For all who are curious, THIS is the offending shirt.
September 28, 2011

I’m voting that it’s for 3T-sized cutie pies, regardless of their plumbing, no?

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  1. By Lindsay on September 28, 2011

    Before we knew if we were having a boy or a girl, I decided on a beautiful blue ocean theme for the nursery. I can’t even tell you how many “What if you have a GIRL?!“ comments people threw at me. Dylan was one of my top girl names. “You’ll confuse her,“ they would say. That annoyed me so much. As it was, I had a boy and now everyone complains that I don’t dress him masculine enough because he doesn’t wear outfits with dumptrucks and baseballs on them and because he’s getting a play kitchen for the holidays. OH THE HORROR.

  2. By on September 28, 2011

    I don’t have any little ones yet, but I loathe the idea of gender specific colours! I read somewhere that you shouldn’t comment on a child’s appearance when you greet them (eg “what a pretty pink dress!“ or “you look so pretty today”) because it teaches them that we put a lot of emphasis on looking good.  Better to say “tell me what you’ve done today” or something similar.  So, I’m pleased that the idiotic lady self combusted!!

    Also, side note - Charlottes pigtails are so freaking adorable!

  3. By on September 28, 2011

    The offending shirt is cute and the pigtails adorable.  I would dress my Sophie in that…I use mainly hand me downs of “girls” clothes from other people and “boys” clothes from my son.  I don’t see a problem with it.  But then again I’m not a real girly dresser myself.

  4. By on September 28, 2011

    Katy - Thanks!  Those pigtails hold me hostage.  In a few years when she figures out that I’ll do anything for those pigtails, I’m toast!!

    Lindsay - Donald and I very seriously considered both Dylan and Daryl for a girl - and they’re both still very high on our list.  We also considered Dillon for a boy, and honestly the conflict never really bothered us.

    Also, a couple friends of mine have given their boys play kitchens.  They love them as much as the girls with play kitchens seem to =)

  5. By Catherine on September 28, 2011

    LOL, she SO doesn’t look like a boy in the least.  And I love her cute shoes!  My little girl might need some!  :) Don’t feel badly, my son got “what a gorgeous little girl” for about two years.  He’s got some awesome hair that I just can’t bear to cut short, so, alas, he was assumed female regardless of his attire.  It’s just the way of it.

  6. By Dawn on September 28, 2011

    As a kindergarten teach who still cant always tell if students are boys or girls… Its like saki g if someone is pregnant… JUST DON’T DO IT!

  7. By on September 28, 2011

    She looks adorable. Perhaps the only thing I’ll miss about never having a daughter is pigtails. My goodness.

  8. By on September 28, 2011

    PRETTY sure she still looks like a girl, even with “boy” colors on.

  9. By Sandra on September 28, 2011

    My goodness, she looks so cute in this shirt and with her pigtails!! :) you can be SO proud of this little girl, Sarah!

    I had to laugh so hard when I read your post about this lady - it’s often the same in Germany. Mostly, old ladies seem to have grown up with this boy/girl-colour-thing, younger people would never come up with the idea of talking in such a way!

    It reminded me of the situation when I told my 83-year old neighbor that we are going to Turkey for holidays some years ago - and all she could do was
    - roll her eyes
    - look at me like I am an alien
    - tell me the following:
    “Turkey - pah! What do you want there? Germany is so nice, why do you want to go all the way to Turkey, it’s SO far away, and you don’t know anyone there, and I heard the food is not good there…(blabla)“.

    I was so shocked about how she could say something like this, I just turned around after a few seconds and went back into my house.

    Must be the age.

    I think.


  10. By carricomom on September 28, 2011

    Cute whatever gender. I love the shirt. I hope my leia wouldnt let gender get in the way of her fashion choices when she is old enough to pick for herself. Until then shes at my mercy and i have to admit blue makes her eyes pop.

  11. By Sarah Christensen on September 28, 2011

    Carricomom - I find that I pick a lot of deeper colors - blues, greens, oranges, browns, purples - for Charlotte and me.  We’re both so pale (she’s more tan, but the blonde hair offsets that) and I think the deeper colors look nice with our skin.  As compared to, say, light khaki shorts which are actually darker than my skin and make me look like a glowing alien =P

  12. By Sarah Jane on September 28, 2011

    I LOVE the shirt and the pigtails.  Yes, I too would put it on my daughter.  I’ve put brown and blue on my daughter before and a few people thought she was a boy.  Never mind the fact that there was a bright pink flower on the brown jacket she was wearing.

  13. By Tracy Roberts on September 28, 2011

    Oh yes,you’ll confuse her if her shirt is blue and her room is blue because yeah, babies are born knowing blue is for boys.  Nonsense.  Actually for much more of our history, pink was a boy color!
    People are just complete nimwits!

  14. By on September 28, 2011

    More sweet baby girls in “boy” clothes, please. And more sweet baby “boys” in pigtails. Gender stereotypes mean absolutely nothing if we cease to perpetuate them. One million points to Sarah the superhero.

  15. By on September 28, 2011

    After Charlotte refused her shirt (and genderified lady exploded in park), did you find a way to get through to her that the lady was wrong?

    I hope so, ‘cause the package is just to cute!
    - Christina

  16. By on September 28, 2011

    Sorry.  Too. :)

    It’s early; my fingers aren’t warmed up yet!

  17. By on September 29, 2011

    My nephew is 2 years old and has a pink polo shirt! He looks so cool in it! And i see a lot of men wearing pink shirts now! It’s definitely the older people stuck in their old way who make most of these comments!
    Not related to gender but just as silly, my other sister has 2 daughters of different ages and just because she had a double stroller, she’d be asked if they were twins ALL THE TIME! One was a baby and one was 18 month…it seemed obvious that they were not! I really don’t get where people come up with these silly questions and comments!
    Charlotte is adorable!! I hope she didnt have those pigtails when she was asked about her gender!!!! ;)

  18. By on September 29, 2011

    Oh, one more thing I just remember when I read this stroller-story above…

    When I was a baby, I was really dark-tanned. My mom loved to eat carrotts during her pregnancy, and obviously, that helped me to get a wonderful tan when I was a baby.
    One day, my parents stood in front of their house with me in the stroller. Walkers went by and got a quick view into the stroller. And then my mom heard them say to each other:
    “Have you seen the tan? That baby was no pedigreed at all!“

    How stupid people can be… unbelievable :-)

  19. By Danielle on September 29, 2011

    I shop in the “boy’s” section for my little girl all the time. Just because she’s not dripping in pink and sparkles does NOT mean we’re gender-bending. How could anyone ever confuse Charlotte for a boy?!

  20. By Amelia Sprout on September 29, 2011

    One of my favorite shirts for my oldest girl was a turquoise & brown one.  I just found it again so the little girl can wear it.  Love that color combo, regardless of gender.  The haters can suck it.  Girls should get to wear dino’s, and robots, and animals too. 
    I will say this, with M, who is four, I found things had gotten better as she got older, and that there were more non-pink options.  She just really likes pink.  This time, there are even more non pink options for the baby.  We’ll see what she ends up liking however.  For the sake of getting some use out of hand me down, I hope she at least tolerates pink.

  21. By Alicia S. on September 29, 2011

    This is kind of new to me.
    I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised at how many people have asked me what the sex of Scarlett was when she was an infant—on days she was positively enveloped in pink from head-to-toe, I’m talking, complete with ribbons and bows and everything, for fear of being presumptuous. It never offended me, (although my husband would make fun of the strangers when they left, lol). To me, I just took it as a sign that maybe society was starting to realize how unsafe it can be to make assumptions about other people’s children. I don’t think it’s all that much of a travesty to mistake one sex for another—but it is never in good taste to make excuses for your mistake by blaming the parent for causing you to make it.

  22. By Christy on September 29, 2011

    I love that shirt.  I think its very cute.

  23. By Sarah Christensen on September 29, 2011

    Alicia S - When Charlotte was littler, it REALLY irritated me that people assumed she was a boy.  If they just asked, that’s one thing, but why assume?  How annoying.

    Now the assumption doesn’t bother me so much.  What bothered me was that the woman actually TOLD Charlotte that blue is a boy color, not a girl color, and then I was equally upset that even though I talked to the woman and to Charlotte afterwards about it somehow it still changed the way my daughter perceived blue.  After talking to her a second time, she re-accepted the blue shirt into her wardrobe so obviously she wasn’t scarred for life by it (and I learned that I need to talk to her IMMEDIATELY after something instead of waiting until a more “appropriate” time)...but I still would have preferred that the stereotyping not happen at all.

    Danielle - We mostly use hand-me-downs, but every now and then I have to add to Char’s wardrobe.  There’s a kid clothing resale place near us that’s divided into boy and girl clothes and I *always* shop in the boy section.

    No matter how I view pink polo shirts and lacey pants, I know my husband isn’t super keen on putting them on a boy and I know it’s going to be something we disagree on, so I figure that buying traditional “boy” stuff is a nice compromise.  We’ll have gender-neutral hand-me-downs for future kids that work for boys or girls that way.

  24. By Alicia S. on September 29, 2011

    Oh yeah, I know what you were saying. I was just commenting that this is one of those things I’ve had more of a positive experience with than a lot of other people. Maybe it’s chatching on on the East Coast or something :-P

    I’d be freaking livid if someone underminded my beleifs to my child—in front of me, no less. Beleive me, I totally get what you’re saying, and I agree.

  25. By on September 30, 2011

    She is so stinkin’ adorable, pigtails, shirt and all! :) I didn’t get a chance to comment yet on the actual post that prompted this picutre because this stuff drives me so crazy, I lose the ability to vocalize any coherrant thoughts.

    The other evening I was taking a walk with my son (who was dressed in a t-shirt and blue jeans) and we passed an older woman who stopped to say hi to my son and tell me how adorable he was. I of course, always love these comments, except then when she started to move on she thanked me for dressing him like a boy. What?!!!! I was so suprised by the comment I was rendered speechless again. Serioulsy, this stuff drives me absolutely crazy! I am glad Charlotte loves her shirt again!

  26. By on September 30, 2011

    She has pigtails for crying out loud! How could she not see that she’s a girl! Sillyness. (Plus how rude of her. that’s just not cool. you wouldn’t walk up to her and ask about her bad haircut or something, right? rude.)

    On the flip side my sister was once called a boy and refused to wear pants for years! My mother still likes to tell that story. She was probably 3 or 4 at the time with the classic ‘80s bowl haircut, so she did look a bit like a boy (totally could’ve passed her and our boy cousin off as twins).

    The shirt is adorable! My daughter wears “boys” sneakers because everything else in the store was over the top pink and these are simple white and blue. So far the only comment I got was from my own mother. But then she had to listen to me rant about how there were no “non pink” colored girls sneakers out there. Hang in there!

  27. By on September 30, 2011

    I LOVE that shirt… coming from a *woman* who wears polo shirts 90% of the time. She looks beautiful in it just like she does everything else she wears because she is a beautiful little girl. Thank goodness you have different kinds of clothes for her to wear because she will have all kinds to choose from when she grows up. And she will still be beautiful.

  28. By Dianna on October 09, 2011

    Okay, well, it looks like I’ll be the minority here, but it kinda looks like a boy shirt. If she didn’t have the pigtails in, I can kinda see where the lady was coming from. SORRY!!

  29. By on October 09, 2011

    Dianna - I think the entire point of Sarah’s post is that gender shouldn’t be defined by clothing. Years ago, a woman wearing pants was considered to be “improper”. We think that’s absurd, so what’s not absurd about telling a toddler (a very impressionable mind) that she’s wrong in choosing her favorite comfy shirt because it defines her gender.

  30. By Sarah Christensen on October 09, 2011

    Dianna - It doesn’t bother me that the woman mistook Charlotte for a boy.  People make assumptions all the time and to assume that a child with short hair (it wasn’t in pigtails at the park) and wearing a blue polo shirt is a boy isn’t absurd to me.

    The part that bothered me was that the woman TOLD Charlotte, actually said to her, that she SHOULD NOT wear that shirt because it wasn’t a color befitting a girl.  The woman gave Charlotte the impression that because she’s a girl, she is not supposed to wear this particular shirt, that this particular shirt is only suitable for boys.

    I personally find that notion ridiculous at best.  She’s a kid!  She loves this shirt because it’s comfortable, because she loves the color blue, because she knows what stripes are.  Nobody should tell her that it’s unacceptable for her to wear it because she’s a girl.  THAT is what bothered me.

    At the time, I handled the situation by pointing out to the woman that I wear blue shirts.  Me!  A WOMAN!  And I talked to Charlotte about it later.  In the future, I think I’ll be much more firm if anybody tries to tell Charlotte what she should and should not wear or how she should and should not behave based on her sex.  I wouldn’t let someone tell me that because I’m female, I shouldn’t wear blue, after all, so why should I let someone tell my daughter so much?





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