This man is helping end toxic masculinity one kitten lunchbox at a time.

Cats are the undisputed rulers of the internet.

And because recent research suggests that our feline friends would murder us all if they weren't so small, it's probably best that we continue appeasing them by purchasing shirts, mugs, and all other manner of cat-branded accoutrements to continue showing our undying fealty to these juggernauts of the animal kingdom.


There's one problem, though: Despite the fact that cats are metal AF, they're somehow still seen as animals "only girls like."

Ridiculous, right? One man certainly thought so. And he's doing something about it.

In an April 2 Facebook post that's gone viral, David Pendragon told a story that's both heartbreaking and uplifting.

It involves his cousin's 10-year-old son, who was bullied for bringing a dope-ass lunchbox covered in a violently hued array of kittens to school.

From Pendragon's post:

"My cousin, Emily, has a 10 year old son named Ryker. Ryker, who loves cats, was very excited to get his new lunchbox. Unfortunately because of its colors, or because it has cats, or both he was teased about it by other boys in his class. He even wanted to stop taking his lunch so he wouldn't be teased about it any longer."

How messed up is that? Spoiler alert: very.

Of all the everyday disappointments of being a kid, I can think of nothing sadder than being told you shouldn't enjoy something just because it's "girly."

My cousin, Emily, has a 10 year old son named Ryker. Ryker, who loves cats, was very excited to get his new lunchbox....

Posted by David Pendragon on Monday, April 2, 2018

What's wrong with being "girly"? Absolutely nothing.

But it's that kind of thinking that can trap boys in patterns of toxic masculinity (via harmful messages like "men don't show emotions," "men don't cry," and "men should reject anything that's considered to be feminine") and demean women.

And yet, as a society, we continue to perpetuate this idea for no other reason than "that's the way it's always been."

But it hasn't.

Did you know that pink used to be a "boy" color?

A quick bit of history: It wasn't until the 1940s that blue became synonymous with boys. In fact, for a long time, Smithsonian.com notes, boys would wear white dresses and have long hair until the age of 6 or 7. This was seen as gender neutral. When colors came into the picture, pink was initially seen as the most "masculine" option.

In 1918, pink was prescribed for boys due to it being a "more decided and stronger color," having been derived from the bold color red. For girls? The "delicate and dainty" blue.

But it got even more complicated, with shifting trends suggesting that blue and pink weren't about gender at all, but about babies' coloring. Have a blond kid? Wrap 'em up in blue. Your baby's first hairs showing up a dark auburn? Swaddle 'em in pink.

In 1927, Smithsonian.com adds, Time magazine published an article informing parents which colors were "appropriate" based on sales at top department stores. The color for boys? Pink.

So, what changed? Manufacturers interpreted these changing customer preferences and switched things up. Generations since have been passing down the idea that boys and girls have specific, gender-prescribed color preferences.

And sometimes, when these views are challenged, moral panic ensues.

Remember what happened when Target decided to go gender neutral for in-store signs advertising kids' clothes and toys? Or the much-to-do that occurred when a father bought his daughter a "Little Mermaid" doll? (That kid's got good taste, by the way. Ariel's the undisputed best of all the Disney princesses.)

Forcing kids into gender roles at a young age is harmful.

As Cassandra Stone points out on Scary Mommy, making kids choose what they like based on how their genitalia looked at birth is breaking their spirits and setting them on a path of self-denial.

Why shouldn't a girl love monster trucks? And why shouldn't a boy love kittens? Or dresses? There really isn't any reason except a desperate clinging to archaic thinking. (Check out FDR rocking a white dress and long hair in 1884. He grew up to be president.)

And isn't that what we should really be focusing on — making the world a safer place for everyone to express themselves? It's more important to make sure that all kids learn it's OK to be themselves.

Pendragon agrees. That's why he's stepping up for his cousin in the best way possible.

"So I have ordered the same lunchbox for myself and proudly carried it to work today at my large, conservative, corporate workplace," he wrote. "I've told anyone who asked the story behind my lunchbox and ... they all stand with Ryker too."

"There's no one way to be a man," he added. "Men can be colorful. Men can be expressive. Men can be emotional and silly and gleeful."

Most importantly? Men (and boys) can step up for others to end the notion that we can't like what we like and feel what we feel. It's up to us to encourage each other to just be ourselves.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

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Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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