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When I was 11 I desperately wanted to be a boy.

(75 Posts)
ExDancer Sat 18-Mar-23 11:48:12

This is not intended to be a serious in depth discussion, just my memories of childhood.
We lived near a busy railway junction in the 50s and my brother and his friends used to go train spotting. They all had a little book with numbers in, and they crossed them off when a train came into the station.
My mum wouldn't buy me a book because I was a girl, we didn't get pocket money nor the chance to earn any - chores were done as chores and were unpaid.
The boys also got lifts on the footplate down to the engine shed and repair shop, but the kind engine drivers didn;t take girls.
Oh how I longed to be a boy!
I'm so glad no-one took any notice of me.

Nightrose Sat 18-Mar-23 15:46:46

A friend's nephew was 6 and believed he was Batman. He went everywhere wearing Batman costumes, even to bed (he had a lot of those). All was well until one day he jumped off the top of the cupboard and broke his arm. That was it. No more Batman, little guy. You might want to be Batman but you're no Batman, just a regular little boy. I think that was the first cold, harsh reality he had to face.

ExDancer Sun 19-Mar-23 12:08:17

Aww - poor lad.

ExDancer Sun 19-Mar-23 12:10:09

Nexus63 have you replied to a different post? You sound quite troubled.

BlueBelle Sun 19-Mar-23 12:27:36

Good job you can’t have Batman realignment or is that next on the medical plate
I was so desperate for a brother or sister but never got one I devised games that I could play left hand against right hand
I remember my eldest was very fond of her uncle only a few years older and wanted her hair all cut off and to stand up to wee she never achieved either bad mother that I am

VioletSky Sun 19-Mar-23 12:31:40

Haven't you heard of Comicon?

Smileless2012 Sun 19-Mar-23 13:03:05

I loved my dolls, dolls house and the paraphernalia that went with them. I liked wearing pretty dresses and patent leather shoes. I loved playing with the boys where we lived as much as the girls; cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians etc.

I can't ever remember being glad I was a girl and never wished I was a boy. I was who I am and content to be so.

Deedaa Sun 19-Mar-23 20:53:45

I always thought the boys had better games - cowboys and indians, and cops and robbers. In my last year at primary school my friend and I spent all our time in the local park with a rifle and Davy Crockett hats. No dolls for us!

Sago Sun 19-Mar-23 21:11:49


Nexus63 have you replied to a different post? You sound quite troubled.

Nexus was troubled, her post is quite clear.
Nexus It must be hard playing the dutiful daughter.
I know as I did it for years, my mother has passed and I’m grateful for everyday I have without her.

Maggieanne Tue 21-Mar-23 11:28:55

Juliet27, was the competition from Heinz, where you had to colour in a scene picturing cowboys cooking food on a camp fire? I did that one but it wasn't me that won the horse, I wonder who did get it, and what a ridiculous prize, although I still think about it, how sad is that.

NanKate Tue 21-Mar-23 11:31:15

I always wore shorts, a Trutex t-shirt and Clark’s sandals. I’m still happier in trousers.

I was glad I had a son and then grandsons, as I play better with boys than girls.

sandwichgeneration Tue 21-Mar-23 11:35:23

What Exdancer wanted was equal rights. I felt the same. Had to help with the cleaning but wasn't allowed to go to Brownies whilst my brother (who didn't have to do chores) was able to go to Cubs. Why? "Because he's a boy," said my mother.

suelld Tue 21-Mar-23 11:46:29


i always wished i was not the eldest as the other 4 siblings were his and he made sure i never got the same treatment, i did not know i was not his until i was 11, he had been my "dad" as far back as i could remember, but i did stay with my gran for a lot of the time and then at 12 i had to move into my grans full time to stop him making me a woman as he put it. i did often think if i had been a boy maybe it would have been different, my mother is in her 80s now and i still play the dutifull daughter as she has manged to piss of everbody else but i can never forgive her for keeping him and getting rid of me, as i said maybe if i had been a boy things would have been so much different.

Goodness Nexus, what an awful story. Have you been able to discuss this with a professional? This needs talking about and brought into the open - you accepting it as ‘something that happened’ is not good.
I’m surprised not more of the members here haven’t come back with some helpful advice.
I’m no psychologist but this comment worries me ?

Kartush Tue 21-Mar-23 11:58:33

When I was 11 I desperately wanted to be an archeologist, travel to Egypt and discover buried tombs

timetogo2016 Tue 21-Mar-23 12:12:16

My dad said the very same aggie.
I wanted to be a boy too,i was a tomboy,climbing trees,climbed onto a church roof and fell through it.
I could go on,but ....
Oh my lord,i must have been a nightmare,i ended up at the A n E many times,but my parents were so good about it all bless them.

RakshaMK Tue 21-Mar-23 12:14:30

I wish I'd known you back then. My two best friends in infants were boys, because they let me be the horse in their games of cowboys and Indians

Grandma70s Tue 21-Mar-23 12:15:44

I wasn’t very keen on dolls (preferred cats), but I loved clothes and dressing up. How awful to be a boy like my brother, always in grey flannel! I was so glad that when I had my sons in the 70s, boys could wear more colourful clothes.

Because I was fairly tall, I often had to take boy parts in dancing and acting (there being no boys at my school). I loathed it, and never felt remotely like a boy.

Matelda Tue 21-Mar-23 12:29:32


I remember when I'd learnt to lay a fire with twisted newspapers and sticks and coal, when I was allowed to light it my Mum told me there was a boy's way of striking the match on the box (towards you) and a girl's way (away from you). Even at those tenderish years, I couldn't see why but she explained it was that girls were scared of seeing the flame light towards them.

In the ensuing 60 years, I have never once lit a match the girl's way. Didn't want to be a boy, did want to be a bolshie girl. Succeeded.

I think this was a First World War thing. By striking the match towards you, your hand would conceal the flare from enemy snipers.

Paperbackwriter Tue 21-Mar-23 12:39:29


I am not sure that's entirely true, the gendification around childrens toys is as fierce as ever, you just need to walk through any toy store.

.. And not just toys. Clothing - look at the messages on so-called girls' sweatshirts and tee shirts. It's all about being kind, about dreaming, unicorns, princesses, about being passive. Boys' clothes? Adventure, noise, science, exploring etc. If only people would stop buying into this rubbish.

Greyduster Tue 21-Mar-23 13:00:01

I also desperately wanted to be a boy when I was growing up. I joined in all the boys games and ran wild with them rather than hang out with girls, and yes, perched on the embankment or down at the station trainspotting with the requisite book was de rigour. Famous Five’s George was my hero(ine!). My mother did her darndest to “condition” me with pretty clothes and girls toys, but I was having none of it. Even in my mid teens, when I decided that if I wasn’t going to beat femininity I should try and join it, I never quite felt I belonged in the body I was occupying, but then hormones kicked in and the rest is history. But climbing trees, being “explorers”, fishing and playing cricket and football is something I did with both my son and my grandson (though by the time he came along the tree climbing saw me in the lower branches only!). I could never imagine myself the mother of a daughter - during my second pregnancy it inspired a mild panic in me - but mine has always been a joy and a revelation for the word go. I knitted for the dolls, had tea parties, played hairdressing, was the fairy godmother to her Cinderella and much else. Even from being tiny she hated getting her hands dirty! Still does!

Iam64 Tue 21-Mar-23 13:12:45



I am not sure that's entirely true, the gendification around childrens toys is as fierce as ever, you just need to walk through any toy store.

.. And not just toys. Clothing - look at the messages on so-called girls' sweatshirts and tee shirts. It's all about being kind, about dreaming, unicorns, princesses, about being passive. Boys' clothes? Adventure, noise, science, exploring etc. If only people would stop buying into this rubbish.

I grew up in the traditional 50’s and played more with boys because we climbed trees, fished for sticklebacks, roamed about on bikes and walking. I got my first pair of trousers at age 8 and wore them till I outgrew them
By the 70’s there was more interest in gender neutral toys and clothes. Sadly we seem to have reverted to a pink and blue world. More worryingly, the number of girls looking for gender change is growing.
Apologies if I’ve gone too far off piste ExDancer

nanna8 Tue 21-Mar-23 13:19:35

I wanted to be a boy until I was about 10 because they seemed to have more fun, climbing and just generally being favoured by society in the 1950s. I liked roller skating around the streets and fishing for sticklebacks and tadpoles. I still liked. dolls,though.

Lexisgranny Tue 21-Mar-23 13:26:49

I loved boys games and boys toys and was never ‘girly’, but at no time did I ever want to be a boy. In my mid teens I realised that I loved all the trendy clothes that were starting to appear, and boy friends stopped being friends who were boys!

Morganrae Tue 21-Mar-23 13:27:17

I wouldn't go as far as saying I wanted to be a boy but I loved doing what the boys did. I have 2 older brothers which may contribute to this behaviour. I still see myself as a tomboy, don't wear dresses very often, that type of thing. My wider circle of friends included girls but most were boys. I think girls, especially teenagers, can be quite catty and I couldn't be bothered with the nonsense. My friends now are mostly mixed but also includes many men. Some of those are friends from are very young age.

DaisyL Tue 21-Mar-23 14:21:32

I really wanted to be a boy but when I played cowboys and indians with my brother and his friends I was made to be the squaw who kept the camp! Wouldn't be allowed today. And because I was 5'9" by the time I was 12 I never learnt to dance the girl's way and was always cast as a male character in school plays. Very happy to be a woman now and glad I wasn't born recently as I would definitely be a boy/man.

Summerfly Tue 21-Mar-23 15:58:23

A little different, but my grandson who is 16 yrs loved Peppa Pig when he was a tiny. I asked him once what he would like to be when he’s all grown up. He answered quite seriously, a pig. He still remembers it and it always makes me chuckle when I’m reminded of it. 😍