My 5-year old daughter recently told me “that just because boys are stronger than girls, doesn’t mean that they can hit us”. Which she then immediately followed with, “and just because girls are smarter than boys, doesn’t mean that we can call them stupid.”
Being the mother to one of each, a boy and a girl, I found this statement profound, amusing and a bit puzzling. What I was most taken aback by was how she arrived at these conclusions. As the parents of any boy-girl combo can attest, we talk a lot in our house about keeping our hands to ourselves. But we’ve never discussed it in terms of gender or strength. And I’ve certainly never uttered an opinion about women being smarter than men. At least not in my outside voice.
So I’m left again with the realization that her Kindergarten peers are doing far more at this impressionable stage of shaping her perceptions…and vocabulary…than I am, and I’m not sure how to put the brakes on that issue. The social cycles I’ve seen her grow through this year are astounding, and I’m proud of the way she treats both boys and girls respect, even at a young age. But clearly the boys have somehow dug themselves into a hole that may take the entire summer, if not longer, to surface from.