Some say that boys and girls are the same and it’s how we treat them that determines their behaviour and personalities. I beg to differ. On my experience, and of course my opinion can only be based on that, boys and girls are very different indeed and it has absolutely nothing to do with nurture.
I didn’t find out if I was having a boy or a girl either time I was pregnant. I instinctively knew what each of them would be but I didn’t have categoric proof so I absolutely didn’t buy to cater for either pink or blue nurseries. The first time round I bought a khaki buggy (a Bugaboo buggy naturally) and all the clothes I diligently washed in Fairy non bio, ironed and folded (for the first and last time I might add) were white. I wasn’t hedging my bets even though Florence was always Florence in my mind…
So she was born and went straight into neutral everything yet she grew to love pink, sparkles and ultimately… Barbie. She is girlie to the extreme, even to the point of refusing to wear trousers if there is even the slightest hint that a boy might also wear the same thing. I didn’t do this to her, it’s just the way she is.
Then when Jimmy came along and I knew in my heart of hearts that he was always going to be a boy, we did exactly the same thing. The only difference being that he was instantly surrounded by all of his sister’s things which scream GIRL from every window. Despite baby dolls, pink tutus and the ever present Barbie being in his life from day dot he has not shown even the slightest interest and from the very moment he could express desires for anything he has been obsessed with wheels, trains, planes, cranes and diggers… He is the epitome of ‘BOY’!
Why then? Why should this be? Why does my girl get all her frilly dolly clothes and shoes out and play gently with her baby dolls while my boy organises train crashes on extensive and pretty excellent (actually) sets of track? My only theory can be that it is nature!
I have not loved them differently. If Jimmy falls and cuts his knee I do not say ‘get up and be a big boy’ while I might cuddle his sister under the same circumstances. No, I just cuddle them both. I love them in exactly the same way and (probably) smother them with kisses and cuddles regardless of bumps, falls, upset or just happy times. Jimmy will take it for a bit but in the end pushes away and when he gets angry he pushes, kicks and even head butts in what can only be described as a ‘boyish way’. Florence snuggles for hours, she loves make-up with an instinctive way of knowing how to use it (my own husband didn’t know what mascara was when I first met him) and IF we have ever been to the cinema to see something which might say be ‘Planes’ she refuses to believe it is REAL ‘Disney’ unless there is a proper Princess and wants to leave!
It’s nature. I promise you. I firmly believe that and I feel certain (even more so after reading Genome) that we have our personalities mapped out in the genetics we carry. I’m not saying there are no girls who like ‘boys’ things or boys who refuse to do anything ‘girlie’ but I reckon, on the whole, boys and girls are extremely different and that is just how we are. I suppose it’s similar to my beliefs on feminism. I wouldn’t call myself one as I see no need these days. I also want men to open doors for me and pay for my supper, while I want to embrace my role as a woman with other touches. Certain feminists really piss me off with their whole equality thing, I mean c’mon, we’ve won the battle when it comes to how much we earn and how society treats us, Emiline Pankhurst and her gang fought the fight a LONG time ago. Can’t we just enjoy the benefits of being the same while STILL recognising our differences? We have them and I for one embrace that. There is no need for a ‘feminist fight’ these days; sure there are dicks out there who think women have no brains but they are few and far between and everyone needs someone to ridicule, let’s take THEM!
I sometimes think people want an argument for the sake of arguing. All the bad has been proven and rectified; we know we can do some things just as well but we surely also know men are stronger in some aspects and women in others? The rest is just bull shit and while some women will argue we are the same as men and should be treated the same I just think life isn’t as simple as that and we need to recognise our differences!
In the animal world everything is very black and white and we know what’s what. A male lion fights all the other male lions and the strongest wins the ladies. I’ll give you sea horses are a little different in their roles as the male is technically the mother but really and truly everyone knows their post and what’s expected of them. We, as humans, have distorted everything with knowledge and intelligence. I say let’s just get on with it and embrace the changes in our different sexes. They are there, why fight them and why even have a conversation about what comes naturally and what doesn’t?! There is no argument for nature verses nurture here, we’re all as good as each other and deserve the same reward but what we bring to the table is (and should) be different.
Nobody would say a boy had been made gay because his mummy dressed him in pink or a girl fell in love with another girl because her Mummy didn’t allow Barbies. We are informed enough today to know that If you are gay then you are gay, if you are straight then it’s because you are that way regardless of how you were loved as a child. Everything you are is in your nature and that’s what I’m talking about.
(Oh, and ten points if you know the song lyrics I made this post’s title from – showing my age here!)