Pink Is Pink and Blue Is Blue; And the Twain Shall Never Meet?

Written By

Ushasi Sen Basu

Pink Is Pink and Blue Is Blue; And the Twain Shall Never Meet? Loading

The ‘honeybunch-suparplum-pumpy-umpy-umpkin’ kind of woman has always gotten on my nerves, with their mincing way of talking and high-pitched girlish laughs; so I decided I would be have to be vigilant from the moment my daughter was born. The first step would be to steer her firmly away from the Trifecta of uber-femininity: Pink, Sparkles and Princesses.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account how busy I’d be with real things that matter, viz., her nutrition, sleep, ‘big jobs’, ‘small jobs’ , exercise and fresh air, reading time, bath-time and every other time. It clean slipped my mind to brainwash my child and push her towards my preferred kind of ‘girlhood’.

One day in her third year, it dawned on me that she adored princesses. And if she had her way, even her food would be pink, with glitter on it. To my surprise, I was OK with that.

Now that I know my daughter, I understand that her fetish for pink, shiny things doesn’t mean she’ll grow into a frivolous, vacuous woman. It only means that right now she likes pink and shiny things. She also loves a host of other, more “character-building” things (books, animals, outdoor sports) that could help her towards being a well-rounded, strong woman.

So I lose zero sleep over this little deviation from the original plan. She’s a smart, spunky individual and she’ll find her own way in the end.

At the risk of sounding like the insufferably smug, know-all mom I’d warned readers against in another piece, let me say that an acquaintance of mine doesn’t get it.

Her case is a little different. While I speak about my worry over girls conforming TOO much to society’s image of women, with their frilly dresses and make-up kits and pots and prams; her “problem” is that her boy likes ‘gentle’ pursuits occasionally. Social conventions are as important as air to her, and her son’s failure to swagger about like a 3-foot thug is a pressing concern. The poor boy is only six, and occasionally comes over with his mother to play with my daughter. This usually involves gender-neutral, ‘acceptable toys’ like balls and mechanical things, but sometimes also my daughter’s tea set.  Together they bring us cups of imaginary tea, daintily set out on a plate with a spoon on the side. They enquire if the sugar is to our satisfaction, and retire giggling to her room to make more.

In the past, his mother used to make a face but carry on talking to me. This time, confronted with the sight of her son holding a tea-cup (for shame!), she erupted with fury and refused to accept his offering. Unsure of what he did wrong, the little boy tried a few more times and was similarly rebuffed.

All the lady’s dreams of a son who’d be strong, virile and masculine enough never to lift a finger in the kitchen and be surrounded by servile women, were probably crashing around her ears as she sat there.

This is despite the fact that the child runs around with his wolf pack raising hell in their complex, from his mother’s own proud reports. I tried to laughingly remonstrate with her, but she remained tight-lipped.

We’ll see very little of the boy from now on. He’s probably being made to frog-march in the hot sun through rugged terrain, as you read this, getting his fondness for pretty toy tea-sets exorcised forever.




Ushasi Sen Basu, 37, lives in Bangalore and is the erstwhile Editor-in-Chief of She published her debut contemporary literary fiction novel, 'Kathputli’ in early 2017, in both Kindle and paperback formats. Ushasi has been a professional writer and editor for over a decade. She also has an unpopular blog called The Crib that pokes fun at everything, including herself. Ushasi (aka Shashi, "U" and 'You-Over-There') loves literature and music, and dances like nobody’s watching. She is the mother of a five-year-old girl, who is the joy of her life and grudging guinea pig for many of her parenting experiments.

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