Boys and girls. Blue versus pink. Cars against dolls. Rowdy or mild-tempered. How we almost expect a teenage boy to have scruffy clothes and stink of sweat, while we would be horrified if it was a teenage girl. Excusing certain behavior with ”boys will be boys”, while expecting girls to help fellow boys in Kindergarten put on gloves, tie their shoes and zip up jackets.
I could go on forever, listing things, habits, colors and much more, that for some reason have been deemed either to be for boys. Or for girls. Men and women too, of course.
I don’t want to do that though.
What I want to do is have you read this article: 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn. And once you’ve done that, you read this article as well: Beating the Toy Aisle Blues (and Pinks).
I read them, and went bonkers. Then I stumbled upon this as well:
Oh. I just remembered another example of the absurd world we live in, as well. I read another article (or a Facebook-update?) the other day, about a lady who had stopped moving over whenever she came upon people when walking, to see what would happen. Guess what she found out? Women move over. Men do to. But not all of them. I think she was up to a count of having collided with 26 men (and zero women), when she shared her observation with the world. And you know what? I actually tried it out the other day, when I was talking a walk in the park close to home. I was walking along, came upon a man coming at me, and I suddenly got it into my head to try it out for myself! We would have collided if he hadn’t moved, which he did, in the last instant. I am grateful for him for moving over, but what I found most interesting was how uncomfortable it felt NOT to move over. Extremely uncomfortable.
So. There I go. I am a person who moves over. Which in itself is not a bad trait, not at all. But it’s interesting, the feeling I got when I didn’t. When I was hell bound on standing my ground so to speak. Makes me think about my own behavior, how much of it which is truly Me, and how much is culturally accepted behaviors I’ve learnt the hard way, which might, or might not, serve me, but which I perform automatically, without giving it any thought. Makes me think of the way of the world, and the culture I am a part of co-creating on a daily basis, moment by moment.
Oh well. There’s plenty do to in the world, to make it a better place, a place where I can be me. Regardless of what that means (within moral and legal constraints of course – unless the law is discriminating itself, which unfortunately is the case in many places where for instance homosexuality is outlawed, just to name but one absurd example). Being me. And a place where you can be you. Period.
So. Here’s a challenge (or rather, many!). For me. Definitely. But perhaps also for you? I’m gonna observe my surroundings for a few days, to see if I can spot this: