Think Pink Boys!!!!!

My son has started Kindergarten this year, it is our first experience with having a child in the school system in America, and it has definitely been an interesting journey.  Although we’ve opted for a different kind of school than normal, one by several of our friends’ admissions, is more “boy-orientated,” as opposed to structured to favor more feminine behavior, my husband has been particularly upset by the still prevalent, undeniably female emasculation of boys.

To put more bluntly, our American schools seem like they’re doing everything they can to get our boys to become less masculine.  We are faced with the task of parenting boys (we have 2 now) who at every turn it seems, are being constantly told that they need to be less male.  To embrace the feminine.  That there’s nothing wrong with them misunderstanding their gender.  That they can in fact, undergo surgery to become a woman, and will be lauded as a hero.

So let me explain… we picked a school based on it’s prestige of focusing on science and technology.  Our friends who have or have had their boys in this school are extremely happy with it.  The school provides smaller classes and teachers that are more able to bend the “rules” to “allow” for the typical boy behavior (and documented scientific need) to move around in order to be able to actually learn what they need to. When the boys get older, they have the option of entering exciting things like Robotics Club, Lego Club, and even are able to experiment at such a young age at learning how to build real amazing rockets!  This school is great, and yes, my husband wanted more than anything for me to do all I could (turn in all the papers on time, fill out the online applications, etc) last year to be able to get him into it.

It started with my husband and I seeing that our son would receive a color to represent his behavior in school each day.  This is the color chart below… take a look and try to tell me that our schools (even schools geared towards boys!) aren’t trying undeniably to feminize our boys:

  • PINK = Outstanding
  • PURPLE = Great Choices
  • BLUE = Good Choices
  • GREEN = Ready to Learn
  • YELLOW = Warning
  • ORANGE = Consequence
  • RED = Parent Contact

The first day, and for the first month or so, our son hovered on Blue or Green, with one Yellow in the entire month.  Every day it became a discussion of him telling me that he really really wanted to get Pink… that he wanted to receive their treat at the end of the year for getting into their Pink & Purple Club Party.  He stressed about it, and each day when he saw he had Blue or Green, he was disappointed in himself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for rating behavior to some degree, schools need to give kids feedback on where they’re at.  At my elementary school, you know in the 90’s (holla!), we had a simple traffic light model that was used in class.  Red, Yellow, and Green, with Green being the best behavior.  My husband and I were angry and frustrated that the top two colors were Pink & Purple.  He wanted to know who came up with that “idiotic idea,” and even the teacher doesn’t exactly know.  It might seem silly to be upset or frustrated at such a small thing, but for our son, this is a major objective (and frustration) in his little life right now.  The goal of getting into that ever flippant Pink zone of outstanding behavior, and the lure, as well as the terror that is not being invited to the Teacher’s Pink & Purple Party.

We were walking in a mall recently, looking around at the shops and spotted a girl’s clothing boutique.  Guess what the name was?  I’ll give you two guesses…

Pink. &. Purple.

No kidding?

You don’ t say?

Well my my… I guess girls really DO hands down almost always love and prefer those two specific colors. But what about boys?  Do you ever see a boys’ clothing store named “Pink & Purple?

Unless there’s some strange attempt at a popular homosexual clothing line that I’ve somehow missed up until now, I believe no such thing exists.

It’s been documented before, many times, that the schools at least here in America are desiring boys to be more feminine in behavior… and not just because girls are easier to manage for the teachers, but as you can clearly see with this color chart even, the feminine behavior is now deemed The Ideal.

The problem with teaching boys that their behavior, their innate, God-given masculine behavior, is undesirable, is that it creates a horrible dilemma inside our boys that wants to reject everything they deem masculine now and in their future.  

If the feminine is held up as the golden standard of perfection, then the masculine is automatically falling short.

This self-rejection (or even self-hatred) of their masculinity lasts far beyond their elementary education, and the damaging effects to our society as we produce more and more effeminate men, paired with our girls being pushed to be more aggressive, controlling, pushy, bossy, spoiled, and sexually promiscuous, we end up having an extremely tumultuous society.

I’ve written before about the “crisis” boys are facing in our culture and especially the school system, our church did a sermon on it that you can find here.

Oh… and my son finally got that elusive Pink.  We were happy that he had such great behavior, but again, what on earth is this teaching him?


  1. Yeah, this would bother me.
    A couple of years back our second son was forced to read a book that touted the Vagina Monologues (he was in fifth grade at the time). It wasn’t the actual Vagina Monologues, but the book spoke about the VM and the females were all the heroes and the men were people of very low character. It was told from a first person “male” teen point of view so I thought it would be male-centric. Bwahaha! I couldn’t believe it. It was beyond inappropriate, especially for fifth graders!
    Anyway, they took that book off the reading list after we got done with them.

    Per “reward” colors…what happened to gold and silver?
    Too classist?

  2. That’s exactly what we thought – gold and silver… ?? I don’t know. I feel a little strange (super nit-picky) in pointing it out in a huff of a post, but it’s just too feminine to be missed!

  3. You’re going to be in this position a lot with the public school system, most likely, Dragonfly girl. Sorry. 😦
    You have to protect your boys. Most likely, they’ll approach you sometime and suggest you get one of your sons tested for ADHD too. You know your kids and it’s your call, but this happened to me a couple of times and I just told them I’d “think about it” and worked with them (helped them with homework and so forth).
    Just a heads up if they are tested and medication is recommended you don’t have the option to refuse and still keep them in the public school (at least, in a few of the states we’ve been in, and I’ll bet Texas is the same).

  4. I have to take him to football practice (lol boys!) but I’ll be back, Liz… so much to comment on that ADHD topic!

    Thank you for always sharing your experiences and thoughts… it really helps.

  5. Originally, pink was the boy color and it was called salmon. Blue was the girl color because it was dainty. Before that there wasn’t boy or girl colors and generations of humanity were more worried about keeping their kids alive than what the colors they wore would do to them. Only in the past few decades has pink and blue been a thing. Imagine how a colorblind kid would feel if the toy he sees as grey gets taken away because he can’t tell it is pink. Color isn’t that big a deal.

  6. I wish I agreed with you! And you know… in a lot of cases I truly do. My son loves to paint, he’s a little artist, and he uses all the colors. He doesn’t despise pink and purple… but you have to look at our culture and how almost every little girl **now**, in **this** day and age either chooses pink or purple to be her favorite colors. When I was growing up, there was this thing we were all aware of… it was the question of “Are you a pink, or a purple girl?” Because it was SO prevalent that girls would love either one or the other, that the question only included those colors. I

    I know I sound nutty… and I’ve got more to comment about what the teacher really said (I love her), but it will have to wait… football calls LOL ❤

    #Keeping my boy a BOY!

  7. I hate pink and purple … every single shade and hue. I was always drawn to blue and it is about half of my wardrobe. My answer to “pink or purple” is “neither!” All kids should have all the colors to choose from, not just two that they are allowed to chose from.

  8. It’s weird how schools do this. Even the way they teach. I have a genius level IQ, got a full ride to college, and now I work in Orthopedics.
    Get this.
    I used to be functionally illiterate! I hated reading. It was a real struggle because I always had to read fantasy stories and I loved factual historical ones. Later I find out from a teacher I was dating that in the 60’s a study came out that said boys learn more from reading factual/statistical material because we are hard wired builders. Girls learn better from fantasy stories. I was pissed and felt betrayed having to motivate myself to like reading.
    I personally believe this is intentional to sabotage boys for future college and job opportunities!
    What’s sad is I wasn’t the only boys coming through my school that suffered, but hardly any girls did struggle. We were academically screwed by this just like now they have boys work in groups instead of individually competing. The grade curve is bad too, because your effort to be the top dog is wiped out.

  9. A lot of gender things are social convention. Men once wore stuff for style that only a drag queen would wear today. They were masculine then, feminine now. That doesn’t indicate it isn’t feminizing to boys to dress them in those clothes. Nor does the fact that pink was not a feminine color at one time indicate it is not a feminine color now.

    One could apply the same concept to language. Words are just sounds. Profanity (for example) is profane because that is its intent. Some words are profane at one time and not another.
    Pink is currently associated with femininity, therefore it is a feminine color.

  10. My 7 year old son would be outraged at pink being the color that represents the best behavior/effort. I can’t tell you how many times he’s said, “I hate pink! It’s a girl color!” I’m sure he would immediately make the connection that if you got pink for being outstanding that means you’re acting like a girl and that would not go over well with him at all.

  11. So sad what you went through… I can’t believe how unfair the system is towards boys (our future men).

    “I was pissed and felt betrayed having to motivate myself to like reading.”

    Of course! Because they were teaching you like you were female, and expecting you to do ok with it – or worse, not caring if you were illiterate!

    Thank you for commenting… did you go to school in Texas also?

  12. My brother and our parents went that route of medicating for ADD… omg the hardship I saw him go through even when we were both young (somehow I understood it) was so horrible. He still resents being put on that medication, and has worked a ton to mentally get over the damage it might have done as well as this stigma he has in his mind of that he was never good enough. Ugh so painful.

    My son, because I’ve been working with him homeschooling him for the last 2 years, is doing extremely well as far as his academics go. He still finishes his homework in 5-10 minutes, wants to do all of it for the entire week, on Monday. And he still loves school… but a lot of that I think is because I made sure he was *ready* for what he’d see in school. And used to having to sit and learn, listen, write, etc.

    He just had a progress report and parent teacher conference this last Friday, and he’s tested high above average in every category.

    And I’ve developed a good relationship with his teacher (she’s really sweet – we’re really lucky with this), and her explanation for why he doesn’t get more pinks is that he’s “just a boy.” But she always assures me he’s one of her best ones in class, so that’s great… but we talk a lot about his “boyness” being the issue. When one of the other boys bump his chair or push him, he defends his space or pushes them back, harder. If they’re excited and laughing and teasing, he immediately joins in – he is a little clown at home. She actually adores him – thank God. But again, she can’t rate him as perfect (Pink)… because “boyness.”

    …. We just never thought… never in a million years, that a special school, perfect for BOYS would have the top two performance/behavior colors be Pink & Purple. It’s like some kind of joke… except that it isn’t.

  13. Wow, guess what just happened… I just got my daughter’s enrollment form in the mail for pre-school next year (our school year starts at the end of January). There are three classes in her pre-school – Butterflies, Dragonflies and Ladybugs. Hmmm, I wonder how all the little boys feel in those classes…
    I know, bugs are not either girl or boy bugs, but these are certainly more “girly” bugs in our culture!

  14. Wow! That is just weird to me, they really are all kind of girly bugs. And you’re in Australia!!!

    We’re lucky our son was randomly placed with a teacher that picked “Superheros” (she does have a boy) to be their “class.” She really is cool… has them call their class library named “Gotham Library,” has lots of superhero references, etc.

    I wonder why do they even have these mascots for their classes… I don’t remember anything like that in school. We just had one school mascot.

    But another class that thankfully he’s not in, is called “Cupcakes.” !!!!!????? So they’re all just little cupcakes… 😦 It’s just too weird… it becomes hard to believe.

  15. I think I am afraid of really embracing homeschooling. I did it for these past two years, very loosely, not following any curriculum since he hadn’t even started kinder… but he REALLY missed other kids and socialization. We met up frequently with my mommy friends and other homeschool mommies (real ones, the ones who actually use curriculum), but it wasn’t enough for him.

    He’s extremely social, and he wanted to be around other children more often than the play dates provided. I have friends that do the homeschool thing very well – they are amazing moms, love them! But even they only have their kids meeting with other kids at a co-op once a week.

    But I can definitely see the pluses and minuses clearer now….

  16. Does she have female superheros for the girls, cause suprisingly lots of people tend to forget they existed unless the female character is drawn half naked

  17. Thats good, i like superheroes but I am just tired of seeing everyrbing with the males and not any females. Its like Wonder Woman,Black Widow,Batgirl,Supergirl,Storm and the other female X-Men plus others dont exist. Plus we superheros merch is made for girls I really hate pink or it the tshort says stuff like my future husband or crap like that- like its not necessary

  18. Resilience.
    I grew up with all of this. Just now getting away from it.
    Great job with this essay. I really appreciate it.

  19. I’ve observed this as well with my boys.
    From my perspective, I think the problem more likely comes from unconscious bias rather than conscious agenda-
    Consider what types of individuals are attracted to teaching primary education as a profession. Not only women, but typically also a particular subset of women who are even less likely to be assertively competitive than average women (who are already less assertively competitive when compared to men). And they are attracted enough in so large a number they’ve come to completely dominate it. Those are the formative years for children.

    They are not well placed to understand (much less encourage), assertive competition among the kids they teach who naturally prefer to operate that way (boys), so those kids will be less favored by such teachers compared to less assertive, more collaborative kids (most of whom will be girls).**

    I also think the current tendency to see “problem behavior” as uncontrollable and requiring of medical intervention (oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, etc,) much more prevalent in boys than in girls (a ratio of five to one last I checked), comes from these same roots.

    **As a side note, even though I’m female I always learned better in competitive environments, rather than collaborative environments, too…and I don’t remember a single ‘competitive game’ outside of classes taught by men.

  20. Liz…”Consider what types of individuals are attracted to teaching primary education as a profession. Not only women, but typically also a particular subset of women who are even less likely to be assertively competitive than average women (who are already less assertively competitive when compared to men). And they are attracted enough in so large a number they’ve come to completely dominate it. Those are the formative years for children.”

    I think that changes in public schools over the last few decades have surely had an influence on what sorts of people are/aren’t attracted to the field. Today one has to be willing to put up with bureaucratic micromanagement, have a high tolerance for meaningless jargon, and be willing to tolerate disruptive students who you are no longer allowed to remove from the classroom–plus, put up with a lot of obnoxiousness from helicopter parents who DEMAND higher grades for their kid. All of this eliminates a LOT of people, male and female, from wanting to be in these jobs.

  21. Dragonfly:

    Do yourself a favor and read Sowell’s Inside American Education. The chapter entitled Preaching, not Tesching is an eye opener concerning indoctrination.

  22. I went to school in Chattanooga, Tennessee & I graduated from Tennessee(Go Vols!). I now live and work in College Station, Texas.
    Common Core education now being pushed is insane! Michelle Malkin talks about it a lot on her blog. If interested, I’d check it out. Glenn Beck has a great book about it too.

  23. Competition is critical for male brain development. There have been time proven biological case studies(I work in Orthopedics so I’m always reading medical journals) showing boys at a young age and men at an older age get higher rates of testosterone releases via winning or achieving something. Get a good grade on a test, winning a competitive championship, or getting a girls phone number all equal a healthy release of the hormone critical for physical and mental development.
    It’s impressive how men are hardwired to benefit from solving problems or achieving goals. We are using our ancient hunter/gather hind brains and our body gives us benefits for this on a biological level. Literally!

  24. Don’t let your fear get in the way, Dragonfly. You can do your boys a lifetime of service.

    Please, if you ever want to talk about homeschooling, want suggestions, anything . . . email me. This emasculation will only get worse as your boys get older and you have the tools to stop it.

  25. BenFromTexas…”Competition is critical for male brain development. There have been time proven biological case studies(I work in Orthopedics so I’m always reading medical journals) showing boys at a young age and men at an older age get higher rates of testosterone releases via winning or achieving something. Get a good grade on a test, winning a competitive championship, or getting a girls phone number all equal a healthy release of the hormone critical for physical and mental development.”

    A book you might enjoy (if you haven’t already read it) is The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, by John Coates. The author is a Wall Street trader turned neuroscience researcher. The book is focused on the effect of hormones (especially testosterone) and other bodily processes on human thought–basically, he is arguing that mind is *necessarily* embodied.

    The downside of the testosterone release when winning is the testosterone cascade, in which you win repeatedly, feel increasingly powerful & invulnerable, until eventually the risk-taking reaches extreme levels and it all comes crashing down. Coates believes this to be a factor in market bubbles.

    He also says that men are generally better than women at short-term securities trading, though about equal in longer-term portfolio management, which he again attributes to hormones.

  26. the top two colors were Pink & Purple

    I would say unbelievable – but these days it’s all too believable. Of course you could have your husband take your son out hunting the teach him that pink is good to eat and purple usually isn’t as it’s part of the intestines and needs to be removed when field-dressing the deer. Put a “male” spin on those colors…

    Have him point that out in school – if you want them to call the cops on him.

  27. Of all things I never thought I’d watch I’ve become a fan of Sumo wrestling. Comes from hanging out with my Japanese friends, anyway to the point… The Japanese have adopted our blue for boys pink for girls thing but traditionally pink isn’t a girl thing. So in the sumo a lot of the referees have pink Kimonos – awesome ones at that.
    You probably know this but when I was working men would prefer I wear pink lipstick to what I thought (red) was sexier, guys seem to love pink its strange that it became so emasculating in our culture.

  28. I remember you saying that about the lipstick color thing in one of your posts. I think pink might be more feminine even in that circumstance than red? Just guessing here!

  29. Nobody can force you to medicate your child, certainly no school system, and not for ADHD.

    Medication for ADHD — which is a real condition, and not a liberal / feminist conspiracy — is strongly suggested for kids who fit the ADHD diagnostic criteria and whose difficulties cause educational and behavioral problems. Suggestion, even strong, is not a mandate, however.

    Medication is NOT the only option, although it is the most successful one in affecting brain chemistry, and behavioral changes, relatively fast. Its long term efficacy is not known, but many ADHD adults are glad it was available to them in childhood. The oldest ADHD drugs, like Ritalin, also have very good long term safety records.

    ADHD is more prevalent in boys not because female teachers cannot stand the boys’ energy (though some situations may fit that mold), but because attention, self-control, self-regulation, and hyperactivity problems that are at its core are indeed real problems, like autism, that affect males in a larger degree and numbers for reasons that we don’t fully understand yet (but which point to influences of testosterone on the developing brain).

    Do not buy into the fear-mongering propaganda about the medical and academic conspiracy against boys. There is no such thing. A child who cannot regulate his attention and behavior at an age appropriate level will have significant difficulties learning, particularly subjects that are relevant to academic success.

    At the same time, and as always, be judicious: observe your child in various settings, do your research, seek multiple consults of relevant professionals, and remember that the ultimate decision about the right course of action is always yours. Keep that in mind, however, with an eye on the well-being of your child, rather than confirming your preconceived ideas.

    And if your child cannot fit in the school setting for whatever reasons, you can always homeschool.

  30. “Medication is NOT the only option, although it is the most successful one in affecting brain chemistry, and behavioral changes, relatively fast. Its long term efficacy is not known, but many ADHD adults are glad it was available to them in childhood.”

    Medication is not proven to be the most successful like you say. And the long-term effects ARE now known, I don’t know how you can be so confident that they aren’t. The long term effects are extremely negative for the child (later adult), they have been proven to damage part of the brain that is involved in drive and ambition, and have been linked to causing depression in males when they reach adulthood. Every adult male that I’ve talked to that had that disorder, was not happy that he was put on those medications.

    Re-read this article I that is based on the research done by Leonard Sachs:

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