A mother bought her two-year-old son a cup featuring his favorite character Olaf from Disney's Frozen.
Little did she know that the cutesy item would provoke such rage from her husband.
The husband of Redditor "u/aitathecup" was infuriated over the "pink and glittery" cup because he thought that it would turn their baby boy gay.
Clearly the father, like many others like him, were socialized to adhere to gender-specific color associations. Conventionally, blue is seen as a color meant for boys while pink is considered a feminine color.
It wasn't always this way. In fact, it was the reverse.
Also back in the day, boys and girls even wore gender-neutral dresses. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's get back to the Original Poster's (OP) story and her irate husband.
The OP asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for buying her son a pink cup.
"My son is two years old and loves Frozen. We watch it multiple times a week and Olaf is his favorite character."
You know Olaf, that lovable snowman?
He likes warm hugs.
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"I found a sippy cup with Olaf on it and got it for him to put in his Easter basket this year. It is pink and glittery."
"When I brought the cup home, my husband was confused and asked who the cup was for."
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The OP was not expecting the following reaction.
"When I told him it was for my son, he flipped out. He couldn't believe I would buy him a pink cup."
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"I told him it was cute, and our son loves Frozen and this had Olaf on it."
"My husband is now convinced I am intentionally turning our son gay."
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"Apparently I also push him to wear 'different' clothes (Colors) and he doesn't like that I got him a pair of tap shoes (which my son loves). Am I the a**hole?"
Redditors agreed she was NTA (Not the a**hole) and admonished her husband for his response.
"No. NTA. Also your son will not be gay because of a pink cup." – Potential-Special
One user shared an interesting bit of trivia, saying that "en entire generation would've been gay" because the color pink used to be meant "for boys."
This user expounded on the historical revelation.
"Actually multiple generations. Prior to a marketing experiment in like the 1800's or early 1900's pink was a 'masculine' colour. Blues, turquoises, greens and yellows were considered 'girly.'"
"Then there was a bit of marketing research done with babies/toddlers with toys for the different genders, dolls, figurines and whatever."
"The young children of either gender favoured and flocked to the toys that were in the colours they were unused to because it was a new and exciting thing. Then boom all of marketing basically dictated pink=girly blue=masculine." – jofadda
According to Jo B. Paoletti – a professor at the University of Maryland and author of Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America – there was a time when the colors blue and pink were never used to make a distinction between boys and girls.
In fact, color association between genders wasn't introduced until the mid-19th century, when, during that time, blue and pink were associated with the genders opposite of what is expected now.
The Smithsonian said that a trade publication from 1918 called the Earnshaw's Infants' Department noted:
"The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls."
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It wasn't until the wake of World War II that fashion brands and retailers reversed the perception of gender colors. Over time, toys and accessories were marketed to consumers indicating that blue was meant for boys and pink was meant for girls.
Of course, nowadays, the concept of the color dichotomy and gender norms have been challenged or rejected altogether.
Some of the comments didn't go as deeply.
"I thought the main color in frozen was blue. I don't remember seeing pink anywhere in the damn movie." – Cory-gang
"Frozen 2 has a strong pink/purple element for some of the forest spirits." – Jhudson1525
Other comments reeked of sarcasm, a favorite tone often used on Reddit.
"You'd think so but it starts with the pink cup and ends with little Timmy going on the playground flirting with all of the other kindergarden boys.and for this reason YTMFA /s" – username12445
"You know the old adage- pink cups in preschool, gay sex in college." – skeever2
"Honestly. If my kid starts flirting in the playground with someone regardless of gender i'll probably be blown away and impressed by their confidence. I'm still terrified of girls!" – Jakcris10
This Redditor was surprised the husband would think that the pink cup would hold more influence over the other conspicuous item.
"If anything, the tap shoes and the love of musicals is what makes him gay."
"Just kidding lol. OP's husband needs to chill out and understand liking something pink or musicals doesn't make his son gay. Loving dicks is what makes a man gay." – kittykate19
For those who could use a reminder:
"It is just a cup. It sounds like husband has some issues here if he gets that angry over a cup."
"Also, nobody gets 'turned' gay or straight. People love who they are going to love and nobody can do anything to change that. But the kid is way, way too young to worry about that sort of thing." – bernyzilla
Some kids like multiple colors. What would that make them? Who cares.
"My BFF's 5 old son loves rainbows. They're redoing his bedroom and he wanted a rainbow theme."
"My friend painted clouds on the ceiling, a big rainbow on the wall, with a wall mounted pot of gold for all his toys. Grandma made him a rainbow quilt for his bed. He is in rainbow heaven. It's adorable." – canadian_maplesyrup
"That's awesome! I think we need to just let kids be kids. The world sucks enough as an adult."
"I couldn't imagine watching the light fade from my sons eyes if I told him Owen (his prized TY owl) had to go because he was a 'girl's' toy."
"Why crush a kids spirit because of your own perceptions and skewed views. Your friends son loves colors.. could grow up to be an amazing artist..if you tell him rainbows are for girls you might crush what he could've become..food for thought I guess." – z00k33per0304
"Right???? Who cares???? I can't imagine anything less important than caring about the colour, and so called gender, of a child's toys."
"Let them play, let them have fun. There are a few trillion more important things in this world to worry about."
"Encourage kids, have them explore and learn, that's what childhood is all about." – canadian_maplesyrup
Meanwhile, the hubby was slammed for overreacting.
"I detest how 'boy' things are aspirational for girls, and 'girl' things are degrading for boys. Says a lot about what we think of women."
"I also hate how your husband thinks that being degraded by feminine things results in being gay. That's incredibly insulting to both women and gay men - neither of which fall into the category of 'men, but lesser.'" – spenardagain
"NTA - If sh*t like that keeps up you husband is gonna pass on his toxic masculinity to your son. It's not good for either of them." – sushi_with_an_n
"NTA but your husband is TA. If your child was gay, so what?"
"I doubt a pink cup would have an effect on his sexual preferences and we are talking about a child here so I'm not even sure why is this an issue."
"Has he said other homophobic things in the past? That's really embarrassing and terrible on his part. I hope your son loves the cup. Olaf is a cutie." – emonikolatesla
"NTA. Your husband's masculinity is quite fragile, probably due to how he was raised. He's offended over a color and believes that 'unmanly' things automatically equates to being gay = yikes."
"I worry for your son, and hope that your parenting will be enough to allow him to grow up to like whatever he likes, without having to worry about it being 'gay' or 'girly.'"
"So many young boys are pressured and punished for not following society's ideas of what it means to be a boy, and then they grow up to repeat the cycle. :(" – -shayla-
Maybe this will calm his nerves.
"She has discovered her husband's weakness however. If she never needs to repel him she just needs to throw some pink glitter in his direction. He will scream like a banshee and run full tilt so as not to be tainted by the pink."
"I wonder if you can use it like a salt circle to ward off evil too?" – LokiTheMischiefOfGod
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Geez, lighten up, dad.
The one thing your boy will eventually be turning into is a grown man with the capability to love and be with whomever makes him happy.