If I were a Boy by Dwana Anderson, Sea View Farm Primary, Grade 5, 10 years:
“If I were a boy I would dance all day.
If I were a boy I would say ‘Ok!’
If I were a boy I’d play the things boys play;
If I were a boy I would jump and say, ‘Hooray!’
But since I am a girl I can only say:
‘I wish I were a boy,’ for there’s no way;
For now, I can only dream all day
About: ‘If I were a boy,’ but I’m ok.”
The poem above, one of the last I read in Write off the Bat: Antiguan Students Write, a pamphlet-sized production from the 2007/8 National Reading Festival, a publication of the Ministry of Education and the Education Broadcasting Unit, which I only recently discovered, got me thinking about what young people – boys and girls – think about themselves in relation to the other (before hormones and puberty and all that) just as people existing in the world. Does the “but I’m ok” at the end strike a wistful tone? Do girls feel a sense of restriction born of nothing more than their gender, while boys seem (to them)…freer. To just be. Do we still exist in that norm? Just thinking out loud…especially as I consider activities to engage young writers and explore how they see their world while unlocking their imagination at my upcoming children’s workshop (‘listen out’ for more on that or if you have a young person you’d like to register email me at jhohadli at gmail dot com).
And an excuse to share two videos I like on this subject – the Ciara one is my favourite:
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, and Musical Youth. All Rights Reserved. Seriously, a lot of time, energy, love and frustration goes in to researching and creating content for this site; please don’t just take it up just so without even a please, thank you or an ah-fu-she-subben (credit). If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.