birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Girls & Boys, Women & Men

When I was growing up the social understanding of gender was based in different expectations of boys and girls.

Men knew how to build and fix things. My father went to work every week day. On Saturdays he built or fixed things at home, and on Sundays he watched football. Men could teach you how to play games or help you put models together. My father had a workbench in the basement, which is where he would go to escape. Men knew about hunting and fishing and being outdoors.

Women knew how to make meals and clean things. They were better at taking care of you when you were sick. My mother made sure I did my schoolwork understood the high expectations I needed to exceed. She would escape to the kitchen. Women were teachers and Sunday school teachers and seemed to know more about things you learn from books.

I grew up in the country with two younger sisters and mainly girls as neighbors. I spent more time with girls than boys as a child, at least until I went to school. Girls seemed more interesting than boys, better at holding a conversation.

Essentially I see men and women as basically the same, except for physical differences and how we have been socialized. I have a roughly equal number of male and female friends.

I do not know that it matters to me that I am male. I am comfortable, and think I like it better than I would being female. I think I have grown into both some of my male qualities as well as some of my female qualities.

My experiences have shaped my perspective. I am used to being male, and I am probably more attached to it than I realize.

It is not too late

Not sure