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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

The Cabbage came home from school the other day and said "Cindy...I like a boy color." I looked at her questionably and asked her what exactly is a "boy color." "You know. Boy colors are colors that only boys can like and girl colors are colors that only girls can like." Some little boy, who is also four, told her this at school. According to the Cabbage, he's not wrong because he's four. Michael and I both went on to stumble our way through an explanation of how there's no such thing as girl colors or boy colors, but it really didn't matter because she's already got it in her head that colors have a gender. I'm not going to lie. I had to shove that rising bubble of rage down pretty deep. It's not really that little boy's fault because he was taught that colors have a gender and he was probably taught this by some idiot who calls them self a grown-up. One of those grown-up types that are too stupid to know better. 

The problem is that if it wasn't this kid, it would have been someone or something else. When's the last time you walked down the toy isles? The "girl section" is a sea of pink and purple. Then you move over to what's supposed to be the "boy section" and the only colors absent in these isles are pink and purple. PLAYMOBIL makes these sets of little people action figures. I want you to just go and look at the City Life section.  In PLAYMOBIL's world, only women live in cities and all they do is shop and get their hair done. All the men live in the City Action section doing things like construction and law enforcement. Boys are astronauts while the girls get to wear roller blades. 

NPR played this story last week, When Women Stopped Coding. It discusses the decline of women in computer science and what happened to give men an edge over women in this field that started out dominated by women. The drop happens in 1984. This is also right around the time personal computers start showing up in stores. We're not talking about personal computers of today. We're talking about program it yourself DOS type computers. These computers were marketed to boys and not only in commercials, but movies as well. Geeky nerdy guy uses tech to win a pretty girl was a common theme in 80s movies. The message here is that girls don't need to be smart. They just need to be pretty. Nothing's changed. The toys out there today are still teaching the same message. Girls shop and get there hair and nails done while men build buildings and roads and enforce the law. 

The other night one of the Royals pitchers threw a pitch at 73 mph. Mo'ne Davis' average pitching speed is 70 mph. At age 13. "Boy" and "girl" are just adjectives. 

The Cabbage likes the color blue. She's obsessed with Frozen and wants to be Elsa when she grows up. Elsa wears a blue dress, so of course the Cabbage likes that color. But that kid at school told her that blue is a 'boy' color. There are things that I will never correct the Cabbage on like how she calls McDonald's "Old McDonald's." She's been calling the World Series, the World Serious all week and Michael and I just nod our heads in agreement that yes indeed it is the World Serious. There was a time she called Oklahoma, Ownahoma and I never corrected her on that one. But I will correct her on this one. Because just like there's no such thing as monsters under her bed, there's no such thing as 'girl' colors or 'boy' colors. There are just colors. A beautiful array of colors. Each one with it's own unique beauty just like each one of us.