“What Does His Daddy Think About That Hat?”

It’s just a hat. So why does my son get so much attention for it? It doesn’t have spikes coming out of it or flashing lights like his Spider Man boots. It’s just a boring winter hat. Oh, and it’s pink.

a boy and his hat

When I first started hearing the comments– “Well, isn’t he cute in that pink hat.”, “Were they all out of boy hats?”, “Poor thing, your mom putting you in a pink hat!” (Yes, swear to God all three of those were said to me…in public)– I considered writing about it but convinced myself  I was making more out of this than was really there. Well, if you have ever raised a two year old, you know that phases of “favorites” can last weeks. The little guy is well in to his third or fourth week of wearing this pink hat every time we go out in public. I can’t not notice how often and what kind of attention he gets for the damn thing. It was the question I placed in the title that pushed me over the edge, and drove my fingers to tap out this snarky, frustrated rant.

Little Man and I were in a local convenient store, splurging on a chocolate milk and a hot cup of coffee to go. I was snapping the white, plastic lid tightly on the paper cup when I heard it…”What does his daddy think about that hat?” It was followed by a half-ass, ingenuous laugh oozing with sarcasm and homophobic tones. As if to imply he would never tolerate his son walking out in public wearing a pink hat. No boy of his would be seen as “girly”, or in other words, weak. Something in me just snapped. I had had it with the comments. I ripped the lid off the coffee and drenched the asshole in caramel macchiato flavored brew.

Ok. So maybe I didn’t actually throw the coffee at him but I seriously wanted to. I mean I saw the scene playing out in my head but decided I would rather enjoy the coffee I just spent $3 on rather than waste it on someone who would never understand why I threw it in the first place. Instead, I didn’t acknowledge his “joke” at all and headed out of there before I went all Gloria Steinman on his ass.

Let me honestly tell you what my husband thinks about that pink hat. He fucking loves it. He will choose it before my son sometimes, because it’s not a fight to put it on his big, beautiful head when it’s -10 outside. He sees it for what it is. The hubs may have face palmed the first time he saw the little dude twirling around in his sister’s princess dresses, but he isn’t scared that the pink will sink in and turn his son gay. He’s a little more evolved than that, thank you — you chauvinistic, homophobic douchbag.

I don’t usually get so loud and go on the attack over this sort of stuff but that asshat’s question left a bad taste in my mouth. In eight little words, he managed to shame my baby boy for wearing a specific color and assumed my husband should be ashamed of his son because of it. Had I called him out (like I honestly wish I had), I know he would have acted as if it was just a joke…no big deal small talk. He would not have been able to see how offensive his question was because his closed off little brain is just stuck on stupid. To him, boys will be boys, girls should be pretty and homosexuality is something that needs to be “fixed”.

That shit is dangerous and it needs to stop. That man is my age–thirtysomething. I went to school with him. It’s not like he stems from a generation where homosexuality was accepted as a mental health disorder and women “belonged” in the kitchen. He’s actually an intelligent guy, but he chooses to hold on to damaging prejudices. He’s too “manly” to consider for even a minute why seeing a boy in a pink hat bothers him enough to bully a two year old. It makes me sad for his children… and mine.

If I seem a little over the top on this one–good. If you want to call me an angry feminist and tell me to calm down–go ahead. Because I am and I won’t. Do I realize that sometimes a compliment on a hat is just that–yes. But I am pretty intuitive and the sarcastic tone in which “Oh I looove his pink hat” has so often been said this winter has just irritated the shit right out of me. And I just have no more fucks to give if I offend someone by speaking my mind on this. I’m tired of smiling politely and laughing it off to keep the peace. Momma has bit her tongue long enough.

I truly believe we have come along way in combating gender stereotyping, in allowing men to be emotional beings and in accepting that a person’s sexuality is not a personality trait, but we’re not quite there yet. Witnessing the attention my son has received over this ridiculous hat is proof of that. It’s made me realize how important it is to combat that kind of mentality in the only way I know how. Calling it out and raising confident, compassionate children that won’t stand for it either.

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14 thoughts on ““What Does His Daddy Think About That Hat?”

  1. I enjoyed a few snarky laughs over this one. You write so well and so funny. My grand-daughter has a cute army hat that is pink edged but camouflaged in soft green every where else.

    • Ah, thanks for the kind words, Patricia. My daughter has a hat very much like the one you described…and I don’t ever hear comments about her wearing camo! People need to stop picking on our boys and realize a color is just a color and it says NOTHING about the person you are. I hate to take it so serious but that dude just pissed off the wrong little boy’s momma!

  2. When Matt was 4 he wanted his toenails painted-we started with “boy colors” like blue and black, until one day he told me he wanted them painted pink. We got the same type comments-he even had a grandparent say he was going to turn out gay. I responded to that by telling him I’d rather have a gay son that one that acts like him. Needless to say, we don’t associate with the side of the family much anymore, and he also outgrew the nail painting phase. People are going to be judgemental no matter what, I just tell Matt some people are stupid and leave it at that.

    • If my son sees me painting my or my daughter’s nails, he HAS to have his done as well. And he’ll never settle for blue or black. He wants whatever his sister picks…usually hot pink. lol And you’re right some people are just plain stupid. The problem is they don’t realize how hateful their own views are…that’s what really bugs me.

  3. Love the “stuck on stupid” line! No truer words have been written…Lil man is looking sharp in his pink hat! I remember when my Lil man decided he liked pink and wore a pink shirt to school one day, and he was called all manner of derogatory names and picked on so bad he came home from school that day and threw the shirt in the garbage. People are awful and so closed minded…

    • I remember that Patti. How incredibly sad is that?! Our little guy will be just fine, we know that. And that douche bag will get hit with by the karma train at some point. 😉

  4. Wow. Having recently had my first son, this is heart wrenching. Living in Canada’s Northwest Territories, I have to put a blanket of his car seat every day to protect him from the elements. Since my first baby was a girl, these blankets are often pink or purple, and I don’t give a flying eff what people think.Thankfully, I haven’t had any direct comments to deal with. Not sure if it’s because of a general tolerance here, of if it’s just because he’s not really old enough to easily distinguish as a boy or girl. I had a similar reaction to yours, though, when a family member, upon meeting my son for the first time (at one month old), casually said he’d have to take him to the strip club one day. As if hey, that’s what real men do. I didn’t say anything, but it bothered me for weeks. I don’t know what this little human is going to turn out to be like, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be putting verbal constraints on him with that kind of talk. I still feel disgusted.

    • Comments like that make me vomit a little in my mouth…especially if someone was referring to my son!! ugh. I’m not a prude or a Nazi-fem but I have no tolerance for ignorance or macho bullcrap. My first is a girl as well and that is exactly what happens…with the blankets and stuff. That’s why the little dude loves that pink hat in the first place!!!

      • That’s awesome. How wonderful for him to have parents so supportive of his individuality at such a young age 🙂 You rock!

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