As Cyndi Lauper famously said, "Girls just wanna have fun." And fun - according to the parks and rec people in Richmond Hill, Ont. - is narrowly defined as scrapbooking, baking and getting manicures. At least those were the activities proposed in their Girlz Rock camp.
Da Boyz, on the other hand, are promised a more "extreme" agenda, including rollerblading, biking, swimming and playing ultimate Frisbee.
I know, I couldn't believe it either. It being the year 2016, I pinched myself, but nothing happened.
But blessed be the powers of social media, because the people who climbed out of their rock caves and dreamed up this grossly stereotypical summer programming were forced to own it.
A similar event transpired at the Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Ottawa which offered boys paintball, card tournaments and go-karting, while the girls were stuck doing yoga, make healthy snacks and create jewelry.
All great activities, all great for both genders. Clearly the programming people in Richmond haven't yet seen the viral photos of their own PM Justin Trudeau masterfully assuming peacock pose...
And just as well we don't live in Ottawa - or Richmond Hill for that matter - as my seven-year-old son would be begging to sign up to the girls' club!
What is terrific about Twitter and Facebook is that it takes no prisoners. Following their public shaming, Richmond Hill has renamed its camps, and Dovercourt is facing similar pressure.
It's our jobs as parents and as citizens to call out sexist and engendered nonsense every single time we see it. That is the only way forward.
I still dream of the day when my son can crochet and not feel embarrassed or ridiculed, and every daughter out there can kickbox till her heart's content. That time hasn't come yet, but we're getting a bit closer each day.
It can be hard when your child leaves home for the first time. The empty nest is real. And it goes both ways. One mom made sure her son didn't miss out when he went abroad to study.
Tennessee native Dalton Ross felt guilty when he moved to London, so he mailed a cardboard cutout of himself to keep his mom company.
“I was settling in and wasn’t talking to my mom as much,” Ross said. “So, I thought it would be funny if she got an unexpected package that was a life-size version of me.”
I wish I had thought of this prank when I went abroad at the same age. There were no iPhones then, no Facetime or Skype. I had to rely on snail mail and random smelly phone boxes. As an only child, I missed home badly. Keeping in touch wasn't easy.
But this mom Susan Talley clearly has a wicked sense of humour.
Dalton was never lonely. Neither was she. She made sure her flat son went everywhere she went - from basketball games to the dentist's office.
Much like the travelling garden gnomes, Cardboard Dalton got around. In fact, he even had a special date on Valentine's.
Instead of sending the photos straight to Ross himself, she posted images of her facsimile son to her Facebook page. Touche, mom. Touche.
As the 22-year-old put it: “My mom is funny and out-joked me on this one.”
And in the process she has given her son new inspiration. He plans to send Cardboard Dalton in his place to morning lectures so the real Dalton can sleep in. Touch of the Ferris Bueller.
Image Source: Facebook