Rumors flying around the kindergarten classroomPosted: March 7, 2014
A couple of days ago at work, I was passing by 2 kindergarteners who were putting on their boots, getting ready to go home for the day. One whispered to the other, “Is she a boy? She looks like a boy.” I thought it was super cute – it’s cute how kids think that if they whisper, there’s no way you can hear them. It’s cute how kids’ gender categories are only “girl” and “boy,” no matter how old the person they’re talking about is. It’s cute how kids are so curious.
Then tonight, a book fair was going on. A mom and her daughter arrived a little early and the mom asked me where it was being held. We were about half- the-hallway’s-length away from each other; I gave her directions to the cafeteria. She said thanks and I started to turn the corner when I heard her say, “Oh, I was just wondering?” I turned to face her again and she continued.
“What’s your name?”
I told her my name, which is a slightly androgynized version of my very feminine name.
She said, “Oh ok, sorry, I thought you were someone else. My apologies. For my daughter.”
“Sure, no problem.” She then told me her name (I forget now) and, “Nice to meet you.”
I walked away from that having no idea what motivated those questions or who she might have thought I was. No one ever mistakes me from someone else. I don’t mean to be boastful, but I’ve been told that I have a very distinct face so many times that it’s become a source of internal pride.
As I thought it through, all I could imagine was that this was a kindergartener here with her mom (she looked to be kindergarten age). The kids had been increasingly wondering whether I am a boy or a girl, and this one kid even spread the word to her mom. And her mom was helping clear it up for her. I’d rather it not get cleared up!
This is why I’m seriously considering going by a masculine-sounding name.