Walking my 4 year old home from kindy today, he remarked that I should have a pink flowy dress “because girls like pink.” While I went through a pink phase as a kid, it’s not a colour I’ve worn much at all since then.

Me: Where did you learn that?
Son: I don’t know. I just learned it.
Me: Well, some girls like pink, but some boys do, too. Daddy has pink shorts, doesn’t he?
Son, thinking: Yes! And I have pink pants, too!

We chatted about it a bit more, and agreed that colours are for everyone. Even so, I can’t help but notice how deeply the social conditioning to this effect runs with little kids. A few weeks ago, he answered a quiz for father’s day where he said that his dad’s favourite colour was pink, and thinking back, there’s been one other time since then when he’s asked me if pink is for girls, resulting in a variant of the same conversation we had today. Which makes me think that someone at his school has reacted to him saying his dad likes pink by trying to tell him that it’s a girl colour.

Gender rules: fun times!