What is the matter with baby boys?
Don’t they like to play with toys?
Why would they rather spend time in the loo?
Washing their hands in the watery blue
What is the matter with two-year old boys?
Apart from the time they spend flushing their toys
Why do they dress up in spider man clothes?
Rescuing teddies while picking their nose
What is the matter with boys who are three?
Toilets are places for doing a wee
But they all insist on the sunny outdoors
And run to the lemon tree dropping their drawers
What is the matter with boys who are four?
Leaving their toys and their clothes on the floor
Spitting and shooting with guns made of sticks
Scaring the dog with their spider man tricks
What is the matter with five-year old boys?
Driving their mums up the wall with their noise
Blatantly breaking all of the rules
God bless the nannies, teachers and schools
“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.
* Gloria Steinem