Thursday, 20 December 2012

The politics of pink

My son is regularly mistaken for a girl. This doesn't bother me. He's only 14 months old, after all. He has lovely golden curls which I never want to cut off. (I'm going to though, alright? Eventually).

It seems to really bother those who do the mistaking, as it were. They become very apologetic and assume they have committed some terrible faux pas. I don't think they believe me when I say I don't mind. Sometimes I sense their indignation at the way my child is presented, as if he should be offering more concrete clues as to his gender: 1) he has curls, 2) he is wearing a pink shirt, 3) it is 'teamed' with blue shorts. This confuses people. 

My boy is still so young yet already there is societal pressure on him to conform. Fashion is just one area of many. Variety in boys' clothing is generally non-existent; the uniform of T-shirt and shorts is presented in a palette of navy, khaki and brown. Red for Christmas, maybe. My son has personality and flair. Khaki just doesn't suit his nature nor his skin tone. Pink is a much more suitable match. So sue me.

I don't wish I had a girl. I'm not trying subconsciously to turn my toddler into one. I just want him to be who is. 

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