When I was a freshman in high school I began to notice the vast differences between boys and girls in their behavior, freedom of expression and their general ability to be comfortable with who they were as individuals. It was a major revelation for me.
First, I witnessed boys were given more freedom. My brother who was four years younger (at 10), was allowed to go out and start his own lawn mowing business. He was very enterprising at an early age. I was two years older when I was first allowed to babysit. Granted the responsibility of taking care of other’s children is greater than making a mistake on someone’s lawn, but the assumption the since he was a boy he was more capable of earning money at ten than I was at ten disturbed me.
It was not just my family. In fact most of the girls I grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s didn’t work until they were 16. They were given an allowance and always seemed to have new clothes throughout the school year. The new clothes was my biggest incentive for working.
Other differences I noticed between boys and girls is the boys seemed more adept at humor, more so especially than I was. They said things that were “off the wall”, just to create laughter. Most of us girls were too busy trying to figure out what the heck was going on with our bodies to think about being funny. It was a shame, because in my case, I was nearly 40 when I discovered I had a sense of humor.