Everyone's family is super weird if you think about it for too long. For example, why does my mom talk in a British accent sometimes? Or wear a scarf on her head sometimes? Why do I sometimes do the same thing with the scarf? Why did my brother play with his "guys" (action figures) until he was 14 years old? 

While all of those questions haunt me and definitely make my family weird, they aren't they strangest thing about us. 

I think the strangest thing about my family is how divided we are on the things we enjoy/what we want to do with our lives. 

All of the boys like math and science (the logical [boring] stuff) and all of the girls like art and writing (the creative [fun] stuff).

Weird, right? 

The Family Breakdown 

Not to toot my own horn, but my siblings and I are all pretty smart. I mean, in high school one of my brothers was ranked 2nd in his class out of over 700 students, and I was ranked 13 which isn't too shabby. With this in mind, I was good at math and science in school but dear Lord did I hate those subjects. To me they were boring, uninteresting and poorly explained. I never looked forward to either of the classes and I always dreaded doing the homework. 

My younger sister is similar. She's still in high school, and she too shies away from math and science, preferring to focus on her art and writing classes. She really excels in those classes. Her writing is always well thought out and she's becoming quite the artist. 

One the other side of the coin lie my three brothers. All of them love math and enjoy different topics in science. They are currently all in higher education trying to get degrees, ranging from bachelors to PhDs, in their scientific fields of choice (chemical engineering, biomechatronics [a field of mechanical engineering], and computer science). 

Following Gender Roles? 

I've never thought of my family as following gender roles or societal expectations. In fact, I try not to think about that stuff in general because people seem to get extremely upset about it and I don't like to bother with that crap. However, part of me does wonder where my sister and I found our interest in the arts over the sciences. Is it just because that's what we were predisposed to? Is it because our mother was on the artistic side so we followed her example? (My dad likes math and history a lot, not necessarily science like my brothers, but math and science pretty much go hand in hand.) Or is it something more along the lines of we are girls and we have always been told to try to be creative? 

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know one thing. I really, really hate math. I don't like history. I think science was taught to me in a way that made me dislike it. And overall, the only things I enjoyed learning about were art and writing. Maybe I've been trapped by society into thinking I like art and writing best, but at this point who cares? I'm an adult with a job in my field of study. I enjoy using my creative talents in my free time much more than I would enjoy doing math equations. So whether or not I make as much money as my engineer brothers doesn't matter that much. Right? 

We're Pretty Unique

When I stop thinking about how much I hate science and how much my brothers love it and focus more on the other stuff we like, I find that I really don't think we've become captives of anything. My siblings and I do cross lines. We all love to play soccer and a few other sports and we all enjoy listening to (different genres of) music. We even all played instruments in middle school.

When my brothers share interesting science videos with me, I enjoy them. They're interesting. They make science seem cool. Maybe if I had been taught science differently I would have liked it more and now I would be some rich engineer of some sort. Or maybe not. 

My middle brother in the family wants to get into biomechatronics, which sounds like a made up field, but it fits him very well. He likes to draw (or at least used to) and he one day aspires to write a 10-book science fiction series about androids and intergalactic warfare. And he's already got the whole thing mapped out in his head. 

My brother who is working to get his PhD enjoys singing - all the time. Really loudly. In fact his friend, who lived on the third floor of her dorm, heard him singing as he walked by in the parking lot below a while ago.

So while yes, my siblings and I all tend to gravitate towards things that "society" has deemed acceptable for girls and boys to like, we all branch out. We all have our own interests and we all value things differently. These interests have developed over time from the examples of our parents and friends as well as things we just happened to stumble upon and enjoy. Just because I like shoes and painting doesn't mean I'm being forced to by a misogynistic world. It just means I like shoes and painting. 

So while I do think it's really weird that all of the women in my family tend to like the creative arts and the guys in my family like the sciences, I don't think there's a problem with it. 

Published by Kristina Hemmerling