September 2017

A teenage
girl’s mother

(Lychandra at 13)

What can I tell you about boys?
Can I tell you that they are honourable?
Can I tell you that they are loyal?
Can I tell you that all their words are true?

What can I tell you about boys?
When I look back at my own experience
And wish I had nothing to look back upon
What can I tell you about boys?

What I can tell you about boys
Is that they have grown up pretty much like you
But then there is what other girls say
And then there is what other boys say

What can I tell you about boys?
Not much more than I can tell you about girls
Not much more than I can tell you about anyone
What can I tell you about people in general?

I can tell you that if you like someone
And they make you feel good inside
Then I am happy for you
That you have found someone good to be with.

 

© Maria Josey

“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*

I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.

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* Gloria Steinem