I should have gender issues, according to many experts these days.
I don’t at all. I have a vagina and I am a woman.
But when I was a little girl, I hated dolls, detested anything pink, and spent my time climbing trees, playing with transformers and watching the A – Team. I even called myself Bob and insisted that everyone else call me that too.
Yes, I made people call me Bob. I have no idea why.
Thank God I was born in 1980 and not 2010, because I was just referred to as a ‘tomboy’ and left alone to ride my bike and play with Lego.
I didn’t actually want to be a boy called Bob; I was just playing. My friends were all boys, because even when I was young, I found little girls to be bitchy and boys to be more fun so I wanted to be one of them. It didn’t mean I wanted a penis, it meant that I really liked little William (I had a massive crush on him) and wanted to hang around with him.
I wasn’t stereotypically ‘girlie’ and I am still not (apart from trawling on the make up so I don’t look like a zombie). I didn’t give a second thought to what or who I was, I just liked the A-Team (Murdock was one of my first crushes, aged three) and I am so glad that it was just met with eye rolls and questions of “why don’t you want to play with barbies and wear dresses?” from my parent’s friends.
Barbies were a bit boring to me, and tracksuits were better for riding my bike and abseiling down the side of the garage . That’s as far as it went.
I came across this article recently an my blood ran cold reading it. It talks of boys who like wearing pink and playing with ‘girls’ toys and girls who like wearing trousers and doing more ‘male’ activities.
Nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s what they want to do. But then the article goes on to talk about ‘gender confusion’ and that’s where I get quite angry.
This paragraph had me wanting to throw things:
Where does the assumption that they want to actually be the opposite gender come from?
Maybe they are just dressing and acting how they want to? Doesn’t the assumption that they are gender confused go against everything that people mean when they say that toys and activities should be seen as non-gendered?
What if someone had raised concerns about me to my parents when I was a child and put into their head that I was gender confused just because I preferred jeans and trainers over dresses?
What if they had said to my parents that I might actually want to be a boy called Bob?
Because that never entered my head; I was who I was. But what if it had been suggested to me that I might feel more like a boy than a girl? Would that have clouded the way I thought about myself, and would I now be sitting here writing this as a 37 year old man called Bob?
I know that if I was a seven year old child now, something would have been said. An issue would have been made out of the things I preferred to do and watch on television and it might have led down a path that really wasn’t meant to be – as it was, a lot of my parent’s friends were convinced I would grow up to be a lesbian, all because I didn’t play with dolls and make up.
I am not a lesbian either, by the way.
Yes, there are some children who have gender confusion, and yes, those children should be helped. I can’t help thinking that it’s getting to the point where people are looking to find problems in completely normal behaviours.