NO I’m not about to burst into song!
I’m wondering why, when a baby is born, people don’t immediately ask “how is it?”, “how’s the mother?”, or even “what does it weigh?”.
But they don’t – not at first. They ask “was it born with a worm between its legs or not?”
Well, that’s really what they’re saying when they ask “boy or girl?”.
Because THAT is the only visible difference (even the faces of male and female babies are interchangeable), and it should be the only differencw for the rest of the child’s life.
BUT IT ISN’T.
If it’s born with an attached worm, people call it handsome, strong, intelligent – and buy it blue toys and games.
If it isn’t born with one, people call it cute, lovely, darling – and buy it pink dolls and dresses.
And that’s the way it goes on.
If a “boy” shows a preference for fluffy animals and bright colours, it’s called effeminate or much worse. If a “girl” wants tough toys and sports – as I did – it’s called a tomboy or even a lesbian.
But the arrival of a girl or boy has no bearing on her or his later life, sexuality, or chosen profession.
I was always after action games and comic books, computers, tracksuits, and footballs (soccer balls) in my infancy, never wanting dolls, dresses, or make-up kits.
AND I’VE STAYED THAT WAY.
I play sport with boys, I drive offroad trucks, and I’m happy to get my hands dirty on car engines.
I have short hair, I rarely wear skirts or dresses, and I have minimal make-up (eye shadow and blusher maybe).
HOWEVER, despite the “signs”, I’m straight, I’ve had several boyfriends, I can chat to my female pals and housemates about the exciting intricacies of the male body (!), and I’m happy when being called a “sultry” or even “stunning” young lady.
So appearances at birth mean nothing. If I’d been supplied with a stubby pencil at birth, no-one would have thought me odd when I destroyed a Barbie Doll and tried to pinch my cousin’s Chemistry Set.
But if I’d been born with a sausage and no roll, when I was 12 and found my older female cousin’s “Male Nudes” calendar (and spent ages staring at Mr April’s baguette!), my parents would have either taken me to the doctor or locked me up!
Why can’t we all be children and adults, and only grow nozzles, caves, and breasts when needed?
Or can’t we at least PRETEND that’s the way things are?