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

(74 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.

boheminan Sat 18-Mar-23 12:20:19

When I was 8 I desperately wanted to be an horse!
After helping mum do the housework in the mornings (big brother would be sent out to play with his friends) I was finally allowed out, the boys would be playing cowboys and Indians.

I was horse mad (black 'Fury' being my favourite TV horse) I wanted to be a players horse, preferably a cowboys as they had black horses. So with a skipping rope round the back of the neck and underarms for 'reins' I would neigh and gallop along somewhere behind the boys as an escaped horse. For some reason, I wasn't very popular.

midgey Sat 18-Mar-23 12:34:59

I remember being a horse! My friend and I used to take turns schooling each other.

Juliet27 Sat 18-Mar-23 12:39:11

As a child I was happiest climbing trees, playing cowboys with my cap gun and pretending armies with the boys, although they did suggest I was the camp cook for some reason!! Strange how the word camp has taken on a different connotation.

Ailidh Sat 18-Mar-23 12:41:52

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.

Luckygirl3 Sat 18-Mar-23 12:43:53

My DD was a dog for about a year! She had a rubber bone and would go round on all fours barking and put her drinks into a dish on the floor! She was very happy and we would pat her on the head and she would woof back.

She is entirely normal now!

She also went through a phase of wanting to be a boy and called herself Ben - how good that this was 30 years ago, or she would no doubt now have been on hormone treatments; or if not that, then too much would have been made of it. It was a phase - it passed.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 18-Mar-23 12:46:44

I remember Fury bohemian. I desperately wanted a horse like him and wrote a note threatening to run away if I didn’t get one. Stupidly, I thought a horse could be kept in the garden. I didn’t get a horse, nor did I run away.

Salti Sat 18-Mar-23 13:10:05

I really wanted to be a boy and not have to wear pretty, itchy dresses and be constantly told to keep clean and be "ladylike". I was never allowed a pair of jeans, but once I left home I was rarely seen in anything else for decades.I really wanted a meccano set too. Fortunately lots of my schoolfreinds had brothers who would play with me. The first time I took down, moved and reassembled a greenhouse I remember thinking.....meccano for adults.
I am however now more than happy to be a female, albeit with some "unusual" interests.

Juliet27 Sat 18-Mar-23 13:18:12

I remember telling a neighbour that I was going into a competition to win a pony and would it be ok to keep it in his orchard. He was agreeable. Did I win the pony…of course not but I do like to prepare in advance!!

VioletSky Sat 18-Mar-23 13:22:16

When you were a child you desperately wanted equality.

Not to be placed in a box according to your gender.

Not to be dressed in stereotypical girls clothes or given stereotypical girls toys or expected to behave in stereotypical girl ways

These days more and more raise children according to the child's likes and choices, not stereotypes.

Only the children who know deep inside that they are the wrong gender find that is not enough

Galaxy Sat 18-Mar-23 13:42:34

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.

Galaxy Sat 18-Mar-23 13:43:12

Gendification is a word I have created I think!

Grandma70s Sat 18-Mar-23 13:44:47

I must have been lucky. My brother and I were treated equally at home.. I’m afraid neither of us was expected to do housework. This was in the 1940s and 50s.

I would have hated to be a boy, though. They had boring grey clothes and boring interests, to my eyes. At my all-girls school, when we were ten my form was asked who would prefer to be a boy. Only I and one other were quite sure we’d rather be girls. The others said things like “Boys have more fun”. I really couldn’t see that at all. I had plenty of fun. My brother’s school was harsher than mine, and they had to go in on Saturday mornings. Why would I envy that?

Kim19 Sat 18-Mar-23 14:05:33

I was always referred to as a tomboy when a child. Didn't mind. Probably a degree of truth. However blessed hormones put everything into perspective in due course. Lovely!

Salti Sat 18-Mar-23 14:20:46

My youngest sister was treated exactly like I was including the pretty dresses and being constantly told to keep clean. When she had her own daughter she went completely the other way. The little girl was dressed mainly in dungarees and there wasn't a doll in sight.
I remember just before she was two years old she told me and her other auntie that she really wanted a dolly and a pram for her birthday and anything else as long as it was pink. She of course had the birthday of her dreams.
I think that lots of children just want to have choices and be listened to.

Lizbethann55 Sat 18-Mar-23 14:30:56

" gendification" , I really like that. What a good word to invent!

Lizbethann55 Sat 18-Mar-23 14:35:16

The actress, writer, Phoebe Waller Thingy, said in a radio interview , that as a teenager, she was absolutely desperate to be a boy. She was sure that she was meant to be a boy. She said that had she been a teenager in these times she would have gone for gender treatment. She said that she is so glad that it hadn't been an option as now she is more than happy being the female she was born to be and that transistioning would have been the most dreadful mistake.

VioletSky Sat 18-Mar-23 14:39:57

Oh gosh me too, I'd have just rocked up at the GP and said " boy tablets please" and that would have been that

Ilovecheese Sat 18-Mar-23 14:50:26

Isn't it more sensible to strike a match away from you incase the end flies off.

nexus63 Sat 18-Mar-23 14:57:48

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.

pascal30 Sat 18-Mar-23 15:14:36


I remember being a horse! My friend and I used to take turns schooling each other.

Same here Midgery.. and then at aged 14 I actually got a horse a Bay coloured scottish Garron called Dixie .. who I absolutely life was all about horses for years...

Mollygo Sat 18-Mar-23 15:31:43


Isn't it more sensible to strike a match away from you incase the end flies off.

My Granddad told us that striking it away from you was the sensible way to do it. He didn’t say it was the girls’ way.

aggie Sat 18-Mar-23 15:34:35

That was one of my Dads riddles
Why does a girl strike a match away from them and a boy towards them ?
The answer ? To light it !

biglouis Sat 18-Mar-23 15:41:12

If I could go back and have the choice there is no way I would want to be a girl/woman and get the dirty end of the stick. Ive always deeply envied men their power and status in the world. Most of them do nothing to deserve it.

ayse Sat 18-Mar-23 15:41:55

I was a tomboy in my childhood and preferred playing with the boys in our street more than the girls. I did have two dolls and loved party dresses. I was quite plump and shorts and trousers, especially the itchy type were not my favourite! I didn’t want to be a boy but just wanted to play boy games - guns etc.

I have twin granddaughters. One is a very pink person, hates having dirty hands and clothes. The other doesn’t mind being messy and is generally not into playing with dolls, unicorns and watching Frozen etc. They both love dressing up to go to parties. My 18 year old grandson loved dressing up in girl type clothing when he was young.

I’m all for children expressing themselves in whatever way gives them pleasure. As I tell them all, “we are all different”