This is a really interesting question. When I originally started this chapter, I wrote “no” at the beginning of it. In many ways, that’s certainly true – but it’s also true that there are certainly things that only boys or only girls can do.
I mean quite specific things, like girls carry babies inside their wombs, and there’s no way men can give birth! But on a lot of things – most things, to be honest – both men and women can do the same amount of “stuff”.
For instance, imagine that I asked you to carry this heavy box from the front room out to the car.
Would you prefer a man or a woman to carry out there? Or do you think the same as me, that you’d prefer the strongest person to do the job? If the woman is stronger – which is entirely possible – then she’ll be the first person I’ll be asking!
We often assume that a man is stronger than a woman, and that can be true; a man will often have more muscle than a woman. But not always; you can meet slim men and muscled women, who would be a lot stronger than the man.
Can boys and girls both do the same things with their brains? Of course; we’ve all got that organ inside our heads, so why can’t we use them? Being a boy or girl doesn’t make us more or less clever – a few silly people believe that it makes a difference, but it really doesn’t.
In the past, it’s been traditional for men to go out to work and women to stay at home and look after their children. But that’s because of tradition rather than ability – it’s just the way things were, but times have changed. We see things differently now; it doesn’t matter whether it’s the man or woman or combination of the two who look after the children at home.
It doesn’t matter if your boss is a woman or man; it doesn’t matter if your teacher is one or the other; nor should it matter if your best friend is male or female. What matters is if they are good at what they do; can they teach you well? Are they a good friend?