Then hernewshoes posted about ye olde idea that persons not in positions of privilege have to learn how to navigate the world of those in power (er, I thought she did anyway; now I can't find it). [Edit: Thanks, angevin2. This post looks like what I was thinking of. I must have wandered over to matociquala's journal from a comment thread. /edit] This makes sense but is not how I have ever experienced the world. I fully admit to being bad at navigating social interactions, reading social cues, etc. (though I can take small comfort that I know people far more awkward than I) and I understood how to interact with boys even less than I did with girls, but I never felt especially disadvantaged -- it was just an extension of the fact that I didn't socialize easily.
I've always thought that female narrator/protagonist predominated in YA fiction, and the vast majority of the books I recall from, well, everything I read outside the Western Canon, were female narrator/protagonist. (Perhaps if I had grown up on sci-fi I would have felt differently.)
In other gender talk.... I was talking with Alyssa about my brother and how he's so driven and how that showed up in high school and I felt like, "How did that happen?" and she talked about how in jr. high all you really need to do is do well enough to stay in top track classes, that nothing really matters before high school, and that looking at various guys she knew in college who seemed kinda like slackers but are now v. happy/successful she wonders if maybe she's the one going about it wrong -- with all her planning in contrast to guys who just go out and do it. I'm wary of gender generalizing/essentializing, but it was a v. interesting idea for me to keep in mind as to thinking about how people who are Not Me function in the world.