This Mom Had the Perfect Clapback for Stranger Confused About Baby's Gender Over a Sippy Cup

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 with all we know about gender identity, some people still insist on adhering to the idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls. In fact, one mom got an earful for letting her son drink out of a—gasp—pink sippy cup. She wasn't having it, though, and 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 a now-deleted post 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 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 4.5 yrs. 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?"

Sounds like a few people also need a friendly reminder that, like sippy cup colors, toys aren't gendered. 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" comes up a lot on Reddit. The month before OP's sippy cup post, another Reddit mom lamented that her grandmother-in-law wasn't a fan of the pink accents in her son's nursery (and as a result, she 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 only women care for children. But all genders can and do participate in childcare. And boys aren't the only ones who might enjoy a pretend toolkit—anyone can be handy, regardless of gender.
  • It introduces all children to STEAM. Science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) toys have traditionally been marketed toward parents of boys. But all children can benefit from engaging both the 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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