George-Examples of Gender Stereotyping

Typical Boys are portrayed as dirty & Do not care about hygiene or school.

Scott first introduced thumping around the house and “unzipping his jeans before he reached the toilet.” Pg. 6

Scott refuses to wash up before dinner, asks Mom “What makes you think I’m dirty?” “Because I’ve met you.  You’re always dirty.  Now go wash your hands with soap.”  pg. 74

Boys don’t care about school:  “Scott rarely showed such enthusiasm about his education.”  pg. 74   The one event of his day that he is excited about is describing in great detail a kid who threw up at gym. Pg. 75  “so I got to see the vomit up close.  Some of the macaroni pieces were still whole.  I think it was mac’n’ cheese because it was all yellow-“ pg. 75

After Scott refuses to brush teeth or wash up before ready for school: “You’re disgusting,” said Mom  “I’m a teenage boy,” said Scott.  “What do you expect?” pg. 83

Boys use crude language

            “Sorry if I busted in on you while you were taking a dump.” pg. 8 (Scott)

“’Ahh’, he said when he sauntered back down the stairs.  No wonder they call if relieving yourself.  That was a good one.”  pg. 172 (Scott to George and Mom)

Boys are Disrespectful to Girls Bodies:

Kelly says she never wears skirts to school because “boys are dirty and try to look up them.” Pg. 181

Boys Are Violence Loving and Admire Graphic Violence

“The Blood of Evil,” is a German film Scott is excited to watch.  “The zombies gnaw this one guy’s arm off and kill him, the other guy had to use the gnawed off arm of his dead best friend to fight the zombies.  It’s awesome!” pg. 9

George throws his fork and Scott admires his throw telling George he’d be good in a fight pg.77

Scott encourages George to play a shooter video game with him.  George tries it and decides to leave Scott  “to kill everything in sight.”  pg.102

The Words “Man / Boy / Young Man / Mr.”  Portrayed as Negative and Offensive:

Teacher (Ms Udell) tells George he has compassion & imagination for crying over Charlotte’s death, and he will turn into a fine young man.  “The word man hit like a pile of rocks falling on George’s skull.  It was a hundred times worse than boy, and she couldn’t breathe.  She bit her lip fiercely and felt fresh tears pounding against her eyes…. She wished she were invisible.” pg. 16

Kelly’s Dad calls George Mr. Mitchell.  “George hated being called Mr. Mitchell.  She wanted to shout, Mr. Mitchell lives in Poconos with a woman named Fiona!  Mr Mitchell was her Dad’s name.  It would be her brother Scott’s name someday too, but it would never be hers .” pg.38

Becoming a Man (puberty) is Portrayed as a Scary Change:

“…she almost looked like a girl.  For now, anyway.  Today her skin was smooth, but someday testosterone would grow a terrible beard all over her face.  Scott had already started to sprout awkward tufts under his chin.” pg.127

Boy’s Bathrooms are portrayed, as dirty, frightening places were boys relish in talking about their genitals.

            “George hated the boy’s bathroom.  It was the worst room in the school.” 

            He hates the Smell of pee & bleach, hates blue tiles on the wall, dislikes seeing the urinals

“The whole room was about being a boy, and when boys were in there, they liked to talk about what was between their legs.” pgs. 16-17

Adult Males Portrayed as Poor Father Figures:

            “When George referred to her family, Mom and Scott were usually who she meant.”   

“Dad made a better part-time father.”  pg. 26

Kelly’s dad is somewhat neglectful –juxtaposes the chaos of his apartment vs. the peace of Kelly’s room.  Pg. 31     No real dishes in his apartment, Kelly jokes about it being a pigsty. pgs. 38-39 

Kelly’s Dad is immersed in his work and out of touch.  “Kelly your Dad is weird.” (George) pg. 61

Sensory Noises and Smells of Boys (negative) vs. Girls (positive)

Scott is constantly banging on doors, thumping on the stairs, slamming doors, throwing his bike down in a clatter.  Rude, disruptive noises are associated with boys.  Pgs 6-7, pg 74, pg 172

            Pleasant smells & images are associated with girls.  Kelly smells like oranges & pencil shavings. pg.20

            Kelly’s room smells like lemons, spotless, stylish, clean (vacuum lines) pg. 31

            Principal Maldonado smells of vanilla. pg. 161

Girls Stereotyped into Being Interested in Make-Up, Boys, Hair, Clothes, Gossiping

Magazine covers titled:  “perfect skin, Twelve fresh summer haircuts, tell a hottie you like him, wilder winter wardrobes”  pgs. 2-3    The models in the magazines are considered George’s girl friends.

George imagines what a safe space for LGBT kids would be like.  What he says he’s looking forward to is talking about make-up together and maybe trying some on. p.125

            For George being a girl means trying on make-up and girl clothes with a friend  pgs. 183-185

Both George and Scott suggest if you do not feel good about your gender or fit into the stereotypical gender roles given in the book, you might be born in the wrong body.  “No offense, but you don’t make a very good boy.”  (Scott)   “I know.”  (George)  pg.141

George Examples of

Inappropriate Sexual Content

Looking at Pornography is Casually Mentioned Several Times as a Normal Thing That Kids Do:

“That’s my little bro!  Growing up and looking at dirty magazines.”  Pg. 8-9  (Scott expressing his belief that George’s magazines were pornographic and approving of his brother.)

“The girls in the magazines she was looking at wore a lot more clothes than that, even the ones at the beach.”  Pg 8-9   (George knows what kind of dirty magazines Scott is talking about)   

Scott discovers George’s bag of girl magazines:  “Dude, I thought you had porn or something in there, so I took a peek.  You know, just to find out what kind of stuff my little bro was into.”  Pg 141

George Expresses Fear/Sadness at Her Body

“She immersed her body in the warm water and tried not to think about what was between her legs, but there it was, bobbing in front of her.”  Pg. 44

Introduces Kids to the Idea of Taking Hormones to Stop Puberty and Sex Reassignment Surgery as Options

George States as a Fact that You Can Change Your Gender

“George had seen an interview on television a few months ago with a beautiful woman named Tina.  She had golden-brown skin, thick hair with blond highlights, and long sparkling fingernails.  The interviewer said Tina had been born a boy, then asked her whether she’d had the surgery.  The woman replied that she was a transgender woman and that what she had between her legs was nobody’s business but her and her boyfriend’s.”  pg. 46

“So George knew it could be done.  A boy could become a girl.  She had since read on the internet that you could take girl hormones that would change your body, and you could get a bunch of different surgeries if you wanted them and had the money.  This was called transitioning.  You could even start before you were eighteen with pills called androgen blockers that stopped the boy hormones already inside you from turning your body into a man’s.  But for that, you needed your parent’s permission. ” pg. 47

Scott asks George if he wants to go “all the way” with gender reassignment surgery.

“So, like, do you want to” –he made a gesture with two fingers like a pair of scissors –“go all the way?”

George squeezed her legs together.  “Maybe someday,” she said.

Kelly asks if George wants to take hormones so “your body, you know, doesn’t go all manlike?” 

Suggests a good parent would approve of taking hormones:  “Your mom’s pretty cool, maybe she’d be ok with it.” (Kelly) pgs. 104-105

Any less than complete acceptance of George being a girl is not enough.  The point of the book is how hard it is for George to tell his friend, his family, and his classmates that he is a girl.