BIG WORLD
What is a Girl?
and
What is a Boy?
We see boys and girls as entirely different species.  Girls like muffins.  Boys
like baseball.  They are different, and we are taught to see them differently.  
Our parents and the church are powerful teachers, and our schools and the
leisure industry reinforce this early conditioning.  But what if our teachers are
wrong?  What if girls and boys are really the same—not biologically, of
course, but in all other ways?  What if the gender roles we’ve learned—what
it means to be a girl or a boy—rather than helping us form an identity, serve
only to limit the sort of people we can be?

The answer is staring us in the face.  Our society puts a construction on
gender, creates a model for us to follow, but this model changes from
generation to generation.  In other words, neither gender has an essence.  
Neither has a stable, unchanging set of traits that defines its members, for
all time, as real men or real women.  Big World looks at some of the traits
that are commonly used to define the genders (men are strong and brave,
adventurous and level-headed, while women are pretty, clean, cautious and
caring), and shows that these traits belong equally to both men and women.  
It is only by stepping past the stereotypes that we become full-blown people.  
It is only by becoming full-blown people that we are able to have truly loving
relationships.  We have to make the world bigger than the one we were born
into.

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