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Tonks - Confused
Posted on Monday 2 September 2013 at 4:55 pm

Grrl Power (or something)

The scene: A small park in a suburban neighborhood. I'm playing on the swings (because despite my birth certificate indicating that I am 31, I am in many ways approximately 8). Two young boys, perhaps 7 or 8 years old, are riding their bikes around. The boys briefly go into one of the nearby homes, during which time I quit swinging and get on my motorcycle to ride home. As I buckle my helmet, the boys exit the home and walk by me, allowing me to overhear much of their conversation.

Boy 1: Is that a girl on that motorcycle.
Boy 2: Yeah. I think it's the one that was swinging.
Boy 1: Huh?
Boy 2: I think she's the girl who was swinging.
Boy 1: So it's a girl?
Boy 2: Yeah.
Boy 1: But girls can't do that!
Boy 2: Do what?
Boy 1: Ride motorcycles!
Boy 2: Why not?
Boy 1: I don't know. They can't.
Boy 2: Well, she is.
Boy 1: Yeah. She is.

That's about when I left. Here's hoping between Boy 2 and I, we managed to actually get through to poor confused little Boy 1 and break down some of those gender stereotypes he's learned.


eanor at 9:43 pm on 02 September 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Great story! I do hope Boy 1 learned something from the encounter! :-D
bratty_jedi at 1:34 pm on 03 September 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Here's hoping!
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 9:10 am on 03 September 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Gender stereotypes at that age are really quite peculiar. Some children can hold to them in the face of all evidence to the contrary; take them to see a female doctor and they'll still come out convinced that all doctors are men, or that women always wear skirts even though their own mother lives in jeans!

Edited at 2013-09-03 09:10 am (UTC)
bratty_jedi at 1:36 pm on 03 September 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I spent years volunteering in a second-grade class, so kids about the same age as I would guess these boys are. Every year the first time I came in with the motorcycle gear and the first time one of them realized I was wearing a Star Wars t-shrt, there'd be some kind of freak out followed by me explaining that, really, boys can do whatever they want and girls can do whatever they want and there aren't really "boy things" or "girl things."

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