Pondering what's harder…

Crossposted from AngryBlackBitch.com.

A bitch caught this news item on whether it is easier to raise boys or girls and…well, I’m quizzical.

I’ve never trusted research that is based on gender stereotypes. Coming from an academic background in Anthropology, a bitch knows that there are no absolutes and often even the more than likely averages tumble when confronted with reality.

So, when I read a question like “is it harder to raise boys or girls?” my knee jerk reaction is about a 4.5 on the Afro pain meter.

Note – a bitch is not a parent and has never played a parent on television, but I do have two beagles (1 Theo and 1 Betsey)


How does one answer that question if you are a parent, caretaker or guardian of chil’ren?

If your daughter…we’ll call her Mitzi…was challenging to raise, is that a gender issue or is it more about Mitzi?

Or if your son…we’ll call him Biff…was a contrary pain in the ass from jump, is that because he is a boy or is it because that’s just the way Biff got his childhood on?

I’ve heard this all before.

Girls are people-oriented.

Boys don’t listen well because their hearing is different.

Girls are insecure and lack confidence.

Boys are harder when they are young but girls will drive you up the wall in their teens.


I can’t help but wonder if chil’ren don’t feed off of our gender expectations of them and behave in a way to meet them…almost as if the adults in their lives are unconsciously guiding them to meet gender expectations.

I’m reminded of my own childhood and of the many times the adults in my world sent out those messages of what was expected of a young woman.

Hush…girls don’t talk loud, interrupt or make demands.

Smile…girls don’t express anger or frustration or dislike.

Soften up…girls give comfort and maternal support.

Then I think about the messages sent to the young men in my world.

Speak up…boys speak their minds so you need to assert yourself!

Give us a frown…after all, boys will be boys and public displays of frustration are to be expected.

Toughen up…stop acting like a girl.

And then I go back to the question…is it harder to raise boys than girls?…and I can’t help but think that it needs some rephrasing and redirecting toward children and away from parents.

Mayhap “is it or was it hard to grow up?”...followed by “why do you think it is or was hard or difficult?”


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