We arrive in this world stark naked, fists clenched and bawling to beaming yelps of approval before we are pigeon-holed into bundles of pink for girls and blue for boys.
That sort of stereotyping then leads to exposing males to dumb bells, cars and power tools while the females are ushered to aisles of dolls, cosmetics and frilly frocks at shopping malls.
The blokes eventually embark on a rugged journey into manhood to shoulder the responsibilities of "being a man". Women are herded into roles of nurturing, cooking and washing. The gender shackles, therefore, shun career choices that stray from the norm, as it were.
In essence, society is guilty of limiting the choices of children based on age-old, reinforced principles passed off as traditional values although that has been changing in contemporary times albeit, it seems, not fast enough in some quarters in Hawke's Bay.
Primarily people have established institutions that expose children to societal prejudices at an impressionable age.
Consequently pre-schools, kindergartens and schools can be quite conformist in gender conditioning.
All of which takes me to the demoralising but equally uplifting case of Briar Hales, of Havelock North Intermediate School.
Hales, a year 7 pupil, had withdrawn from her schoolboys' first XV rugby team because five rival school principals were against her playing alongside and against other boys in their Super Six tournament.
The disapproval of Hastings, Heretaunga, Napier, Tamatea and Taradale school principals came with a refusal to bend the rules and a threat that if Havelock North Intermediate had fielded the 11-year-old her team would forfeit points.
That Heretaunga principal Michael Sisam and Taradale counterpart Rex Wilson are hiding behind the "girls play sevens and boys XVs" rules or the "structure" was there to cater for the majority, not any individual is myopic and draconian.
ICC need to front up with stats on Sri Lanka bias claims
Football Ferns' blueprint issue, not individual quality
Kohli clapping gesture to India fans timely diplomacy
I went to Heretaunga to do a colour piece on Hales as a player last Wednesday only to find the "caretaker" masquerading as "security" in a fluorescent green vest and threatening to call the police for trespassing. It shows how adrift some schools are from reality.
Hey principals, get out from behind your gender-biased aprons and leave the kids alone.
Did it ever occur to them arguments built on the platform of majority can also equate to mob rule?
It takes me back to Heretaunga Intermediate almost two decades ago when I took on such archaic rules to see why my elder daughter couldn't play in the first XI boys' cricket team. I lost that fight on the grounds of girls play in their gender competitions, never mind a Ray Mettrick-mentored boys' team couldn't dismiss her in a Cornwall Park age-group game one afternoon. Mettrick had no qualms about injecting elite female players.
Eight years later my younger daughter not only played in the first XI Heretaunga boys' team but got invites from Hereworth School as a member of an elite boys' XI to play against that school's first XI sides preparing for the nationals.
Ironically, both the girls had played in boys' competitions, including the annual Riverbend Cricket Camps, in their age groups.
However, the younger one, who had claimed the bragging rights for the most economical bowler in boys' age-group rep teams for three summers, was told after a rep selection in Napier she couldn't remain because she was "taking up a boy's place".
Seriously? Did it ever occur to the naysayers that boys give way to the girls perhaps because they simply aren't good enough.
Gender should never be a yardstick for selection. If you're good enough, you're old enough. My younger one debuted as the youngest domestic cricketer — male or female — at 13 for the Central Districts Hinds, going on to train that year with the White Ferns and former Black Cap Shane Bond before taking a double-wicket maiden against England in Christchurch in a warm-up game.
You see, we live in a society where if a woman is successful she's deemed to be the exception that proves the rule.
Gender injustice is a social impairment and, consequently, has to be corrected in attitudes and behaviour.
The most important factor in determining success stems not from one's gender but individual perseverance. Those with foresight and devoid of hidden agenda provide the breaks along the way.
"The fact I'm the third female Prime Minister, I never grew up believing my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I wanted," New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern once famously said.
Hear, hear those ducking behind mindless bureaucracy. It's about challenging the absurd gender distinctions learned from childhood and carried into adulthood.
A gender line puts people in a cage. Braden Sycamore, 13, of Gisborne, for example, can't play netball because it goes against the rules of the governing body even though he is physically inferior to most female peers, according to a Fair Go report on TV1.
Where safety and incompatibility kick in it's reasonable to impose rules to protect the welfare of all but dogmatic rules defy logic.
In the Bay, females have ventured into male domains to go on to excel in the female realm.
Former White Ferns cricketer Sara McGlashan competed in boys and men's grades to reinforce how correlation in cross gender engagement can do wonders.
Kate Bradshaw not only played Ross Shield rugby but also co-captained Hastings West at 12 in 2006 before representing the Hawke's Bay Tuis in women's provincial rugby.
Halfback Gemma Woods and Kiwi Fern loosie Shaan Waru played Ross Shield while ex-Black Fern Amy Williams played schoolboys' rugger until the 13 cut-off age.
Former Napier City Rovers player Claudia Crasborn created history as the first female player to compete at premier men's club football in 2009 on the way to NZ U17 Fifa World Cup credentials.
White Sox pitcher Rita Hokianga and catcher Melanie Gettins will be in their fourth consecutive Bay premier men's softball season with the Flaxmere team if they compete this summer.
No doubt, a lack of foresight would have robbed the above of those opportunities. It's an issue that should be the lowest common denominator for all because everyone has a grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, wife and granddaughter who could be discriminated against.
Structures, especially at an impressionable age, should be established to foster development not hinder it.
How reassuring is it that Hales' teammates, with their school's blessing, voted unanimously to include her and forfeit points in Super Six.
The future certainly looks brighter.