I’m once again trapped in reading Bildungsromane, and I started thinking about what peer groups value based on gender. When I was a girl, the only thing that was valued was whether you had a boy who brought you presents. And when I was a young woman, the only thing that was valued was if there was a guy willing to offer marriage.
In the male Bildungsromane I’m reading, it looks like what boys value is physical strength and if you can beat somebody up. I asked N and he says it’s exactly how he remembers it. Apparently, he spent his teenage years beating guys up and getting beaten up.
I’m very glad to be the age I am because I no longer even bother to think about what my peer group values.