This story comes from “Mother Earthling.” It was originally posted on reddit and is reposted here with the author’s permission.
I was driving my 8 y/o daughter (I’ll call her “A”) to camp today, and we had a slightly terrifying, yet in the end, kind of wonderful conversation about girls who feel “more like boys.”
Her friend “B” (10) was over the other night and the two of them spent most of the evening holed up in A’s room, talking and listening to music. This morning on the long ride out to camp, A wanted to talk about their conversation – about how B had said that she felt like she was a boy inside because she doesn’t giggle and likes boy things better than girl things, but that she was happy to finally have a friend (A) that was like her. B mentioned that A likes math, comics and robots, and that even though she doesn’t like those things too much herself, they were “boy-things” and so knowing that about A made her feel less alone.
A, who is definitely a weird little kid who has already had to fight pretty hard to be her own kind of girl, concluded that because of all of these things, she and B might really be more like boys than girls. She said she was really happy that B was like her, and it was good to have a friend with these thoughts. The rest of the conversation between the two of them apparently centred around their discomfort with impending puberty and a little bit about sexual orientation – these topics were (not surprisingly) initiated by B, who is two years older and entering Grade 5.
Probing a little further, A stated that in spite of her inside-boy-feelings, that “Technically, I am a girl. I have girl sex parts.” Reflecting that back to her, I said, yes, more than “technically”, you’re a girl – you’re a juvenile human female – and thankfully her logic kicked in and she agreed with that.
Next, I asked her about ‘girl’s interests and activities’ – what makes those? And she said, “well, the stereotypicalgirl things…” and then listed some. I asked her about non-stereotypical girl things – what if a girl does those? Are those a girl’s interests and activities?
She lit up, and said, “Yes! If a girl is doing them, they are a girl’s activities – a stereotype is obviously different than a girl herself!” I challenged that a bit, just to make sure she really had it, and asked about whether she thought the stereotypes came from inside our brains or outside in the world, and she said definitely outside, because – AND I QUOTE – “a long time ago, men used to wear high heels in France, and pink used to be the boy-colour – if that stuff came from inside us, these things wouldn’t change so quickly.”
Can we all just share a sigh of relief? This is hours later and I’m still exhaling.
One small note for context – I homeschool A, but B goes to our neighbourhood public school. Our school board has 100% swallowed the Trans agenda, and I’m betting a lot of her confusion and discomfort comes from the new gender identity curriculum / bathroom regulations