A mum has sparked fury at her six-year-old daughter's birthday party after offering children gendered lunchboxes filled with party food.
The mother posted on Reddit asking for opinions after another mum expressed outrage at the party for buying the Frozen lunchboxes for the girls, and Spiderman for the boys.
"I found these cute lunch sets that came with a lunchbox and water bottle on sale, so instead of having plates of food set out and the kids grabbing stuff, I thought it'd be fun if each kid got a lunchbox filled with food and juice in the bottle, and they could take the box/bottle home," she explained on Reddit.
"I bought Frozen lunchboxes for the girls and Spiderman for the boys. The day came, all the kids had a blast and when it was time for lunch I gave them the lunch sets. I did grab a couple of extras in case the kids wanted the other lunchbox (so if a girl wanted Spiderman, vice versa) but no one said anything and they all seemed over the moon with it."
The mum said the issue began when another mum saw the boys and girls with the lunchboxes.
"She asked me if I did that on purpose, to which I replied, 'yes, I bought Frozen for girls and Spiderman for boys because I thought it'd be cute'," the mum explained.
"She went on to say that I was 'enforcing gender norms on impressionable young children' and 'stuck in the 1900s'.
"I was a bit baffled and said that was not my intention at all, and if her daughter wanted the Spiderman set I would be more than happy to give it to her since I had extras.
"She said that's not the point and I shouldn't have been giving out things based on gender in the first place. I told her it's not really that deep, to which she huffed and took off. I thought about it and am wondering if it was a bad idea to have 'gendered' lunch sets and giving stereotypical girl things to the girls and stereotypical boy things to the boys?"
She added she had the children form a line to retrieve their lunchboxes, and gave them the choice for which one they wanted.
"Which ended up being all the girls went for Frozen and the boys went for Spidey," the mum said.
"The reason I handed them out instead of leaving it out on a table for them to grab was that I didn't want the kids to fight over one another to try and get food, I thought it'd be easier if I gave them out one by one."
Mum defended for 'cute' idea
Many people on Reddit jumped to the mum's defense, and said the parent with the issue was being "ridiculous".
"Geez they are 6 years old for crying out loud. You even bought extra to accommodate a boy who wanted Frozen or a girl who wanted Spiderman so I don't get where you are 'enforcing' anything. I'm a mum of 2 and would have no issue at all with this and think you had a really cute idea," one said in support.
"It's a bit cliché, [to be honest], but hardly offensive," another claimed.
"You didn’t really enforce anything – the kids had choices – you just offered things in the way that was the least likely to make waves," a third added.
"You can’t really win when somebody is looking to be upset. I’ve done kids events where parents were upset that things weren’t gendered enough. I wouldn’t worry about it."
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