Monday, March 17, 2008

Blue is for Boys...

I had a bizarre memory pop into my head as I rambled along with the daily commute this morning. I remembered suddenly a particular present I was given by my parents and how my vivid imagination turned it into something quite unrelated to what it was.

The present was (as if it wasn't already given away by the picture above) an enormous new set of crayons. Bliss. :)

They came in a large plastic binder that opened up like a storybook. And they were all held firmly in place by grooved plastic holders that lined them up in proper Roy G. Biv order. I was in fits on ecstasy when I received them. I couldn't wait to put them into action and create my next great masterpiece (which, in hindsight was actually how I felt upon beginning every new drawing - unfortunately my talents were not nearly as great as my desire for greatness itself).

However, the random memory pertains to another way in which I played with the crayons which was to assign them genders and play with them like they were dolls or action figures. Weird, I know.

I'm not sure if I was the only kid who ever did this or not, but I always preferred playing imaginary games where I could concoct and act out the scenarios of my choice. And moreover, I preferred to play imaginary games with people as the central figures. I find it interesting now that I am much more drawn to people-centric works of art. I like movies that revolve around real scenarios, and I definitely prefer fiction that mimics real life.

I spent hours playing with these crayons like toys and not art supplies and had a total blast with it. Their carrying case became an apartment house with each groove transforming into an individual living space and their relationships were as complex and interesting as my 7 year old mind could muster.

What I find interesting about all of this is the fact that the crayons were all assigned (by me, of course) a gender. Below I have listed the ones I can clearly remember (see if you agree):

"Girl" Colors:
Aquamarine (one of the few "cool colors" to be female)

"Boy" Colors:
Purple (a boy color, albeit a feminine boy)
Orange (one of the few "warm colors" to be male)

Strange, eh? I suppose that, as a child, my gender was so much a part of my existence that I could not imagine even crayons to not be assigned to one or the other - what else would or could they be? Isn't it intriguing though to think about how children develop in reference to this. If I had been raised in a cave where there were no labels for man or woman, how long would it have taken me to figure out how my body was different or how my instincts were different from boys? Would it have mattered as much? Would there be more equality between the sexes?

Deep questions, kids. Deep.

I'd like to think that as an adult I base my feelings about myself and my self worth on the fact that I am a human being and not on the fact that I am a female, but I have to admit that I do find myself with preconceived notions of what I should do or be based on what other women are and not on what other men can do or be.

Based on this, I have decided that I will not paint my little girl's room pink. Nor will I paint my little boy's room blue. I think green will be the choice - although according to me green will probably turn my little girl into a masculine mess.

So be it! :)


midwest princess said...

haha, you are a nut!

i agree about not painting my girl's room pink though. ick!


Traceytreasure said...

I just added you to my favorites!

Anonymous said...

I gave colors genders too, but Brooke and I discovered a long time ago that we gave letters and numbers genders also...did you do that?

On a sadder note, you mentioned Roy G Biv in that blog....they actually removed Indigo from the "spectrum" deeming it, 'not really a color' so it's just ROY G BV, whatever that means. Adam told me recently about this ousting of Indigo and I made up a happy story in my head where Indigo and the no-longer-a-planet Pluto escape and have babies together :)

Sensitiva McFeelingsly said...

Stasi: That's CRAP! They should totally not be allowed to de-colorize indigo! C-R-A-P.

But I love the idea of Pluto and Indigo running off to find happiness eleswhere. :) Little baby indigo planets... adorable.