Wednesday, January 4, 2012


There is no quote today. There is only the existence of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, who make me smile.

I just started reading a book by Peggy Orenstein (author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, which I read last year) called Schoolgirls, and before page 1 even begins (there's about 20 roman numerals' worth), she tells a story about a teacher who gave her 6th grade students an interesting exercise:

Imagine you were born as a member of the opposite sex. What is different?

So obviously, I grabbed my journal and immediately started a list.

If I Were A Boy:

  • My mother would never have made me wear dresses when I was little (which I passionately despised at the time, although I don't anymore).
  • I'd probably have had to mow the lawn at some point in my life, but I'm sure I'd still have to do all of the same chores I do now as well.
  • Better relationship with my male cousins who live close by
  • Different friends, and different relationships with those who would remain the same
  • Less worry in general from all sides about dating (also, probably later curfews)
  • Less comfortable acting in different roles. When I was little, there was never anyone or anything I couldn't pretend to be. And I feel that while in my immediate family it would have been the same is I were a guy, it isn't nearly as accepted everywhere else.
But that seems like a pretty good list, compared to what the kids in the book came up with. Most of it seems kind of "well, duh." Most of the stuff in the book was about make up or hair or sports.

The odd thing, though, is that the author then asks what's "lucky" about being a girl, and the girls she talked to didn't have an answer. I'm not going to go into it here, but I think there are plenty of things. Less obvious than the advantages of being a boy, maybe, but they're there.


  1. Wow, interesting post. I've heard of the "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" book and I venomously don't want to read it. Why? Because I'm a fairy tale advocate - even including Disney. I don't like it when people blame such things for their children's shortcomings. That's what... parenting is for, you know? So yeah, totally not interested.

    I hope the "Schoolgirls" book was more interesting. Sounds like it was. I think things would have been different for me if I were boy - much like what you listed :)

  2. Actually, something she covers in the book is how the actual fairy tales are harmless-or-even-beneficial. She just objects to the "Disney Princess" craze. Even with the most kick-ass heroines, the merchandise is all make up kits and stuff.

    Schoolgirls turns out to have been published in 1994...which makes it entertaining. But I'm nearly 2/3 through, and it's been fascinating.


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