My youngest child is an 8 year old little boy. He's really starting to notice gender differences lately and will often comment on them to me. Some of his recent observations were,
"Boys like guns and stuff because they're the ones who are soldiers."
"Boys are better at hard stuff because they're stronger than girls. Right, Mom?"
"Boys make good heroes because they're good at saving the day."
"Just me and Dad are going because this is only for boys, Mom"
How do I feel about his comments? I think they're great. I love that he's proud to be a boy and prouder still that he'll grow up to be a man.
I realize that if I followed today's version of Motherhood 101 I'd quickly squash these notions, informing him that a girl is capable of doing anything a boy can do, just as well or better. I prefer to let me sons relish in all the wonderful aspects of being a boy and my daughter to appreciate all that's special about being a girl.
Do I worry that my sweet little boy will grow up to devalue women? Not for a second. If anything, allowing ourselves to recognize gender differences only makes us appreciate those differences all the more. The reason men love women and women love men is because we are drawn to those differences.
One of my son's best friends is a little girl. They are so cute together. Two adorable, blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids. They play games, ride bikes and scooters together, battle it out on Guitar Hero III....of course, he saves games of football and soldier for his male friends...."cuz girls don't really like those, huh, Mom."