Saturday, October 29, 2005

Girls and Boys

Earlier this week I was sitting on the window sill of the narrow computer room watching my now fairly independent five year olds operate their one and only program, Jumpstart Kindergarten. It so happened that all the girls were sitting on my right and all the boys on my left. The girls were doing something equivalent to paint and the boys were all playing a racing game. Funny that at such a young age they already have such a clear divide in terms of interests and preferences.

As a child it was the same at my house. Unlike my brothers, I got (and wanted) a girl GI Joe, played with the Lego horses, and really enjoyed Mario Paint. Plus all the Barbie and everything else, of course.

I majored in sociology and tend to lean towards the nurture side of the argument though of course I realize it's not an all or nothing thing. Well let me tell ya, gender socialization in Korea is alive and well. I have yet to teach a tomboy and my girls are dressed like little dolls, hair baubles and all. Hair styles are incredibly elaborate. I would hate it if it were me.

My girls demand pink all the time no matter what the issue. I try very hard not to assume and give equal opportunity for colour choices and it's much more often that a boy will ask for pink before a girl asks for blue. I guess that's another difference from Western society. At home it's more common that girls dress and behave like boys but here it's the other way around, even with the adult population. Women are very feminine and, well, so are many men; long hair, dyed hair, perms, man purses, tight clothes, pink clothes...

So in this roundabout post what I really wanted to get at was that for Halloween I had six princesses, a Superman, a Dracula, a robot, and a grim reaper type character. All very cute. And my witch was the witchiest witch you ever saw.


At October 29, 2005 9:04 p.m. , Blogger John McCrarey said...

"Women are very feminine and, well, so are many men; long hair, dyed hair, perms, man purses, tight clothes, pink clothes..."

You are so right about that. There are a couple of bars in Itaewon where the men are women, if you know what I mean. It is scary, because in many cases you just can't tell. I have heard credible stories about hapless GI's falling in love only to discover that the "girl" of their dreams wasn't a girl after all....

At October 31, 2005 8:51 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

I've heard even worse about Thailand!!! Ahh well


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