Masculinity Doesn’t Have To Be Toxic

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 6, 2018

(I’m a cashier at a small toy store. It’s a quiet day and we haven’t had many customers. A father and son come up with a few different puzzles and a Princess Luna toy. I offer the usual polite greetings and smile honestly.)

Me: “Oh, a puzzle. You must be a very smart boy.”

Little Boy: “Yes, I am!”

Me: “Is the pony also for you?”

(The little boy becomes rather sad and breaks eye contact. The father has a worried look on his face. I take out my keys and Pinkie Pie keychain I got as a birthday present.)

Me: “Pinkie Pie is my favorite because she makes me smile. Who’s your favorite?”

Little Boy: *happy again* “Princess Luna, she protects others from nightmares.”

(I finish ringing up their purchase and they leave. A few days later the father returns.)

Father: “Hi, I was here a few days ago with my son.”

Me: “Little boy with the My Little Pony toy? Yes, I remember. What can I do for you?”

Father: “My son was sad because some school bullies tore apart his MLP notebook, so I brought him here to cheer him up. He doesn’t tell strangers he like Ponies, but you were so nice to him, he was back to his old self.”

Me: “Glad I could help, but honestly I don’t see the problem with boys liking toys targeted at a young female demographic. I personally enjoyed Transformers when I was his age, and still do.”

(The kid and his parents come often to say hi, and I later found out they live in the building across from mine, so I’m almost always their go-to babysitter.)

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