Discussion Thread: I Thought the Darnedest Things, Part 2

On Tuesday, I opened a discussion thread about the things we misunderstood as kids. One of the themes I noticed was about thinking things to be gendered that aren't, or in a way they aren't, e.g. thinking only women had the ability to cook because you never saw any men cooking, or thinking all cats are female and all dogs are male.

Trying to fit things into a sex/gender binary is something humans do from a very early age, so it leads to a lot of misunderstandings about what is innately female or innately male, when kids see only women or only men doing something.

(Aside: Contrary to the insistence of homobigots that single and same-sex parenting damages kids, children raised by single or same-sex parents tend to have less rigid ideas about gender than kids raised by opposite-sex parents. Of course, I suppose if you are a homobigot, less rigid ideas of gender is evidence of damage. Suffice it to say, I disagree!)

I remember lots of surprises when I would see a man doing something I'd only seen my mother do, or vice versa. I also used to think if my parents did the same task different ways, it necessarily meant that all women had one way of doing it and all men had one way of doing it.

One of the silliest examples of this is that my parents folded toilet paper differently (and probably still do; I don't know since they haven't had to wipe my ass in about 35 years, lol). When I saw my paternal grandmother fold toilet paper, she did it just like my dad! I told her, "You fold toilet paper like a man." And I still remember, as clear as day, her saying to me, "No, your daddy folds toilet paper like a woman—like me, because I taught him."

It blew my little mind!

What memories do you have about your misunderstandings about sex/gender?

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