More conversations in the household —
10 Year Old Son: There are too many girls in my Sunday school class.
Father: How can that be? That’s like saying there are too many flowers.
5 Year Old Son: Boys and girls are enemies.
5 Year Old Son: Like England and France.
I don’t know who writes these kids’ material, but some of it is pretty dang funny. Of course, beneath the humor lurks an ugly reality: from an early age boys and girls are taught to think of each other as different and hostile genders. I am always amazed to find — as I did in my son’s kindergarten class this year — separate sign-in sheets for boys and girls. Is this necessary? Or lining up for lunch in two different lines: one for boys one for girls. I can see having kids line up by gender if they are waiting to use the bathroom, but for lunch? These practices go on totally unquestioned in the schools.
And those are the more mild forms of gender differentiation. See Barrie Thorne’s book, Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School.