Monday, April 2, 2012

Purple Friday

Last Friday was Purple Day at five-year-old's preschool.  They do fun themes like that from time to time where they talk about things that are a certain color and where you find them in the world.  I have to admit, it's hard to find something for a little boy to wear on Polka dot Day.  Purple, not so much.

My cynical little one professed that purple is a "girl color," and he didn't want to participate in the festivities.  I am always taken aback when I find out how predisposed he already is to such a gender-specific way of thinking and work to thwart the budding sexism of public school exposure.  When I told him that purple is not a "girl color" but more a color of royalty, he was nonplussed when I gave examples of Kings, Queens, Princes, et al who wear their regal violet robes.  Hello ... how about Guppy Goe Bee from Bubble Guppies?

Call me a bad mom, but I harangued him so much about being a Purple Party Pooper that he put a purple-headed monster tattoo on his arm instead.  He wanted to participate at the risk of my reverse teasing.  I'll openly admit to that bit of shamed-based parenting.  :) 

I'm trying to ease him into being a mini-feminist.  He has some sexist uncles and classmates already, and their influence is counter-productive to my own.  The incredible stereotyping happens too early and so often!  My initial reaction was that purple is NOT a girl color, and there's nothing the matter with it if it was or with anything else associated to being a girl for that matter. 

Even if it is a part of kids' maturation to go through this sort of phase based on what other kids say, I never want my son to sound like his uncles.  His dad knows it's forbidden in our house to say anything derogatory about throwing, sounding or acting like a girl.  There is no such thing in our home, and I used to be a girl myself.  Those statements are so negative and destructive, and the only place I can control this language is under my own roof.  Plus, they otherwise get to hear me break into my rendition of: 
"Anything you can do, I can do better.  I can do anything better than you.  No, you can't ... yes, I can.  No, you can't ... yes, I can.  Yes, I can!  Yes, I can.  Yes, I ca-a-a-a-a-a-n!"
My big finish is awesome.  The best part of it all was when I picked up his artistic interpretation of Things that are purple from his hook at school today.  The pictures are all cut from magazines, and it has a very regal rice-krispie treat spider, a little cell from a health ad about diabetes, a violet-colored wicker basket, and a pail with purple paint being dumped from it.  The final item is a line of text from a magazine advertisement set on a lavender background that reads, "A better understanding of better intimate care."  I assume it's from a tampon ad.  How very apropos.  My curiosity getting the better of me, I went straight to good ol' google.  It is the registered trademark for "Cosmetics For Feminine Use, Namely, Foams, Lotions * , * and Powders Pharmaceuticals For Feminine Use, Namely, Creams [, ] For the Relief of Feminine Itching and Irritation, and * of * Other Skin Discomforts" by Combe Incorporated.  

His purple poster had hung there all the weekend ... or maybe his dad was embarrassed and left it there on purpose.  I chalked it up to serendipity but very ironic indeed.  

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