage =)

  18. Pingback: pink « dreaming iris

  19. Great post. I wish I had the nerve to go up to people at baby groups and ask them “Why is your son wearing a T-Shirt with “After Dad 2nd in Command” or “Boys rule!”” on it? Are you aware what this implies?”. Instead, I let them tell me what a “pretty little girl” I have, until I take off his pink bib, he sets off crawling in his blue vest and shorts, and suddenly everyone notes “what a real little bruiser” my son is.

  20. our daughter, Casey, has a (deliberately) gender neutral name, and we also get “why is your boy wearing pink?” :-D

    I’m gonna keep this list handy in my phone for next time.

    I think I’m gonna get her more clothes with male-only stuff on them; you know: like airplanes, cars, and sailboats. Things that are too complicated for girls.

  21. @ dreaming iris – no problem :) thanks for the shout out!

    @ Horry – Thank you! I wish I had the balls to do that, too. Instead, I fake a smile and wait till someone complains about the “confusion” I’m sure to cause in my son by tying his hair back and dressing him in pink. Ha!

    @ Brenda – We deliberately gave our son, Riley, a gender neutral name, too! And we have a whole list of names, for the rest of our brood.

    @ C.K. – Thanks for stopping by!

  22. My 18 yr old son was so ‘confused’ by the long blonde curls and pink clothes he had as a kid that he’s been going out with the same girl for 3 years. Or maybe it was the dolls and the play kitchen? Who can tell, hee hee.

  23. “You see in the late 19th century they invented these wondrous things called aniline dyes that let people produce bright vivid colors that don’t fade nearly as fast as vegetable dyes. This led to a whole new era in fashion and strong colors have been popular ever since!”
    :)

  24. @ Judy – HA! Love it!

    @ Eva – Hi! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. :)

  25. He’s done it again! I get annoyed about having to sort laundry for partners & two sons when it all looks the same. So pink shirt boy has gone and bought himself lots of colourful red and PINK underwear. Obviously the conditioning worked and he was so messed up by his childhood clothing that he can’t even pick the suitably manly underpants MWHA HA HA!

  26. That’s actually just the one partner, in case anyone thought I was boasting.

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