On the morning of the last day of the year 2023, I met two children at the park. One was a girl of around 8 years old and the other was a boy of around 10 years old. They were probably brother and sister. They each played with a remote-controlled car, the boy driving a pink car, the kind you would find in a Barbie collection. I figured they probably swapped cars.

And I was absolutely right. When I passed them, the boy said loudly to his sister, "Are you taking yours back?" A message that was obviously intended for my ears.

This little adventure clearly confirms the full weight of social influence in this area. The boy saw that I was a man, and he felt uncomfortable playing with a "girly" toy around me - even though I was a complete stranger.

Picture: Remote Control Car for Kids (Boys/Girls)

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