Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Sticky Situation

It's always interesting to me to see where random gender stereotypes pop up in my day-to-day life. Sometimes we can go an entire day without anything making me pause and go hmm... Other times I feel as if my day is just one huge flashing advertisement for gender stereotyping. And then, there are those times when it happens to take you by surprise.

Today was one of those days.

Amongst a string of today's errands was a quick stop at the local bank. In fact, we didn't even have to go inside, but rather were able to accomplish our task from the drive through window. As we wrapped up, the teller took a look into the backseat. Normally they ask if we'd like a sticker, so the words "yes, please" were right at the tip of my tongue. So, the actual question that came out of the teller's mouth certainly threw me for a loop.

"Boy or girl?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. If I was a less secure mama, I would have thought a passing look of judgement crossed her face.

"Um...boy?" I questioned back, unsure of what was going on.

She nodded and proceeded to flip through her massive stack of stickers, presumably looking for one appropriate enough for a boy. In the few seconds that passed, I started wondering what sort of stickers weren't acceptable?

(Can we just pause for a second to even ponder the fact that somebody would even ask this of a 4 year old? Sure, perhaps she couldn't see clearly into my car...I'd grant that, but then there's still the issue that apparently there are some stickers only allotted for girls and others just for boys. Can you tell I'm still shaking my head over all of this?)

Usually, they just grab a sticker and pass it through those mini automated doors.

Sometimes we get lucky and it's a cute animal sticker.

Once we even got a "That's So Raven" sticker, which left both my son and me scratching our heads (most likely for very different reasons). 

Yet, this time...this was the sticker that the bank teller deemed "boyish" enough for the kiddo. 

Should I at least be thankful it wasn't something as blatant as a G.I. Joe sticker? The kiddo never heard the teller's question, and just squealed in delight at the fact he was now rocking a Thomas sticker, so nothing was really jarred in his little world (although, to be fair, he also once squealed over a Barbie sticker too, so...). But as we drove on to our next stop, I just couldn't stop thinking about this sticky sticker situation. 

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Oh Avi, I know they are the devil, but we do visit the big bad McDonalds on occasion and just about ALL of their happy meals are boy/girl themed as well! Of course, they've got an obnoxious display as we walk in, and I ask Patrick which one he'd like more because quite honestly, he doesn't know what's for boys or girls! They look at me funny if I say girl, but really? my kid can't play with the little elephant toy and has to get the CAR or ACTION FIGURE?! sigh...it's ashame, because I don't remember it being like that as a kid :/

For reference, I don't differentiate in my class ;) Some boys today got lady bug stickers, and some days, the girls get robots! Nobody has ever complained....