I was away on the weekend with friends and one of their daughters had recently acquired a notebook that she made into her creative journal. The drawings and stickers, and her sense of freedom to be creative without limitations, was astounding. I was impressed.
Then I had an idea.
I asked her if she would be willing to draw me a picture of a child without suggesting what their gender would be. Of course this was rather confusing to her, and rightly so, I assume she had never been given this task before. I explained what I needed it for and we began a discussion on how this drawing could be possible.
During the process several questions were asked.
What would they wear?
Girls wear skirts, she said. But so do boys, I added, in Scotland men wear kilts and many men wear sarongs, both can be classed as skirts. She decided that shorts and a t-shirt would be safer.
How long is their hair?
Medium length was the compromise. She wasn't convinced when I said loads of men have hair long enough to put in a ponytail.
What colour will they wear?
She pulled out a purple pen and then asked me if boys like purple. Of course this did not come as a surprise to me considering how colours are being advertised/gendered to children in every toy aisle, supermarket, clothes store, movie, book, etc.
I wonder if this is a geat exercise for all children to do to try and ascertain how children view gender?
If you decide to try this, please let me know how the experience was for you and your child.