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Boys and Girls

So, I had an interesting conversation with a woman at work this morning.  I was talking about how we just took Gracie on her first camping trip (see below), and I mentioned that it’s good practice, as she’ll be in hunting & fishing camps with daddy for the next twenty years or more. 

Then my co-worker said the following: “Well, remember she’s a girl, don’t try to make a boy out of her.” 

Is it just me, or was that an amazingly sexist thing to say?  When I commented (with a laugh) that it seemed a little male-chauvinistic, she seemed shocked. 

I guess I (we) hope to raise our little girl with the understanding that she can do anything she wants to do, regardless of societal gender-bias.  I plan to have a daughter who knows how to pitch a tent, build a fire, catch, clean & cook a trout, etc, etc.  If she wants to do those things, she won’t be excluded from the opportunity to learn, just because she’s a girl. 

I know guys who take their boys out on these trips as soon as they can walk, but leave their daughters home with Mommy, or at least leave them in camp while the “guys” do their thing.  I always think this is sad, as these dads are missing out on some great relationship time with their girls. 

Maybe my perceptions are skewed, as I was raised by my mom, but my dad (a third generation professional chef,) taught me how to cook, an arena that is usually deemed the woman’s domain (which is ironic, as historically the head cook of the kitchen was nearly always a man.)  

I hope Grace will understand that she accomplish anything her heart and head desires. 

Maybe those are the organs we should focus on, when determining our kid’s activities? 

Your thoughts? 

-Perk

PS – Just a note on the cooking thing… Guys, you want to really turn your wife on? Learn how to cook a couple of nice dinners a week for her, then do the dishes.

Trust me.

PPS – Here’s the pic as promised…

graciecamp2.jpg

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10 thoughts on “Boys and Girls

  1. Dinana on said:

    ok, Perk,

    this goes without saying:

    Maybe my perceptions are skewed

    but…you’re right. my daughters hated dolls and love dirt. they’d rather play than watch others play.

    i think maybe the person who said it didn’t realize the context.

    My girls wouldn’t be caught dead in pink. Camo and jeans all the way!

    Thanks for the new blog and picture!

  2. Dean S. on said:

    Perry P.

    Glad to read your comments about opportunities for girls and boys. Anne is a civil engineer and also hates pink.

    Dean

  3. Jeni Bullis on said:

    Well, I may be on the fence a little here. While I find myself miffed at ministries like Royal Rangers and Rainbows because while the boys get to build fires and earn badges for doing some really fun things, the girls aim to conquer ironing a man’s shirt and baking (the fema-nazi in me hasn’t completely been tamed), I do think children are strongly influenced by the environment they are raised in. My sister decided she hated “girly” girls, and just surrounded my niece with boyish things, strongly discouraging anything that smacked of oppressive “femine” toys like dolls, kitchens, purses etc. I’m sure that the rediculous amount of disfunction that is the reality at my sisters’ house can explain alot of this, but my niece is seriously lacking in the feminine department. She is 10 and sees no use in a hair brush, sitting nicely, or covering her mouth when she burps. I know, just bad behavior – not “boy” behavior. I guess my point is, I do think our children have to be gently trained into the proper behavior of their gender. When my son asks me to put make-up on him, I have no hesitation in telling him “Honey, only girls wear make-up”. Now some might say “Well, who are you to say that boys can’t wear make-up, he may desire to “express” himself that way”. To that I say “Sorry, not in my house”. There are differences in the sexes, and I think that’s a good thing. So, I’m not suggesting that if you train Grace how to use a gun and enjoy a hunting trip with her dad that you will create a boy-like girl, as long as it isn’t at the exclusion of the “girly” stuff. As a disclaimer: I’ve seen her closet and I know Vic, I’m not worried.

  4. Thanks for your posts all, you’re the best.

    Dinana,

    Camo good. (And so are your kids, so I appreciate your comments. SEE, I said something nice. Earned myself another six months of sarcasm!)

    Dean,

    Good on Anne, I know you well enough to be sure that she was raised to go for her dreams. We hope and pray the same for Grace.

    Jeni,

    You crack me up. I’m sure not going to question your parenting concepts, as you have two of the best kids I know. I just hope your sister doesn’t stumble across this blog though, lol.

    You make a good point, tho. Personally, I don’t see anything “manly” about boorish behavior and vulgarity. I think that, classically, guys have gotten an easy excuse to be their lowest selves.

    -Perk

    PS – Jeni is right, I couldn’t be happier to let my girl be “girly” – IF that’s what she chooses. In fact, we will raise our daughter (prepare for a panty-twist all you bra-burners) to be a LADY.

    …and I don’t think that being a lady and anything I’ve mentioned above are in any way opposed.

    – P

  5. dinana on said:

    who says she can’t be “GIRLY” and hunt? I’ve seen pink camo…and i know there are a lot of guys who like a woman who can dress a deer and dress up…

    sorry perk…hate to mention the “guys” at this early age, but it’s a reality!

    Jeni…if it had been my son, i’d have slathered him in so much makeup he’d never want to try it again…different ways of coping i guess!

  6. dinana,

    I have no fear of the “guys”…there will be no “guys.”

    Any “man” who can survive the gauntlet, is welcome to my daughter’s hand.

    Those that don’t…well, I’ll own 40 acres and a back-hoe by then.

    -Perk

  7. Ok, so this is coming from a girl that can do all of those things and has a word of warning on this and finds some truth in what your co-worker said.
    Since I did not have any brothers (well until you came along) I did all the “son” things with Dad. Joined a rifle shooting team, helped Dad build and fix stuff, watched sports with Dad and all the action movies even the Steven Segal ones. Not that Mom didn’t do that stuff too, which possibly added to this.
    I did not embrace being a girl. I was such a tomboy. I was one of the boys and was thought of that way through most of growing up. A boy in my class had an all boy club that was anti-girl, you know one of those girls have cooties things, and I was the only female member of the anti-girl club! I didn’t like the girly things. I didn’t have many girl friends in grade school. I thought all this was all fine when I was little but it definitely affected relationships later on. I never got asked to any high school dances, never asked out or anything cuz I was “one of the boys”. Now that is fine, because high school relationships are dumb, but a part of life that I missed out on and caused insecurities in my life. (I should point out that my tomboyness was probably not the only cause for those things.) It took me until college to really start thinking of myself as “girly” and being ok with that. Doing things like wearing more feminine clothing, doing my hair and make-up, being “flirty,” seeking out more female friends, etc.
    Then I go and find myself a husband that LOVES the fact that I go camping and shooting and all that good stuff and rarely make him sit through a girly movie, but he definitely appreciates that I am girly and loves to see me dressed up for a night out.

    So please teach Gracie how to pitch a tent, fish, and build a fire (also teach her how to change a tire and oil, that should be on the list) you are right, she should not be excluded from that. But just make sure she learns the girly stuff too, like how to French braid hair or even do anything other than a pony tail (have no idea how to do those things). It is ok if she likes pink and dolls (not Barbie though I have issues with her). Or, oh dear God, if she wants to be a cheerleader or something in high school. Nope, I take it back, I draw the line at cheerleader.
    My point is, Gracie might be like me, in that her little heart wants to do things with Dad, but she needs to be a little girl too. Gracie is lucky that she has Vic to teach her the girly stuff too (my Mom, a great mother, but not so good with the girly stuff especially when I was little, but that is a whole different story). Just remember some gender lines are good.

    I know that you guys are going to raise Gracie to be a wonderfully balanced person as you should. Knowing the two of you I know you will be ok with this. I however, will to make extra effort in teaching any daughters I might have some of the essential girly things. Do you think Vic can teach me how to French braid?

  8. Cass,

    I think that’s a solid perspective, and appreciate you posting it.

    I’ll try to keep all that in mind, though, as Jeni posted, I think Vic will keep me reigned in anyway, lol.

    I’m pretty sure she knows how to French braid, ask her when you coem down next.

    Blessings,

    -Perk

  9. men hunt, women cook

  10. Wow, Fred…

    I can almost hear you grunting and defacating in your cave from here.

    No, I got some news for your sparky, I got three generations of professional chefs leading up to yours truly, and weild a pretty mean skillet myself.

    I also hunt.

    “Men” do what they want to do regardless of what stereotypes other’s try to push on them, “Drones” do what they’re told their supposed to.

    Enjoy the ice age,

    -Perk

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