I stopped at the park to check on the Boy the other day and noticed something: there were very few girls. There may have been one or two but fairly young and a very watchful adult eye.
All the rest of kids were boys. They varied in age, from maybe 7 to young adult. They all seemed to know each other and were obviously free-range.
And it struck me. Where are all the girls? The boys get to be free-range and the girls get locked away in the house?
I started thinking back to the other parks, the other free-range kids I’ve noticed. All boys. Not a single girl to be found riding her bike or scooter…hanging out with other girls…hanging out with the boys…
So I asked the Boy about it. He could only name two girls he’s played with at the park, one he says is always hurting herself, the other only showed up once.
It pained me to think of the girls who live in my condo community, who aren’t allowed to go outside the gate without an adult. But where do they play then? Because I rarely see or hear them outside on the weekends.
Makes me sad to think of the boys growing up free-range and all the girls being helicopter parented. Imagine the disconnect that will create.
It’s probably not imposed on them. It’s probably a choice for the most part. Even when I was a kid, in the dinosaur days, and was free ranger than most, I didn’t go to parks to play on the equipment. None of my friends did, either. Of course, I had a yard then, which is probably not available. But I suspect if you went around you would see little girls on their decks and patios playing dolls.
Not saying there isn’t a parental involvement . . and YES boys and girls get raised differently. Even by parents who struggle, like I did, to not let that happen. Many mothers have histories of abuse and know what could face their daughters. They ARE more protective. But girls just aren’t as interested as well.
One of the biggest mistakes of feminism, imo, is that it tried to eliminate the difference and force kids to be the same.
The boys are out being rough and tumble boys as most boys are.
The girls are inside preparing to be 50’s style housewives.
Good point Gwen. I guess the only reason I was running around the park is because the summer day care program I was in took us to the park and we stayed there all day swimming and playing. Of course, the boys went and found swamp and tadpoles, while us girls generally stayed around the playground. When I was in my neighborhood (which wasn’t very safe), I usually played in the backyard if I wasn’t inside reading a book.
.-= Kymlee´s last blog ..Where are all the girls =-.
I was always out running wild as a kid racing my bike around the neighbourhood, goofing on the playground, and playing sports in the streets and parks. Of course the theory that girls tend not to play so free range by choice may explain somewhat why most of my friends were boys. I can’t remember if there were many girls or not. I know there were a few but I did tend to hang with the boys. They were more fun.