Pink Or Blue: It's Up To You
“It’s a boy.” My soon-to-be father beamed.
“How do you know?” My young, twenty-two year old mother asked, rubbing her growing belly.
“I just know,” he stated so full of confidence in his twenty-three years of wisdom. My naïve mother nodded, and just like that began the preparation for her son, her soon to be born baby boy. The nursery was painted a pale shade of blue and every outfit perfectly complemented the decor. Brandon Joseph would have an abundance of teddy bears, plush footballs, and a wardrobe in green, yellow, and blue hues.
Needless to say, my parents were shocked upon my arrival into the world. The confusion over the reveal of my gender was only further complicated by rapidly deteriorating health. Born an unnatural shade of purple and unable to breathe, I was rushed into the natal intensive care unit where I spent the first days of my life as “Peanut”. By day three, my vital signs had been properly restored and my parents agreed to name me ‘Brianna’, a name meaning strength and honor. They felt that the characteristics I had displayed in my first days on this planet would prove to sere me throughout my life. Already, by day three of life, I was being honored for my strength and clothed in a onesie with baby jungle animals, tucked beneath my blue nursery blanket. Talk about bending gender stereotypes right from the get-go!
Throughout my childhood, my endless potential was constantly reaffirmed. My mother and father were careful to allow easy access to both ‘gendered’ activities. I played sports, wrestled with my dad and little brother, and loved spending as much time as I could climbing trees in the backyard. But what I loved most of all was playing with my dolls. No matter what sport I was participating in at the moment, I was always sure that my baby dolls were included, wearing matching outfits, cheering on their mom’s athletic endeavors.
As I grew older, I migrated further away from blue and more towards pink. I was raised in such a way that allowed me every possible opportunity to decide which gender I most closely identified with: my choice has and always will be femininity. I am so proud of my feminine identity. I absolutely love being a woman. So my choice to also identify as a feminist seemed only natural. The fact that so many of my fellow lipstick loving, heel hoarding, handbag holding, fellow girly-girls have not followed suit devastates me. What we need more than anything is to stand together.
I have lived my whole life with equal exposure to traditionally masculine and feminine worlds. I am an active leader on my university’s campus, I am a political science major, and I have interned in multiple levels of government. I know what it is like to work in a field dominated by men. And I am here to tell you, we can be feminine without being stereotypically docile and submissive. Standing up for ourselves and making our presence known in the world shouldn't have anything to do with the way we express our gender. Feminism and femininity can go hand in hand.
Our gender has come so far in the world, but we still have a long road ahead to equality. It is our responsibility to continue on this path, forged by our feminist predecessors and to finish the battle they started. It is time that we feel the freedom to choose own our identity and choose our own path in life, be it pink, blue or somewhere in between.
More articles in WMC FBomb by Category: Feminism, Girls
More articles in WMC FBomb by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Gender bias, Women's leadership, Identity