I hear all the time that you have to treat people equally. I don’t agree with this statement at all. I don’t think that you have to treat people equally, I think that you have to treat them fairly. Equal is not the same as fair. This brings me to my post which is all about boys vs girls. First of all, I think there is a definite tension and conflict from the beginning. That being said I also know that there are reasons that boys and girls are different and why conflict exists between them.
First, a little bit of background. I can definitely be a girly-girl and I am not always the best guys girl. However, I grew up with four brothers and a sister who was a tomboy. So, I have had my fair share of testosterone in my life. I am also fairly short – not super short, but short enough that a lot of people notice that I’m short. I have been teased by my family and by my friends because I am an easy target. I have had many male friends and many female friends and there are definite differences between the two. Boys and girls are different – they are not the same and to be treated equal is crap.
First of all, girls do tend to be more moody, more sentimental and more feelings oriented – in my experience. Boys tend to want to do more sports, play more action games and do things that mask their feelings. This does not mean that having a boy who is sensitive is weird or wrong; it also does not mean that having a girl who only wants to play sports or action video games is wrong. On the contrary, I think it is fantastic when boys and girls blur the lines a little and take on roles that are usually reserved for the other gender.
However, there are many different expectations for boys and girls. First of all, girls are seen as being weaker. And sometimes this is true…just because of size. I have a lot of friends who looked out for me extra carefully when I was an RA (especially at the beginning, I think) because I was a girl and I was shorter and some of the guys that I would have to deal with were large sports players (i.e. basketball, hockey, baseball). I think that people thought that just because I was a girl, I wouldn’t be able to hold my ground if they got in my face. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t pummel me in a fight – because I’m sure that I wouldn’t stand a chance – but I’m also not saying that I was going to let them walk all over me…and I didn’t. I was not going to be scared by one of them towering over me and trying to intimidate me. That’s not the way that I was raised. It probably helps that I am surrounded by people who are bigger than me – and have been all my life. My twin brother is at least 6 feet, possibly 6′ 1″ (while I am only 5′ 3″ on a good day) and was two pounds bigger than me when we were born. I am used to being smaller than people and being picked on. And I think the expectation that girls can’t take care of themselves is something that is fairly common in the world. I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to look out for friends or sisters or daughters that are female, but give them some credit too.
Onto boys. I think that boys are prone to get into more trouble. I think that boys have more of a feeling of being bulletproof and more of a feeling of being able to get away with things. I think that boys are more likely to challenge authority because they feel like they have to and that is there place. Boys are more likely to get into fights and a lot of the time it is because they are protecting a girl. Boys just tend to be more boisterous.
None of these things are bad things and I’m not saying that any of them need to be noted and gotten rid of. I think it is good that there are some roles that are usually reserved for girls and some roles that are usually reserved for boys. However, I don’t think it should be an issue when boys and girls sometimes move into usually-opposite-sex reserved roles. I think it’s important to expand the way that we are thinking and to make sure that everyone knows that boys and girls are different and they need to be treated fairly, not equally.
How do you think that boys and girls are different?