Normally we split the kids into two groups - one Senior High and one Junior High. Last night at youth group we had an interesting experiment, where we split the kids by GENDER. Dawn took the girls, and I took the boys.
When I told the boys what was going on they all groaned. “I don’t want to talk about Girls!” they wailed. One even said “I picked the wrong night to come back to youth group.” But you know what? Within about a minute they were all talking so animatedly and passionately I couldn’t shut them up. “Why do girls take everything so personally???” one boy yelled. “Yeah!” everyone agreed. I wanted so badly to share what little I’ve learned about the fairer sex but I didn’t. I have my doubts about how much they listen to me anyway.
All the boys agreed that women’s roles have changed in the last 100 years. “They have so much power now. And so many rights. We have to do everything they say!” The boys seemed a little oppressed.
We had each side think up of a question for the other side and then we exchanged questions half-way and discussed our answers.
I was very impressed with the question that the boys posed to the girls. “Why does everything have to be so full of drama and gossip?”
We rendezvoused later to share our answers. Initially, the girls blamed the drama on the boys’ refusal to treat them properly, but the boys called them out on this non-answer and then the girls got real. “We’re so full of drama because its coming from our insecurity about ourselves.” said one of the girls as she looked across the room at her boyfriend. The room got quiet. What a moment! Another girl said “and we gossip because it makes us feel better about ourselves.”
The question we received from the girls was impressive too. “Why do you boys have to put on a ‘show’ when you’re around your friends, but then you’re all sweet when its just the boy and the girl?”
What a great question! “We HAVE to act tough around the other guys because otherwise we’d get eaten alive!” said one of the boys. “And THAT comes from OUR insecurity.”
The discussions had started out so turbulently and so angry at “the other.” Neither Dawn nor I had anticipated such a significant and dramatic climax of agreement and confession. Dawn pointed out the moment to the kids in case they missed it.
Before we knew it, it was time to go home. As we all walked out together I thought about how alien each side seemed to the other, but yet, in the lives of these young people, their relationship with the opposite sex was going to be taking center stage for the next decade. And at some critical point in their lives, their relationship with their significant other may be the only thing they have in this world to cling to.