Last Thursday I was at the warthog park at the butt end of 57th street on the East river, reading and enjoying the rare sunshine. Nannies and moms (mostly nannies) filtered in with their charges, mostly babies and kids under four or five.
The toys kids are bought come in fads. It was marbles in my day, and card games when my kids were young (those special packs with monsters on them). The kids in the park, those who could walk, all had the same green plastic mini-scooter.
The park has benches around the edges and in its interior are a couple of raised areas of dirt and sand which are bounded by brick. A statue of a warthog is in the middle.
One boy, helmeted naturally, started tooling around and around and around the park solely for the sake of tooling around. Soon another boy joined in. Later a third boy came but he started circling in the opposite direction. The first pair of boys, a Tall one and a Young one, came to the Third boy. Tall said, “Do you want to be friends?” Third said, “Yes.” And Tall, excited as he could be, said to Young, “He wants to be our friend!”
Meanwhile, some girls had come, too. They were off in a corner of the park opposite where I was, sitting near their nannies and playing with some bright plastic thing I couldn’t make out.
The boys circled and circled until Tall had the happy idea of crashing full speed into the brick and tumbling onto the dirt. Young saw this and copied. He flew backwards onto the cement, whereupon he started laughing and laughing. This was the funniest thing he had ever done in his life. He was doubled over in mirth.
His nanny (I’m guessing) came over thinking he was hurt. When Young saw her he popped up and took off on his scooter. And then Third came and crashed.
The Tall crashed again. Full speed into the brick—bam!—and thrown off. Then Young, then Third, and so on, for quite a while. Sometimes they would fall into the dirt, sometimes on the cement, but always they would fall laughing.
After a while, probably because of exposure to one too many movies, they started crashing and falling in slow motion, complete with explosion sound effects, exaggerating their demise, limbs everywhere.
It was time for me to go, and I noticed as I left one of the girls in the corner was standing waving her finger at another of the girls, a mean look on her face. The girls never took part in the crashes.
And now I read of “scientific” “research” which tells me I didn’t see what I saw, or that if I did see what I saw, it was partly my doing. Toy choices of children, we are told, “don’t actually reflect innate preferences” but the preference of their parents and society. I am part of society.
Boys and girls aren’t different, scientists say, but they are genderfied into thinking they’re different by society. Why, hasn’t research “shown” that there are “no sex differences in the preferences of babies for looking at objects versus faces”? And thus, since myopic girl babies and myopic boy babies tend to look or not look at the same things in a constrained unnatural setting, that because therefore that I have eight inches and seventy pounds on my mate, plus a whole different set of plumbing, must mean nothing. At least in the sense that these manifest dimorphisms could possibly play any role in our behavior.
Now since this is Happy Week (Day 2) at WMBriggs.com, I won’t tell you what I think of the minds of researchers anxious to deny the absolute incontrovertible unalterable fact that males and females are different. Boys and girls know they don’t look like one another, and they know they act differently. It is therefore profoundly cruel to attempt to erase, ignore, or medicate away these natural incommensurabilities.
Since I love my enemies, even the enemies who drug boys to make them behave more like girls, I won’t suggest that they should be flogged for their crimes. No, sir. Next time I see an “educator,” I will hug her and tell her that I love her, even as I remind her that she is complicit in spreading the most pernicious pig-ignorant harmful lies and that she is contributing mightily to the downfall of civilization.