This article was clearly well-intentioned, but it really rubbed me the wrong way. I was a gender-non-conforming child, and overall I agree with most of those, but I would never have put them that way.
I most definitely do not sign onto Duron’s #1, and I wouldn’t have when I was a child. If you asked me whether my sex and my gender aligned (by that definition) I would’ve said yes. That did not make me gender conforming.
I also didn’t subscribe to her #3. I was trying to make some people uncomfortable. I was much more into genderfuck rebellion in elementary school than I’ve ever been since.
Here is my best attempt to reach back through time and channel my eight-year-old self. In the spirit of my #1, and in the grand tradition of Epimenides, take it with a huge grain of salt.
- Kids can speak for themselves. Listen to us. Don’t listen to some grownup who says they know what we want. Don’t ever pretend to be one of us, cause you’re not.
- Definitely don’t listen to women who say they know what we want. What’s with all these women taking care of us? Can I talk to a man?
- Why do women always Peter Pan in plays and movies, anyway? It’s not fair. Peter Pan should be played by a boy!
- It’s all right to cry. Boys cry too.
- It’s not fair that girls and women get to wear pants or skirts, but boys can’t wear skirts. No, I don’t want a kilt. Yes, I know my name is Angus, I still don’t want a kilt.
- It’s not fair that girls can have long or short hair, but people make fun of me for having long hair. I just have long hair because my mom won’t cut it short enough.
- Sports are unfair.
- People shouldn’t watch horror movies because they’re scary and not real. They should watch happy movies, and Star Wars.
- Girl chase is unfair to the girls. I refuse to chase girls.
- I won’t go inside the nursery school. Stephanie, my teacher, wore tights yesterday.
- Boys can dance too. They can’t be ballerinas, but they can be ballet dancers. They can dance modern dance too, like my mom’s friend Dennis. I want to dance, but I don’t want to be the only boy in the class.
- Miss Mary Mack and Miss Lucy and jump rope and jacks look like fun. They should let boys play too.
And yes, I’m aware that I sounded like a child. I was one.