When All Boys Were Girls
I love history. Why? Because it puts the modern world into context. Too many of us assume that things as they are now are the way that they've always been, always should be and always will be. Spending just two minutes looking at history teaches us valuable lessons about the fickle natures of fashion and the fickle nature of man himself (and herself.) For example, I bet you did not know that at one time, all children were girls.
Now I've piqued your interest and stopped sounding like the creepy cardiganed history teacher with a drone that put you to sleep talking about wars, as if wars were the most important things in human history. (Seriously, far too much importance is placed on war in the study of history. A great deal of other interesting things took place in the past besides men slaughtering each other in interesting and involved ways and, yes, I'm about to get to the point right about now.)
Up until the 15th century, all children, regardless of gender, were referred to as girls. Was there a method for differentiating between male children and female children? Yes. Male children were referred to as 'knave girls', and female children were referred to as 'gay girls'. The term 'boy' was not used to refer to children, instead it referred to a manservant, waiter or some other member of the serving class.
How interesting that a term for 'servant' eventually worked its way into the language as being the name for male children, whilst female children ran away with the term 'girl' entirely, along with all the pretty fashion, the lace, the bows, the color pink, all of which were, at one time, more associated with male children than female children.
It's odd, for, as most feminists will assure you, women have been the object of misogyny for centuries, and in many case, still are, yet in so many ways, it would seem that male status has been reduced from debonair, classy and adorned, to being representative of a class of lumbering hulks only suffered to wear itchy grey or black rectangles, father children and run or make war machines. Of course, I over simplify here, but the male gender has undoubtedly lost something of its charm and indeed, its style over the past six centuries.
Nowadays we take it for granted that boys are boys and girls are girls and we assume that it has always been so. Many of us also assume that it has always been that men do not wear dresses or high heels, which only goes to show that many of us are disastrously ignorant.
If you're a man attracted to feminine things, the argument can easily be made (and supported,) that you are not odd or deviant from the norm, instead you are simply seeking the egalitarian status you would have enjoyed 600 years ago.
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