When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a boy. But I understand now that I didn't really, not penis and all. What I really wanted was to be awesome. I didn't hate skirts because they were feminine, but because you can't climb a tree in them. (You can if you really want to. But you'll scratch up your legs and adults on the ground will give you shit about not being "ladylike.") "Ladylike" was my mother's word for what I should be--modest, polite, boring. "Stop playing imaginary-laser-blaster in synagogue, it's not ladylike." No wonder I didn't want to be a fuckin' lady.
At around four years old, I wanted to be Batman. My grandma made me a Batman headband and I wore it everywhere. (Not a cape, not a cowl. A headband. You know, like Batman wears.) "Don't you want to be Batgirl? Batwoman?" "No! I'm Batman! DUHNUHNUHNUHNUH BATMAN!" I don't think this was because I didn't want to be a girl; it's just that I knew a secondary character when I saw one.
Back when I got to watch TV at work, the guys liked to watch a show called "Manswers." The basic theme was answering questions about dangerous animals, extreme sports, drinking, explosions, and sex: you know, man things. Because what use could a woman have for explosions? There's no "Womanswers" show, but I have a sinking feeling that it would not address explosions.
Now I get told a lot (particularly at work) "Holly, you're such a dude." But I'm really not. I am (or aspire to be) physically strong, mechanically competent, funny, self-reliant, playfully irresponsible, and blunt-spoken. I didn't find owning a vagina to be a hindrance to any of those things. If being awesome is inextricably male, well, I'll strap it on.