Viral Post About A Kitten Lunchbox Proves Toxic Masculinity Is Bullsh*t

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Facebook/David Pendragon

One adult man + one kitty lunchbox = one great lesson for mankind

The promotion of traditional gender roles and stereotypes can be counterproductive in raising modern children. Embracing whatever our kids like is what’s most important – if a girl likes dolls and princesses, great. If she likes Hot Wheels and tools, also great. The same goes for little boys.

When one guy realized his young, male cousin was being teased for liking kittens, he took matters into his own hands to teach everyone a valuable lesson.

David Pendragon recently shared a Facebook post explaining that his cousin’s young son, Ryker, was being bullied bringing a lunchbox with cats on it to school. Because for whatever reason, society apparently feels that felines are for human beings with vaginas? Who knows. But Pendragon wanted to make the little boy feel better by showing him he’s allowed to like whatever it is that he likes.

“Unfortunately because of its colors, or because it has cats, or both he was teased about it by other boys in his class,” Pendragon says. “He even wanted to stop taking his lunch so he wouldn’t be teased about it any longer.”

Pendragon says he decided to side with his cousin and show him “that a man can love whatever he wants and not be afraid to express that love.” So he bought the same kitty lunchbox for himself and proudly carried it to work at his large, “conservative, corporate workplace.” He shared little Ryker’s story with his co-workers, and they all agreed the lunchbox is awesome, and people should be able to like whatever they want.

Here’s the thing about gender stereotypes — genitalia doesn’t dictate what kids (or adults) find interesting, valuable, or worthwhile. When we deter children from engaging in activities or behaviors that don’t align with the outdated notion of “blue is for boys, pink is for girls,” we’re breaking their spirit. We’re making them feel like they should feel shame about who they are and what makes them happy. Sure, in Ryker’s case, it was other kids who were doing this — but where do we think they learn it? All you have to do is scroll through daily headlines in the news, and there are countless examples of how toxic masculinity harms us all.

“There’s no one way to be a man,” Pendragon says. “Men can be colorful. Men can be expressive. Men can be emotional and silly and gleeful.”

Teaching young boys it’s okay to express emotions and share their interests — whether it’s in professional wrestling or Broadway musicals — can only benefit them, and by default, the rest of society. Also, cat culture is like, so in right now. So Ryker is ahead of the game on that one — Pendragon knows what’s up.

“I love my new lunchbox and I hope Ryker and all the other boys out there can see that their passion and self-expression is never something to be ashamed of.”