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Carol Perkins: Girl & Boy things, back then, and now

Things have changed from back in the day: "A boy tended to go for the more fragile girl 'back when.' He didn't want one who could jack up and car and change a tire (unless he didn't know how). He didn't want one who could throw balls at milk bottles and knock them down when he couldn't! He didn't want one who could fight like a man (unless he couldn't). New husbands were surprised to discover girls weren't helpless after all. - CAROL PERKINS
The next earlier column: Investigative reporting is hard on the ego

By Carol Perkins
Girl things and boy things. Back in the day, certain activities were for boys and certain ones were for girls. For instance, cooking and sewing were for girls. Building and hunting were for boys. Girls took Home Economics classes; boys took Ag. classes. Girls never called a boy; boys asked for dates. Girls tried to look fragile; boys wanted to look tough. Girls went to beauty shops; boys went to barbers. Today, the idea of girl things and boy things is absurd.




When I was in 4-H, I made an apron as a beginning sewing project. My friend Connie, a tomboy, convinced the 4-H leader to allow her to take the electricity class offered only to boys. "I wanted to learn to wire a lamp." I grew up cooking; she grew up building things. Even today, she can lay a floor, fix a door, or wire a lamp.

Another of my female friends is an avid hunter. She and her husband deer hunt each year and although he may not get a deer, she does. She has her own gun, her own gear, and her own tree stand. That doesn't mean she can't fry up a deer steak; it means she can do both.

My Home Economics classes were wonderful, but even then I thought boys should know this "stuff" too. Most boys in my class had watched their mothers roll in the home and their father's. There are men in my generation who had never changed a diaper until their grandkids came along. There are men running homes today in the absence of a woman and men are rearing kids, cooking meals, and sewing. The most famous designers and chefs in the world are men.

A nice girl never called a boy back in the day. Ask parents of young men today how many girls call/text their sons. Young girls have no boundaries when it comes to "chasing" a boy, it seems. I still have the opinion that a girl should not chase a boy, but sometimes, I guess, he needs chasing!

A boy tended to go for the more fragile girl "back when." He didn't want one who could jack up and car and change a tire (unless he didn't know how). He didn't want one who could throw balls at milk bottles and knock them down when he couldn't! He didn't want one who could fight like a man (unless he couldn't). New husbands were surprised to discover girls weren't helpless after all.

I remember the first time I suggested to Guy that he might let a hairdresser cut his hair. You would have thought I had asked him to wear high heels. Today, hairdressers have many men clients; barbers cut ladies' hair. Women have always taken their sons to the barbershop, but few men (way back) would be caught dead in a "beauty" shop.

The days of "girl things" and "boy things" supposedly ended years ago. Yet, we still live in an area where some women are expected to do "women's work." That door is quickly closing. I just heard it slam!



This story was posted on 2018-04-19 08:52:02
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