Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu

Day 319 – Little boys go to war while little girls have to put on make-up


My daughter loves airplanes. Every day she points to the sky and screams “Jet! Jet!!!” even when there’s nothing to see or point at. After almost two weeks of making us draw jets on the blackboard and on the kitchen tiles, I gave in and went into a toy store to look for a nice plane.

I am used to the blue and pink barrier ever since I gave birth to her, and although I don’t like it I came to understand that the world doesn’t accept other colors when it comes to babies, but today it felt like a little too much. First thing I wanted to buy were some nice animal or Looney Tunes stickers which she loves. I told the girl in the shop what I was looking for and she kept insisting for me to tell her whether I have a boy or a girl and I finally gave in and told her a girl so she instantly grabbed the Barbie and pink stickers, totally ignoring my initial request. I said no politely and asked again if she had any animal or Looney Tunes stickers and she replied: “But those are for boys!”. Although I wanted to punch her in the face, I just resumed myself to ask her again if she had any because I really need it those stickers. Half an hour later I was in the toy store searching for a nice plane. The store was divided into two sections: boys and girls. I knew I wouldn’t find any planes at the girls section, but I just wondered what they had there anyway. Big mistake because as I was stepping one foot slowly in front of the other I was horrified: only make-up and pink everywhere, only dresses and fashion stuff, babies and household objects. I sighed and went over at the boys side. Well, I can tell you that the horror didn’t pass because I entered in a world of war with lots of guns, tanks, pistols all grayish or dark colored. I did find a plane though (white), one that still makes sounds in the living room and lights up the room, but the experience left me with a sour taste.

First of all I don’t understand why the separation? Why is there any need for boys and girls to have different sectors. There are many girls who don’t like dolls and like trains or planes and many boys who love dolls and not cars. So why aren’t there many more universal arranged toy stores. I have been to some very nice toy stores that are a dream come true to any parent or kid. The toys are arranged by use and departments and not at all by gender; but these stores are rare, so annoyingly rare. I have fought this boy/girl war ever since I was a child and it so happens that for now my daughter doesn’t like girly stuff although she has access to it, but society seems to shove it in her face and mine as a mom that she is not normal and that she has a department of her own, a department that was assigned to her the moment she was born.

I have seen many people writing about these issues, many parents trying to fight the idea that a child should act according to his gender and not his/her feelings, but still they all ignore it, still they all do it as if there is only pink and blue left as colors into this world.

About the author

Ela Vasilescu

I’m a writer based in Florence, Italy.

Human nature inspires me, different cultures, traditions, folk stories and the differences which make us unique. Documenting stories is a privilege, a glimpse into humanity, an unforgettable experience, one which I embrace and honour every day.

If you have a story twitching in the back of your pocket, one that is ready to be told, shared and heard, chances are I will be ready to listen; so don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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By Ela Vasilescu
Writer In Florence Ela Vasilescu