Thursday, 19 February 2009

Boys vs girls: the great top removal debate

Cast your mind back to when you were a teenage girl (obviously if you're a bloke reading this it might not apply unless you've had some dramatic surgery since then.) Anyway, you'd be standing next to the rugby/football/cricket/field/pitch thing. You'd be looking glam, watching the teen boys strutting their stuff and looking manly. And whenever you saw one of them change tops or take a sweatshirt off - getting a glimpse of honed tummy - you noticed something.

Boys pulls their tops off over their heads. They reach behind their heads, grab and yank. This causes maximum belly revealing. It also means that they tend to get their heads stuck particularly if it's a tight fitting top resulting in maximum messed up hair effect. At the time, you think they do this because it looks cool....

Fast forward to now. Two small boys aged 3 and 5. They haven't got a clue what cool is. They don't know how to impress and couldn't give a flying fig about doing it even if they did. Yet they too pull their tops off in the exact same bizarre manner.

Girls don't do this. Girls cross their arms over the front of their bodies, clutch the bottom edge of their shirts/tops and pull them off upwards so that they go over their face first before finally going off the back of their heads. This is a slightly more elegant way of doing things although it can also result in maximum belly revealing unless you have a friend near by to hang onto your underneath layer so that it doesn't creep up too revealing your boobs in all their glory.

Why is it that men and women do this simple task so very differently? I mean really? This isn't a rhetorical question. I want to know. It's as though we're hot wired that way. My children watch me getting undressed far more regularly than they do my husband so it follows that they'd copy what I'd do. But they don't. They continue with the very masculine backward shirt pull.

Is the boy way of doing it more effective? Less time consuming? Is it so that their line of sight is unobscured for longer so that they can see potential baddies coming for them? Are girls more protective of their bodies and so wrap their arms around themselves this way?

I know this isn't up there with solving global warming or coming up with a cure for cancer. But it is vexing me all the same. Enlighten me please.


katyboo1 said...

Wow! That's an excellent point. I don't know. Sorry.
I do know that I cannot persuade my children to take their socks off efficiently. They always pull from the toe rather than roll down from the top and hook over the heel. Always.
Maybe they are just really stupid kids. That must be it.
Doesn't help with the battle of the sexes though.

The Dotterel said...

Whatever it is is the same thing that makes my son obsessed with wheels!

CountryMom said...

So. I thought this was a brilliant observation, and brought it up with my husband over breakfast. After making some comments about some people having too much time on their hands, he explained that it is because it is the exact reverse of how they put it on. Men, being simpler beings, obviously can't add any other movements to the simple act of putting on a shirt.

justme said...

I also find the habit that men seem to have of putting socks on before underpants weird. Again, it is clearly not just copying behaviour, because my son always did and he was brought up without men in the house. He does the tops thing too!
Proof positive that men really ARE a different species

nappy valley girl said...

Mine haven't mastered taking their own tops off yet, at ages 3 and 2, but I shall be watching them like hawks when they do to see if your theory is correct!

Rosie Scribble said...

Interesting observation. Girls are simply cleverer. And that's it!! (And I also agree with CountryMom's comment abut men being simpler beings!)

Ali said...

After I read this I watched Pudding (3) who has just mastered taking his top off, he does it from the bottom! Maybe he's been watching me too much. On the other hand, I think the 13yo does it the other way. Who knows what's going on there.

Anonymous said...

An excellent point. I don't use either of these methods though, so I'm a bit unclear now as to which camp I fall in. I take each arm out of its sleeve in turn, then take the top over my head. Am I a eunuch?

Home Office Mum said...

Katyboo - We have the same sock issues

Dotterel - there's probably a boy chip that wires all these weird bits

Countymom - fully agree with men being simpler beings

Justme - what is that with guys? Loafing around in socks with their bits still out in the cold.

Nappy Valley - take notes, take pics - they will start doing it, I'm sure

Rosie - obviously girls are cleverer. That's a given.

Ali - pudding is messing up my theory. Double check. Make sure he is a boy

More than - possibly eunuch, possibly just double jointed. how on earth do you do that?

that girl? said...

Don't ask me... I wore a thong sideways until lunchtime about 5 years ago! (And not on purpose!)

Home Office Mum said...

:-) That girl. That's probably why i don't wear thongs

Iota said...

I've wondered that too. Myself, I put one hand up the front and use it to ease the other arm out of the armhole. Then I use the free arm to get the first arm out of its armhole. Then I use both to take the body bit over my head. But this is all to avoid getting my hair so static that it's like a pin cushion for the rest of the day.

I've just read that More Than Just a Mother does the same. So I'm in the eunuch camp. Eunuch with bad hair.