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Boys & girls

I teach karate to kids 4 through 15. It's easy to tell the boys from the girls with the little & older ones but for some reason I often guess wrong on the 6- through 8-year-olds. I'm always saying to Kyoshi Greg: "Is that a boy or a girl?" The kids with long hair & toenail polish, dead giveaways in my day, often turn out to be boys.

Last week we had a new kid who had one of those androgynous names like Adrian, Avery or Quinn. I was struck by how confident in her body & presentation she was & really encouraged her. Only to find out that she was just another little male-in-the-making. Lots of the kids are athletic & move with abandon (or don't)—it's not quite that. It's more that Adrian's body was his alone in a way that girls' bodies don't seem to be. I didn't realize till that mistake how unusual it is to see a self-contained girl.
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