Well are there?
As a child I seethed as I was left off football teams because it was ‘boys only’. I raged that I could join the brownies but not scouts and I fumed when the neighbourhood boys told me I couldn’t play because there were no girls allowed. I had little doubt, as a self assured ten year old, that if there was a difference it was irrelevant because girls were better than boys, boys just didn’t know it.
Now I’m a mother, a grown up, but I still feel the same ‘less than a man’ label sometimes applies. I was a stay at home mother, a label I struggled with and the box I thought it put me in, yet no matter how many times I felt a less than valuable member of society or doubted my worth, within me the bolshy young girl I once was continued to fume, ‘girls are as good as boys.’
But are girls really that different to boys? Is the difference genetic, environmental or societal?
Well I’m no expert but after twenty five years of mothering I’ve done my own research. I have three girls and one boy. When they were small I did all in my power to create a level playing field for them, a ‘gender neutral’ environment today’s modern world would call it. My son played with dolls and buggies, my girls shot and killed each other, played football and did not have to wear pink. Yes I was confident I was creating equal human beings.
Did I succeed? Well judge for yourself. Here are my findings as seen in my home.
When I look at my girls and my boy, in general I see them as relatively equal. All appear to be strong, self assured, ambitious individuals who play sport, work and enjoy themselves equally. But what about closer to home? Are there differences of note?
Boys… Bedroom mank.
Girls.. Bedrooms cleaned a little more often, but two of the three bedrooms are generally also mank.
Girls…Clothes: Four outfits worn in one day, all left on the floor, but mostly clean. Tend to remove them to laundry basket when floor is too full. Clothes are usually clean when placed in basket.
Boys… Bed: Never made. Variety of clothes, books, rubbish, and bags scattered on top as he sleeps beneath them.
Girls bed: Never made. Anything placed on it is scattered onto the floor before getting into it.
Boys…bedclothes: Rarely ever changed by the owner. White sheets go from grey to black with no notice taken. No cleaning product yet produced to renew them.
Girls bed:Changed at intervals, usually accompanied by much love directed at the mother and major hints at how hard they are working and how little time they have. Sigh, sigh. Hint, Hint, please help.
Boys… shoes: A pair of runners, a pair of work shoes and perhaps two pairs for ‘going out’.
Girls… shoes: A shoe in every style, colour and heel size. Many boots also.
Boys…Bedroom: Bare walls, a dust ridden locker, a wardrobe with doors that are never shut and a chest of drawers also open with clothes spilling out.
Girls Bedroom: decorated with ornaments and photos and momentoes.
Boys….Bedroom smell: boys own.
Girls… Bedroom smell: perfume and nail polish.
As two of my gang returned to college. I observed the following, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is which.
Individual number one…Filled the car twice with ‘stuff’ and clothing, food and bedding, taking hours to wash and iron what was needed as well as shop for groceries. This was done over three days and involved two trips to college.
Individual number two… Packed a very small case and an even smaller holdall fifty minutes before leaving. No need for food, all clothing taken as they were, clean or not, ironed or not. A duvet and pillow were remembered at the last minute.
As I type my goodnight messages each night, one will reply immediately, the other in a few days.
Conclusion… Well I’ll leave that up to you. What do you think? Are there major inbuilt differences between boys and girls? Perhaps we will further discuss this when you review your own findings once your children are grown up?