Mom on Reddit Has the Perfect Clapback for Stranger Confused About Baby's Gender

The last time we checked, sippy cups don't have genitals.

An image of a baby bottle on a colorful background.
Photo: Getty Images. Jillian Sellers.

Colors don't have genders. And yet, even in 2021, with all we know about gender and sexuality, people still insist on adhering to the idea that "blue is for boys and pink is for girls."

And yet, one mom recently got an earful for letting her son drink out of a—gasp—pink sippy cup. Mama bear wasn't having it, though, and she took to Reddit to rant about her experience.

"I pissed off a lady in the parking lot at my parenting class," started u/LizaRhea in the Mommit subreddit.

The original poster (OP) didn't steal the other woman's parking spot or park over the line. Her offense was apparently something far, far graver.

"She was saying how cute my baby is, but she saw his pink sippy cup and said, 'But wait, is your baby a boy or a girl? I see a blue shirt but a pink cup!'" OP continued.

While it's great this woman can distinguish between the two colors, the comment is really unnecessary. Boys can drink out of pink sippy cups. As long as they're hydrated, that's all that matters, right?

OP wasn't really a fan of the comment, but she tried her hand at humor when responding.

"Maybe I should have been kinder, but snark slipped out, and I said, 'Luckily, he doesn't drink with his genitalia, so it doesn't matter what color his cup is,'" the OP reported. "I was going for humor. She didn't laugh."

The other woman may not have found it funny, but the Reddit post has tallied more than 250 comments in less than a day. And other Redditors thought Mom's reply was spot-on.

"You rock! I dressed my son up as a strawberry last night, and everyone assumed he was a girl. I wasn't offended or anything. It's just ridiculous how a fruit costume is considered feminine," another wrote.

Others also shared experiences of times people have leaned into gender stereotypes and mistaken their boy for a girl.

"My son was always mistaken for a girl up until recently, and he's 4.5yrs. The only time I've found it concerning was when we were at the doctor's, and he had his cuddly toy rabbit to comfort him…An old lady commented on what a pretty girl he was. I corrected her, and she went, 'Oh… why does he have a rabbit then? Rabbits are for girls.' Sorry, Mary, what do you want him to have? A cuddly machete?"

A friendly reminder that toys aren't gendered, either. Oh, and neither are pacifiers.

"Someone made a comment once about my son sucking on a pink binky. He's a baby. He doesn't know it's pink, and he doesn't care," another mom said.

The topic of "pink or blue" has come up recently on Reddit. Last month, a mom lamented that her grandmother-in-law wasn't a fan of the pink accents in her son's nursery (and told Reddit she decided to go all-out and buy even more pink stuff). The reality is that kids don't know the difference between so-called "gender-specific" colors, and will eventually develop their own unique preferences.

Until then, experts share that kids benefit from gender-neutral toys and activities, in part because:

  • They stay away from gender stereotypes. Acting as if only girls can play with dolls reinforces the idea that women care for children. But men can, and do, participate in childcare. And boys aren't the only ones who might enjoy a pretend tool kit—anyone can be a handyperson, regardless of gender.
  • It introduces all children to STEAM. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) toys have traditionally been marketed towards boy parents. But all children can benefit from engaging both left and ride sides of their brain during play.
  • Gender-neutral play is empowering. Letting kids play with whatever they want allows them to choose their own interests without societal, gender-based pressure. By the same token, letting a child drink out of a sippy cup they like ensures they're hydrated and happy—and that's the actual goal, right?
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