Lunchtime walk – and conflict of the sexes

Today has been a little cooler than it was over the weekend, which made my lunchtime walk a little more pleasant.  I always like to go for a half hour walk at lunch, usually incorporating a trip to the shop if we’re in need of a loaf of bread or something.

There are a few different routes I take for variety and today’s took me past one of the town’s schools, which is a primary school.  I’m a little out of the loop these days so I’m not entirely sure of the age range, but I think it’s 5 to 11 years of age.  The playing field is bounded by a hedge and as I walked along the side of the hedge I could hear a female teacher explaining to her pupils how to throw a ball.  It must have culminated in her throwing it because she said, “There, just like that.”  She followed this with, “I know it’s not brilliant, but I thought it was pretty good for a girl.”

It actually quite shocked me that a teacher would use a phrase like that in this day and age.  What sort of lesson is this teaching those pupils?  That girls have to apologise just for being girls?

Now I undeerstand that there are and always will be differences between the sexes.  Girls like to do girl things and boys like to do boy things and we shouldn’t stop them from making uncoerced choices.  I also understand the need for competition, both amongst the members of each sex and between the sexes, but no one – male or female – should ever feel they need to apologise for any natural lack of expertise or ability whatever the context.

This actually reminds me of a time when June and I were first looking at houses in this area.  We went to one house that smelled really strongly of dog as soon as we walked in.  So strong that I felt like being sick.  The guy apologised and said that his wife had divorced him a few months ago and “well, you know us men are no good at housework and stuff”.


Any man who cannot keep a house clean, wash and iron clothes, sew a button on, take up the hem of a pair of jeans, cook a meal, wash pots, etc. etc. should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.  My father is in his seventies and even though he’s not as sprightly as he used to be he still maintains his house to a high degree of cleanliness.  He even spent a lot of time nursing my mother until she passed away last year.

When it comes down to ordinary, everyday things of just getting on with our lives, neither sex should claim to be better or weaker than the other, we should just do these things.

Of course, my position on gender equality is undermined to a small degree when I’m informed that dealing with spiders “is a man thing”.


8 thoughts on “Lunchtime walk – and conflict of the sexes

  1. Dealing with spiders is an anything but me thing frankly, actually we tend to point the cats at them and wait in the other room for them to magically (and i’m sure humanely) disappear.

  2. Actually, spiders tend to creep me out a bit, too. June has a real phobia of them, which is the real reason I deal with them.

    I think it’s funny when the cat spots a spider and tries to catch it.

  3. You’d be surprised how many people cannot take care of themselves, even young people. Especially twenty something guys. Still living at home, mom cooks, cleans, makes the bed. I’ve seen it so many times. Crazy!

  4. Yes, parents are to blame for a lot of that. Why do they pamper their kids so much? Once they hit three they should be doing the house work and washing the pots. 🙂

    Seriously, parents who do this aren’t really doing their kids any favours. My sons have all grown up being very independent, able to look after themselves and have all settled down in good relationships. (Blimey, how did that happen?)

    Worse will happen to your kids if you don’t prepare them for the world.

  5. Hey by twelve I could bale hay and birth a lamb. Of course my housework skills still suck but if you need someone untangle panicking livestock from a barbed wire fence and i’m your girl. ;p

    Our cats are pretty efficient little renfields the spidey’s get gobbled up quite fast.

  6. Presumably you grew up on a farm? If not, your parents must have had some strange ideas of fun. 🙂

    I realise now that I was being a bit too generalistic – but the principle of parents preparing their kids for adulthood is important. Your parents obviously had a set of priorities that were important to their lifestyle, but you probably had a better preparation than most for the world at large.

  7. I don’t think you were too general you made a very valid point about an attitude that is still frustratingly prevalent. It’s a thoughtful post I just can’t resist teasing and yes a small holding.

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