Sirman on the Mount Blog talks about the differences he's observed between his 9 month old son and his 3 1/2 yr old daughter when she was the age of his son.
About a boy...
My son Franklin is nine months old. As an examplar of masculine force, he has no equal. At this time in his life, he has learned to crawl and to pull himself up into a standing position by grabbing the nearest support. He is also "cruising", or walking sideways while holding onto furniture. He is learning fast.
My daughter Isabella is 3 1/2 years old. It is against her extraordinarily feminine example that I chart Frank's progressive, masculine differences. For example, Isabella has always been much quicker to signify when she needed help. Franklin, on the other hand, never ran up against a barrier that he did not feel he could surmount by sheer will alone.
Yes, it is sometimes trying, not to mention nerve-wracking. When a nine month old wants to climb the stairs, he does not spend time thinking about how he will get back down. His initial attempt at descending involved employing a forward motion and, apparently, good intentions. This did get him back down, but worse for wear. He has since decided that the way to descend stairs is to sit on the stair sideways with your legs extended in front of you, hold on to the upper stair, and then push your tush out over the edge until you drop to the stair below. Apparently, his motto is, "If you got the padding, use it!
He is fascinated by large, heavy machinery and trucks. When our parking lot was being repaved, he would stand at the window, entranced by the large work vehicles. Isabella considered it worthy of a passing glance, and nothing more.
His cheerful, albeit infantile, agression is sometimes disconcerting. He will frequently decide he wants to see what is in my mouth and the quickest way to do that is grab my moustache and my lower lip and pull them apart. Crawling up to my daughter, he thinks nothing of taking something out of her hands for a closer look. She of course, reacts with wholly understandable outrage at such rude provocations and we must be quick to explain that "he's just a baby and doesn't know any better. Please be patient with him"
Boys and girls are different. At his age, when Isabella wished me to pick her up, she would reach out to me and make plaintive noises. When Franklin wishes to be picked up, he throws his hands in the air and bellows a demanding, non-verbal imperative: aaahhh! When feeding Isabella, it was always a chore to get her to eat some food. With Franklin, the chore is finding enough food for him to eat.
To bend, but not to break.
To bow, but not capitulate.
I am Father to two, entirely different human beings.
Yet, I am only one man.
Douglas Sirman apparently has not met my 9 month old daughter.
Aggression, will, steely determination and the like have absolutely nothing to do with gender but more with personality. These assumptions constitute the valid concerns that feminists have, the fact that females are presumptively betowed with an ontological status that will hamper their future efforts to go into certain fields like mathematics and engineering.