Unisex baby names are all the rage at the moment. Department stores are starting to make their toy sections ‘gender neutral’. And I still don’t know if Tweety Bird is male or female.

But that’s still no excuse for calling my daughter a boy.

Yep, I’ve heard it all. “What a gorgeous boy”. “My daughter just had a son too”. “Is he being a good boy for you?”

Well no, my child isn’t being a very good boy. For starters, ‘he’ doesn’t have the main appendage that would indicate the presence of an XY chromosome.

Secondly, ‘he’ is dressed entirely in a pink outfit with rainbows and carrying a bright pink teddy with PRINCESS hand-embroidered across its torso. So unless she pulls a Tonka Truck from her ass and lifts her leg to fart in your general direction, my daughter is failing epically at the stereotypical ‘boy’ thing.

I accept most babies look unisex at first.

They’re all wrinkly and hunched up, like little squirmy gnomes. But that’s why we invented pink and blue, isn’t it? So you wouldn’t label someone’s kid by the wrong gender? So you wouldn’t have to hear the low growl that escapes my throat as you lean over my pink pimped pram in the shopping aisle? (Don’t worry, I would never REALLY growl. That’s very unladylike and I wouldn’t want to teach my baby girl bad manners. She already has a hard enough time proving she has a vagina).

Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe it’s because back in the olden days when there were dragons, everyone wanted boys to work the fields and procreate – and girls were left to scrub floors, prick their fingers on sewing machines and marry their hairy kidnapper under the impairment of Stockholm Syndrome (back then they called it ‘Love’). So then if anyone was seen outside with a baby it MUST be a boy,  because girls and kitchens right?

Then again, maybe I didn’t give enough hints.

I mean that pink dress could easily be confused for a muumuu. And those toenails I painted on her when I was feeling bored one night (don’t judge me) could also be indicative of an extremely premature teenage boy ‘emo’ phase.

On a side note, have you ever noticed that many species of male butterfly have streaks of pheromone-producing scales on their forewings? Of course, you didn’t. Just like you obviously didn’t notice the BIG PURPLE butterfly on the BRIGHT PINK dummy protruding from her MOUTH.

That’s OK though, you never have to see me again. And she could always grow up to be a raging lesbian anyway (which I’d be totally happy with by the way).

Just next time you approach a stranger’s pram to see the baaaaaaby, please utilise your awesome powers of perception before you pass comment to the ragged, sleep deprived, hormonal, quick-to-anger mother behind the wheels.

Has this ever happened to you? SHARE your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com


  • This happened with one of my nephews – he had the most glorious blond curly locks but, even being dressed in blue, wearing a cap and a t-shirt saying “Mum thinks I’m the best boy ever:” he always got refereed to by strangers as ‘such a pretty girl”!

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  • This has never happened to me and my son, but I think alot of the time its an honest mistake, just correct them and move on

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  • My baby girl has a very feminine name and I always dress her in pink, purple, floral patterns etc and one nurse in the hospital kept calling her a boy!!! Drove me insane!

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  • I am sure some do it out of pure error whilst others to get a reaction (unfortunately there are people out there that enjoy pushing buttons)…giving it really doesn’t matter may I suggest not reacting.

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  • My son is 2 and he still gets called a girl. Sometimes you have to correct them multiple times as they are adamant he is a she. With his dinosaur shorts and Thomas the Tank engine shirt and monster socks, blue sneakers and a Hot Wheels car in each hand. Totally feminine.

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  • The exact same thing happened to it didn’t bother me I just ignored the person and didn’t even answer

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  • Has happened to me too – I gave up worrying about it after a while – just smiled and walked on.

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  • I think I vaguely remember this happening once with my first son.

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  • I was always told my son was too pretty to be a boy!!

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  • I was regularly mistaken for a boy when I was a baby & looking at photos I can see why! Funnily enough though, my youngest son has been mistaken for a girl a few times & he was the spitting image of me as a baby lol! I started getting paranoid that I was dressing him too girly :)

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  • My obstetrician – who delivered my Son by emergency C-section – wrote to me (and copied to the GP), that he had delivered a healthy baby girl! Then, at my pregnancy planning visit – 4 years later – he asked me how my 4 year old daughter was going. Ah, who was the 4 year old boy in the room with me! He must have thought I had another one at home???

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  • Never ever happened to me with my boys. Although I had an elderly aunt who had known me for years and she asked my mother “who that boy was that opened the door for her?” It was me, aged 16 with a new pixie haircut. Maybe the person had bad eyesight lol.

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  • Both my first two babies (both daughters) got called “beautiful boys” by strangers. Even when wearing hot pink. And in the case of my eldest, with a pink dummy in her mouth (second wouldn’t have anything to do with dummy’s).
    Now with my third baby – a son – people ask “another girl?” even when he is wearing blues, blacks etc.
    (There was that one time I used one of the girls old light pink wraps for him and Santa asked the girls about their “new baby sister” and they just looked at him like he was blind!)

    Of course when I correct people with my son, and say he is a boy I so often get “you finally got what you wanted then!” And don’t seem to like it when I answer “we decided he was the last for us whether he was a boy or girl – and we didn’t find out if we were having before he was born”.

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  • Your article made me laugh. Happened to me all the time with my baby girl and I used to be quick to get upset about it as well. Good news – your baby won’t be a baby forever and soon it will be apparent to most people that she’s a toddler girl. Although I hate to break it to you but there are still people who will call her an “adorable boy”. I always think they should’ve gone to specsavers?!

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  • I can’t believe that people can be silly enough to think that your girl was a boy when you most certainly had her dressed and accessorised as what she is and that is a girl. When I had my son 9 years ago & I was still in hospital one lady who I bumped into in the hall was taking a look at my baby & said what a beautiful girl, I wasn’t offended but I did correct her. My son had no identifying clothing, wrap etc. to indicate boy and he did look like a perfect little doll… poor kid honest mistake.

    Reply

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