Boys Do “This,” Girls Do “That”

Growing up I was very Unique. In most pictures it was very easy to point me out, not because I was extremely cute with a smile of the sun and dimples of the deep, but merely from being the kid that did weird poses and expression. I made picture taking…FUN! And this sense of  doing what comes to mind is still with me today. It, however, wasn’t easy.

I was really good by the way

I was really good by the way

I don’t know why, I don’t even care to know why, I was attracted to “girly” things. No! not wearing my moms clothes or having long hair, although, I did used to put the neck of a T-shirt around my head to swing it, but all kids did that!  . . right? Well, who cares. In elementary school,  I would be the boy you mostly see with the girls playing hand games like Numbers, Patty Cake, Miss Marry Mat, and Tweet Baby! I loved the hand eye coordination matched with rhythmic words telling an elaborate story. I would literally be the only boy to do these activities, and of course I did get the back lash of words and phrases belittling my being. Kids are mean. They say what they want with no second thought or remorse. Uncouthly, they speak their truth.
Naively, I thought I could bring the same careless at home. Nope, that wasn’t the case. I had a bad history of being teased for being feminine. My parents tried to conform me in ways to oppose the harsh criticism. Sometimes it resulted in me teasing them back or fighting, which didn’t happen often.

Nobody sent me this fake change from kids to boys...fuck that I'm stay a kid!

Nobody sent me this fake change from kids to boys…fuck that I’m stay a kid!

I hated being teased, but I hated to do things that did not appeal to me even more. Hanging around girls came with a strong sense of ease. They had more fun together, they were always consistently laughing and giggling. Boy’s on the other hand, I felt like I had to live up to an expectation of masculinity that took way to much work. I felt like they and me were acting. Especially, around intermediate school, boys “grew up”. In the summer of 4th grade going into 5th grade, Allegedly, there was a memo sent around saying boys will now prematurely deepen their voices, pull their pants below their waist, and only like basketball and football. I damn sure never got this memo.

I liked playing double dutch. My parents tried numerous times to ban me from playing it. It was something that “girls do” amongst me talking with my hands, because Italians do that too, and talking on the phone too long, etc. I remember playing double dutch with my friends and my mother came to the park to pick me up. She scolded me, “Didn’t I tell you, you shouldn’t be jumping Double Dutch, it’s for girls, are you a girl?

Then came the lecture of in order to stop the name calling I had stop doing girly things bullshit.  This started to take a toll on me. I was afraid to bring a rope home, I was afraid to speak on experiences. I slowly was developing a double life very early in my childhood. One day I after a good rope session I made up this dumb lie to change her perspective on me jumping rope.  I said, “Mom did you know they passed a law so boys can jump rope.” She replied sarcastically, “oh really?”

downloadI thought I had won her over and now I was freed from the shackles of stupidity. I was wrong again. I with all honestly couldn’t not understand what rule book many people were going by. Did I really lived in my own world throughout my life? The rejection forced me look at the world around me and question deeply WHO MAKES THESE STUFF UP? and why can’t I just do and be me? what is so wrong for a boy to play hand games and jump rope. I’m not going around in girls clothes at 7 yrs. of age, or even saying I want to be a girl.  So I felt If I can’t do what I want to do, then I’m not going to do anything at all. And that’s exactly what I did till I was 15.

SO, I ask you readers, have you ever been forced out of your likings for the sake of someone else or image?

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12 thoughts on “Boys Do “This,” Girls Do “That”

  1. Gosh, you’re such a good writer. Do you feel that it’s your calling?
    Anyway, yeah, I think the world is much tougher on boys who do “girl” things than it is on girls who want to do boy things. “Girl” and the things associated with it is this stigmatized class that only certain people can belong to or use.
    I was a tomboy and my parents accepted it all the way through. Probably would have had I continued to be one into adolescence.
    But I do remember having a girl ask, “Why don’t you wear earrings?” So, I got my ears pierced because I wanted to fit in with the other girls….but hated how they looked on me so I let them get infected, and that was the end of that.
    And when I was 12, girls at church started to gossip about my masculine (in my mind, “cool”) way of standing. I think with one foot in front of the other or something. It’s hard to remember.
    I cannot imagine (although you’re helping me to! thank you!) being ridiculed for something as simple and meaningless as what you play with. So sad and infuriating. I’m sorry your parents weren’t as accepting.
    Maybe you could start doing jump rope again, by yourself and some friends? To relive the happy memories you have of it?

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    • Aww omg Thanks !

      Yeah! i think i may found my calling or nitch in writing. Im going to take my time with it before I change majors and it ruins the fun of it loool.

      However, you right about girls doing boys things as more accepting. Masculinity is considered “winning” and feminisim is considered weak meek and failure. Its annoying and false societal ideas

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  2. Great post 🙂 I worry about this sometimes. I have boy/girl twins. They’re only eight months old, so it hasn’t become an issue yet. But sometimes I catch myself playing into this same double standard. They’re going to grow up sharing things: toys, clothes, etc. Toys I don’t pay much attention to, and I hope I never do. But I am sadly aware of the fact that I will dress my daughter in my sons clothes once he outgrows them but not the other way around. Why do I think one is okay and not the other? I think of myself as being an open-minded and forward thinking individual… I hope that once they’re old enough to have some autonomy that I won’t try to pressure them into choices that I am more comfortable with. I hope I can just let them be who they are.

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    • Funny thing is, when it comes to clothing I agree about seperation. Because the design of kids clothes and even adults are biologically design for female and male bodys. famous celebs are actually mixing clothings with their children too!

      As far as colors, thats different. I believe it shouldnt define anyone. So I agree with you and personally dont think ita close minded of you at all. I try to be open minded also buy i tend to be selectively open minded lol. For kids especially young should be a lil more provised. When they become of age of independence then hey wear a girls/boys shirt just make it look stylish!

      Thanks for taking the time out to read and comment! im all for views and opinions !

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  3. This post made me think of my kids. My girls like to wear ‘boy clothes’, play in the dirt, wrestle etc. and my son likes to dress up in his sisters clothes and wear nail polish. My son has asked me if he can wear the nail polish to school, but I told him no. Not because I mind, but because he is 6. When he is older and can understand why the other kids are teasing him, then I will allow it. If he still wants to, of course. I try to concern myself more with building their character than silly things like gender roles! It’s pretty ridiculous if you really think about it.

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    • Yeaaaaah people over look the aspect of just building character!

      I love that you said that!

      People keep passing the ignorance of their times down to the newer generation calling it tradition.

      Some gender “roles” are explanatory for biological reasons from girl bikes to boy bikes etc.

      But, nevertheless its something that needs patience and communication when it comes to these gender roles.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. An excellent memory and very well-written. Although your childhood experience was different from my own, I have several friends who childhood was similar to yours. Nice work! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

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  5. I read this again after you re-posted it today. I still enjoyed it the second time around. Nice work, my friend! More love and many more naked hugs, Dontae! 🙂

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