Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The Great Gender Divide
It's occurred to me over the past few months that my son and daughter like to talk with me about vastly different things. Not just a wee bit dissimilar - vastly different, like I said.
Now maybe others disagree...perhaps they have sons who have many so-called 'feminine' qualities, or their daughters are 'tomboys' who don't fit the stereotypes. I know my kids are not necessarily 'the norm'. Still, I suspect that there will be quite a few other parents who can relate to what I'm saying.
EXAMPLES of questions/statements from my daughter, Laura:
* "Mummy, what if no-one ever wants to marry me?"
* "When I grow up, I want to be .... a Mummy"
("Really?" I say. "Anything else? Because you know, you can be anything you want. And you could be a Mummy as well as something else, if you wanted to."
"No, I just want to be a mummy")
* "Is there a way not to have babies if you don't want to?" (Yes my sweet, it's called don't even think about it until you're 18. Make that 21. Actually, check with me closer to the time)
* "Do you think this skirt looks good with this shirt?"
EXAMPLES from Ben:
* "When I grow up, I'm going to be a space policeman."
* "Imagine if a crane put its' hook in the river....it could catch a REALLY BIG fish!"
* "Why do ladies like babies so much?"
* "I want some pants with pockets. To put my cars in."
Of course there are plenty of topics they are both interested in... lately we've been talking about the Earth rotating, the sun shining on various countries around the world to create day and night, etc. Both boy and girl are discussing it, and trying to comprehend.
But still I marvel at how the dump truck we bought Laura as a toddler has only ever been used by her to transport dolls around, while Ben has played with any of Laura's multitude of dolls...oh, about twice. I used to think that the differences between sexes were all socialised... you know, inflicted (!) on the children by their parents. And then I became a parent, and saw how wrong I'd been.
OK, so I'm not saying anything new here - just that girls are often girly and boys are often boyish. But it intrigues me. And I like it!