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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, She Actually Told Her Son “Those Are Girl Colours”

Dear Daughters,

While shopping this weekend (not one of my favourite activities at all, and this incident did not help make it better) I witnessed a mother refusing to let her son buy something because, and these are her words, “those are girl colours”. I could not believe what I was witnessing but the proof that this was actually happening in our society in 2013 was right in front of my eyes and ears.

This child was anywhere from 8-11 years old. He wanted to buy some of those mini hair elastics that hold hair so well you practically have to rip them off your child’s head to get them out. Now let’s stop right here shall we? According to society, boys do not wear or use hair elastics so why was the mother’s answer for him simply not “these are for girls”? That I cannot explain. Perhaps he had some “manly” use for them such as shooting them off the end of his pencil at his friends. Whatever the reason, that was not what stopped her from purchasing them.

Unfortunately I did not get to examine a bag of these elastics very closely but I did look over it a few times and from what I saw they were: purple, dark green, white and maybe a lighter blue or lighter green or maybe both. Knowing very well society’s stance on the colour pink I looked to see if any elastics were of that colour and I did not see any. So when the boy asked his mother if she could buy these she said, “No, those are girl colours!” When he replied, “So. I want them,” or something to that effect, she replied, “But they are girl colours.” He continued to persuade her to buy them regardless of their colouring, and I heard her say, “Are you sure? They are girl colours,” before unfortunately I had to leave the store.

I clearly am not ready for my undercover reporting career just yet because obviously I should have hidden in the store to see the conclusion. Did she end up buying them for him or not? Of course what would have been really good is to have found out what he wanted them for in the first place. I am definitely going to have to get bolder in my quest for social justice. I am not there yet but I should have stayed behind and photographed said package of mini elastics so you could see for yourself and we would all know exactly what colours were in this package.

Of course colours to me do not matter. It could have been a package of pink elastics and I cannot believe that a mother actually said to her son, “Those are girl colours”. Listen to ourselves! A colour is a colour! It is not a thing! It doesn’t “belong” to a specific gender. It does not have a gender! Why does our society insist on genderizing things? Pink used to be a “boy’s colour”. Blue used to be a “girl’s colour”. It is clear that our society can change things since the opposite is now true. Why doesn’t our society just change it to “colours are colours”. Pink is pink. Blue is blue. Green is green, etc. I like to think humans are intelligent but assigning genders to colours does not sound very intelligent to me.

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