Pink brain blues

Sarah Ditum

Blue brain, pink brain – a graphic from My Life: I am Leo Blue brain, pink brain – a graphic from My Life: I Am Leo

My girl is eight years old. She is clever and kind and tall and strong and funny and stubborn and beautiful – well of course I think all of these things, because she’s my daughter and I love her. “Am I girly-girl or a tomboy?” she asks sometimes, and I can never tell from the way she asks which of them she wants to be: she knows that to be a girly-girl is to belong (she has learned from experience that getting “girly” right will be rewarded and protect her from certain kinds of sanction), but she knows too that “boy” things are laudable and tomboyishness has a cachet that girliness does not. Anyway, the answer is always the same: “You’re you, darling. Whatever you like is right for you.” With her long treacle-coloured hair and…

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