Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Conundrum of the Sexes

I was always glad to be me, but I could usually see that it would also be more fun to be a boy.  
That’s why I was interested in a comment that I heard the other day on Oprah  when she was talking to a transgendered woman named Kimberly Reed who had been a high school hero, quarterback, senior class president  and all-around good-guy named Paul McKerrow from Helena, Montana.  
He said he knew something was wrong from the time he was in the first or second grade.  He dated through high school but waited until he went to college in the Bay area before he started experimenting with cross-dressing, dating issues and whatever.  That’s not the point, however.
What he said was that he felt he had the “best of both worlds.”
He grew up as a boy with the opportunity to be free to behave like boys behave and yet to become the woman he felt he truly was.  
That’s MY point.  Boys grow up much freer than girls do.  Boys were especially freer when I was growing up.  We wore skirts and dresses everywhere.  Girls didn’t play hard.  They didn’t play full-court basketball.  You were either a guard or a forward.  Girls didn’t laugh hard.  They weren’t bold.  They weren’t encouraged to do much.  There were no girls sports teams.  Girls who wanted to play sports were called Tom Boys.  I wasn’t a Tom Boy, but I wanted to have more fun.  I was one of those kids who always had a dirty face and I always felt bad about it.  Or I wished people would just shut their mouths about it.
Girls had clubs.  They giggled with their friends.  Girls did sewing and crocheting projects.  They did help their mothers, which wasn’t horrible, But they didn’t help their dads which wasn’t very nice either.  
I had four brothers.  We always camped because that’s what men do.  That’s what my dad did.  Women stayed back at camp and made things nice so that men ate as though they hadn’t left home.  The fire was nice.  Food was great.  Camp was clean.  It was great.  What a load of crock.
But when I was a leader in Church Young Women’s, the girls always complained that they didn’t get to do the great stuff that the guys got to do, but when we provided them with it, they really didn’t want to do it.  Even Girls Camp was girly.
But one thing that I really can’t figure out about all this is that more men are transgendering into women than women tansgendering into men. 
And I’m still glad I’m me.  It’s really strange.


Annie said...

Rhead and I discuss this A LOT. I think living here, it's easier to dismiss the issue. Out of sight, out of mind. But it comes up a lot in the bay area. I often wondered if more men are transgenders because all babies start out female...

Have you seen TRANSamerica? I don't know if you'll have the stomach for it... interesting though.

As much as I like crafts, I never bought into the "girls need to be girly" nonsense. But I find myself asking Sami to clean more than Sean because she is so much better at it, thus perpetuating the sterotype!

Linda Aukschun said...

I haven't seen TRANamerica but I'm curious. It's a really interesting topic, though. We'll have to discuss it in Yellowstone, or before.

Marni said...

I watched a video last night on "embracing your inner girl" that you might find interesting. It isn't the girl in this girly sense, quite different really. But still similar I guess.