Friday, August 28, 2020

What Were You Made Of?

Among the books I owned as a child was a volume of nursery rhymes. That book included the following verse.

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails,
And puppy-dogs' tails;
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And all that's nice;
That's what little girls are made of.

As a child, I found frogs and snails repugnant and I was afraid of dogs. On  the other hand, I loved sugar and spice. Also, I preferred things that were nice versus things that were not so nice, which often seemed to be preferred by my male contemporaries.

I was a little girl, but I did not know it. Luckily, I figured it out after I grew up to be a big girl.

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Mark Tishman femulated Glukoza on Russian television’s One to One!
You can view the femulation on YouTube.


  1. Aarrgh! When I was a kid, I hated that poem so much. Because it was always thrown in my face because I 'was a boy' and therefore, by definition, horrid, whereas girls were deemed to be nice. Apart from being (a) sexist and (b) manifestly untrue, it left me with a sense of injustice that has obviously never left me. How to stick the knife right into gender dysphoria in a nursery rhyme!

    The reverse of the coin is that I have always hated Kate Greenaway's insipid illustrations. Too weedy, washed out and effeminate!

    Tsk! These trans people, never know what they want!

    Aarrgh! Take the nasty thing away!

    Sue x

  2. That little poem has stuck with me for years. Is that blanket characterization of "little boys" meant to be somehow flattering?

  3. When I was wee there was a girl named Tina that lived on our road. She was absolutely horrid and terrorised all the other children. I simply can’t imagine her being constituted of anything nice at all.

  4. I always heard it as "snakes and snails and puppy dog tails", which to me is FAR worse!

  5. Definitely still applies to some "little boys" like Donald Trump!

  6. That poem always creeped me out. I'm OK with frogs, snakes and snails I guess, but puppy dog tails?? Why not the whole dog? Who lopped the dog's tail off, the little boy? Yuck!