Essay on Analysis Of ' When I Was A Boy '

Essay on Analysis Of ' When I Was A Boy '

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I decided to chose song “When I Was a Boy” by Dar Williams. I’ve never heard this song before, however the title spoke to me first and the lyric turned to be beautiful and touchy. Thus I was convinced that it is the right gender sond. But let’s start from the beginning. “When I Was a Boy”, what does it mean? Is she (Dar Williams) trying to say that long time ago she was a boy, and then decided to be a girl? Did she change her sex, or sexual orientation? Why “boy” not men, or male? Is it related to age?

And she begins
I won’t forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy; I’m glad he didn’t check.

Peter Pan fairy tail is the reminiscent of childhood, where you don’t bother to worry about gender. You can think of yourself as boy or girl, or maybe don’t even have thought like this at all.
I learned to fly, I learned to fight,
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other’s lives out on the pirate’s deck.
We all are just children, who wants to play and have fun. Serious adult things like sex and gender identity don’t came across carefree childhood.

And I remember that night when I’m leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it’s not safe,
Someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home.
But what is that? First gender stereotypes are slowly crawling in her life. Since she is a girl, she is, by default, perceived as weak, someone who can’t stand up for herself. Therefore she needs a man, who is, by default, is strong and brave, man is a protector. This is one of the most common gender stereotypes about helpless women and strong man, that draw very sharp distinction between women’s and men’s roles. From the early age we are being familiarized with this st...


... middle of paper ...


... gender. And going back to Dar Williams’ song, I feel that the lyric exemplifies this concept perfectly. Yes, we are experiencing pressure of the society, we are forced to choose either gender box, we must conform to gender norms, and yes, we have our own sense of gender, something we were born with. But there are emotions, feelings, the particular experience that are coming along during the life. Dar Williams’ song is one story, David Reimer’s is another one. Each is completely unique and related to specific person. Thus, we should see gender as person’s choice to have this gender, and respect the decision to change it as many times as he/she wants. Gender is not universal, it is particular. Nor the nature, nor Nurture holds the responsibility over the gender, but it is “I” who makes the decision to assign itself, or to force itself, to become or to be gendered one.

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