Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pink for Boys?

We were going to get a balancing bike for the boys and we showed them the catalogue for them to choose the colors. K chose Orange and Y shouted "I want Pink!" when he saw the catalogue. That seem to spell trouble as we asked him again and he was so sure of the Pink bike and kept repeating that he likes the Pink bike. 

I do not see any problem with him having a Pink bike, considering that I had made a documentary during school days about gender stereotyping and why Pink are for Girls and Blue are for Boys. I believed that there should not be any stereotyping for children colors and toys. I let them play with kitchen sets and all. However, I don't want him to be laughed at. And at 2.5 years old, he would not be able to understand how he should be confident of his choice even if he was being teased. I would expect the teaser to be adults more than children as it's adults that put meaning to these colors. If he is older, say 4 or 5 years old, I would explain to him that Pink is a nice color and it's nice that he likes the Pink bike but he has to be prepared to accept that there are some people who think Pink are for girls and boys should not have Pink.

My husband looked at me with some doubt. I guiltily asked Y again if he would like a Yellow or Blue or Red bike and he was still sure of the Pink bike. My husband then asked "So Mummy, do we get the Pink bike for Y?" I answered, "Yes, if he really likes it." I was all prepared to take the plunge to order a Pink bike for him when I believed he sensed that something is not right with his choice and he suddenly changed his mind and said "I want a Green bike." You can see us both heaved a sigh of relief. We continued to ask his many times if he is sure of the Green bike. He seemed sure and we had ordered a Green bike for him today.  

I feel bad, I didn't like that I influenced his choice for this. Will you try to dissuade your son from getting something Pink?


  1. As much as I don't really want to admit it... I think if I was in your situation I would have done, or at least wanted to do the same thing.

    For me though, it is a little easier to allow my boys to have pink, or other 'girly' things because they have big sisters.... somehow this seems to explain my four year old boy's choice of a pink lunch box and the butterfly picture to put on his locker at preschool. Somehow having big sisters makes it ok... for now.

  2. Hi there, popping over your blog after your comment on mine. :>

    My younger boy loves pink while his older brother thinks pink is for girls only. I think it is fine that boys like pink and never discouraged my younger from choosing pink for anything he likes, so he even owns a pink Piglet water bottle which he proudly brings to school daily. I even tell my older boy that it is NOT fine to laugh or think less of another boy who chooses pink, just like how we don't say girls can't like the colour blue.

  3. Hi Kate, yes, I think having sisters sure help a lot!

    Hi DG, thanks for dropping by. I feel it's ok too but just think that he is too young to take responsibility of his own unique choice (in other people's eyes) and unable to handle the reaction of people with the stereotype our society has on these colors. I'm probably too protective! I told myself never to attempt to dissuade him when he is older. :)

  4. What you said is true too. There was a period when my younger boy would come home to tell me that his classmates laugh at his pink water bottle and he felt hurt. So I taught him what to say to them, how to react to others' hurtful comments and to believe that he has every right to express what he likes/dislikes, and so do others etc...


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