This blog entry recalls a conversation I had in Dollarama on Thursday.
I was in a bad mood and wanted to get some chocolate before my class, I sighed as I walked towards cash and a lady in a business suit stopped me. “Hi, can I ask you a question?” She’s holding in her hands two candy Easter bunnies.
“Okay sure” was my response.
“You see he’s an 8 year old boy, which one do you think?” she gestured towards the bunnies.
“Well which one do you think he’d like?” was my response.
She holds forward the pink marshmallow bunny.
“But is this okay for a boy?” she wanted to know.
“Sure, he needs to learn sometime that pink isn’t a girls colour” I replied.
“My brother isn’t going to agree” she said as she got in line with the pink bunny.
These conversations aren’t new. Maybe you’ve read discussions about gendering baby blankets and kids toys. But it struck me as incredibly sad for a minute. Why was this aunt of an 8 year old child so stuck on what candy was appropriate because of the associated ideas about what colors boy and girls can like?
As I walked out of the store with my cholate I wondered about the life of that child. While I could comment about the potential lack of support if they are LGBTQ+ I also thought about the messages around masculinity they are receiving. If pink isn’t acceptable for a boy child to like, what is he being taught about the way he should feel, express, act, love… as a child, but also later as an adult?
Again, not a new conversation, but people are still asking what colour Easter bunny is okay for a child.