Today, I will directly tackle the belief that âgirls mature faster than boys.â This is a very common belief amongst older and younger generations, and it seems so harmless. Whatâs wrong with assuming boys mature slower than girls? However, there are several reasons why this belief is toxic.
Firstly, girls do not mature faster than boys; they are simply allowed less time with their childhood innocence. It starts at such a young age most of us donât even mourn its loss. For example, as a child I was told by my grandmother to be careful while playing, as people will see up my dress. You see, even at the young age of six, I was already being sexualized. My genitals were already seen as sex organs, while my male counterparts were allowed to walk around freely in their underwear, as if paedophiles only like little girls. However, this is not to blame my grandmother, as she was simply trying to protect me in the best way she knew how.
The sexualization of children (particularly females) is a serious problem in the Caribbean. When I use the term âsexualization of little girlsâ, I mean the act of making little girls sexually aware. In laymanâs terms, you are forcing little girls to become aware of menâs sexual desire for them. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for men or women to have sexual feelings towards children. It is especially horrid when they act on these feelings. Even worse is the onslaught of victim blaming towards the children, as if they are somehow responsible for the actions of ADULTS.
This brings me to my second point: young girls are made conscious of their bodies when confronted with older males. If I may be so bold, why is a female child responsible for covering up herself around grown men? Why donât we teach men not to look at CHILDREN? As if an eight-year-old can control her breasts from growing, or her hips from widening. Not to mention the actual years allotted to outside play is cut down because, as a girl, you had to learn to take care of the house. You had to learn to cook, clean and maintain a âneatâ appearance. Please that note your male counterparts are stilling running around outside in their underwear.
Frankly, ladies donât mature faster; they are ripened by force. The next time you decide to call a young girl âfast,â remember society (which includes you) had a direct hand in robbing her of her innocence. We need to protect boys and girls from predators. Stop raising little girls to become the object of a manâs desire: someone to cook, clean and have sex with. Let children be children and stop protecting the predators. The next time a man or woman tries to tell you about your little girlâs body parts, tell them to stop being a pervert.