During the Spring of 2006 I took an English course at Diablo Valley College that was taught by Tom Barber. This instructor was amazing! He was an understanding instructor that would not allow anyone to take advantage of him. I doubt there was anyone that miss a single day of this class. All of his students love him and he love all of them.
A few days ago I found a floppy disk containing all of the essays that I did in his class. I wanted to share with you an essay that I did entitled “Being Raise With Another Gender”. It was an essay that I did about my mom raising my siblings and I.
Growing up as a little boy in the 1980’s and 1990’s the question I had to learn was how to be a boy. I would have to know what was meant to be for boys and what was for girls as for playing with toys and how to dress up as. I have a brother and sister that were older than me by three to five years apart. My brother was an aggressive type in which he would beat me up due to being the baby in the family and my sister was the nice one who would protect her little brother from the other brother but she still thought I was a spoil brat. Both of my parents were working different shifts while my siblings and I were growing up. My dad would work during the daytime at the post office while my mom, who also work at the same post office as my dad would be working graveyard shift. The only time I would see my dad was in the morning when my sibling and I get ready for school. He would drop us off at school while my mom would be the one picking us up in the afternoon and take us shopping. She was the one raising us instead of my dad. It was kind of confusing to understand why my mom was raising us instead of my dad. I didn’t until why was that until I turn 6 year old. My mom would be doing everything from cooking us food and taking us shopping for clothes.
My mom was strict on us. She taught both all of us how to act like for our gender. She would teach my sister how to act like a girl by telling her how to dress up like and what not to do. Like the essay “Girl” the mother is telling her daughter what to do by telling her how to act, how to cook, how to sew a button. My mom was worry about the men my sister went out with. She felt that the men would take advance of my sister by doing things that a teenager should be doing. My sister would not follow any of the rules my mom would make on her. I would watch my mom argue with my sister every single week. My sister would be going home late compare to the time she was suppose to be home. It was like that to my brother and I. We had to be home before my mom would leave for work. If we were not home by the time she left for work we would all be getting scream at by her the next day after she comes home from work.
I kind of had some mix reaction when I was hanging out with my mom. I couldn’t understand why my dad could not take us anywhere like other fathers would take their children to a sporting event, fishing, or to the zoo. I felt like that I was being raise as a little girl than a boy from my mom. In the cartoon entitled “Nature vs. Nurture” the father is trying to get his daughter to play with a fire truck. He shows her how fun it is to play with a fire truck but he is unsuccessful. The little girl ends up nurturing the fire truck like it was a little doll. It is the nature for little girls to play with dolls in the beginning. The parents are supposed to nurture their kids to act like their gender. I felt like my mom was nurturing me to be a baby to her for a long time. It was embarrassing getting smooch and having my hands being held by her in public. I can see the reactions of people’s faces and little kids that I saw in places we went. Whenever I went with her I would see boys with their dad and I couldn’t understand why I was the one boy who was with his mom.
What was odd being with my mom was I ended up going into the Women Restroom. I didn’t understand why I was not allowed to go into the Men’s Restroom by myself. I had to go in with her everywhere we went. I got confuse for awhile after ended up going to the exact restroom with her. When I was around 5 years old I finally was allowed to go to the restroom by myself I still didn’t know which restroom to use. As I question myself outside of the restroom knowing which one to go into I ended up using the Women Restroom but when some woman scream at me that I was in the wrong restroom I got the message that I was suppose to use the Men’s Restroom than the Woman’s. My sister was shock that I would go into the Women’s Restroom even though I was a boy. I knew from that day why men and women have separate restroom.
When I was not with my mom I would go with my brother even though he did not want me to come along with him. He would hang out with the neighbors across the street from us in which they were all boys. Our neighbors had the toys that we all wanted to have. They have toys like Transformers, GI Joes, Sega, and Nintendo. They even had the haircuts with the line going across the back of the head and brand name clothes with Ked shoes being bought at JCPenny’s and Sears. My clothes were pick out by my mom in which they were not big brand name but they were bought from K-Mart. I was not even allowed to pick out my own clothes until I was 12 years old. In the essay, “Bato Con Khakis” the character that author Jacinto Jesus Cardona talks about wants to be cool like the other boys but the way her dresses isn’t what is suppose to be cool. He worn bifocal glasses with a blue vest and dark laid back shades. He was cool after all but learn that he did not have to dress up like the other boys. I wanted to be like other boys in our neighborhood but my mom wouldn’t allow my brother and I to be like the others.
Whenever we wanted toys my mom would get toys that were appropriate for our gender. My mom bought the toys for all of us. My brother and I ended up getting Transformers while my sister got Cabbage Patch Kids doll. We would end up bringing our toys to other people’s houses so we can play with other kids who had toys as well. My mom knew what toys was meant for my brother and sister. I did not get the message of what to play with until my brother shown me, which one was for boys and girls. Knowing what was role to be in was from my brother and sister. My brother would be hanging out with his friends playing Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo at their house while my sister would be with her friends doing each other hair, playing with Cabbage pack kids and Barbie. In the essay “Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls” author Katha Pollitt explain that boys still like to play with trucks while girls play with dolls. The roll of telling kids to be boys or girl is out of parent’s hands. They need to teach their children the gender role by nurturing them. I explain it certain parents don’t pay attention on how their kids are supposed to act. My mom would pay close attention to us on the way my siblings and I were suppose to act for our gender.
I think my mom raise us well. We didn’t turn out to be disaster when all of us grown up to become adults that we are. Even though my mom was a woman she knew what boys and girls were suppose to act like. Thankfully I finally got the message of know what gender I was suppose to be. Luckily I didn’t have identity crises as I gotten older. Hopefully I turn out to be a good dad to my children and not be lost in their lives.