While I was in grade school I learned that differences between boys and girls were important. Boys got the big part of the playground and were allowed to play ball. Girls were not supposed to run and if you wanted to play jump rope you had to wear shorts under your skirt.
Girls sang in the choir and had to have permission to go into the church and were forbidden to go past the altar rail. Boys were altar boys and had the run of the church and even the sacristy. Choir practice for the girls was taught by a nun with nothing but music on her mind. The boys hung out and even played ball with the priests.
When I went to junior high I transferred to a public school. The difference was incredible. My education was way ahead of the kids I now went to school with, but my attitudes and social skills were right out of the Middle Ages.
In junior high I discovered cheerleaders. No, I wasn't one, I was one of the multitude of kids who watched their every movement, toss of the hair, laugh and clothes.
So I discovered that girls could have power too, even more than boys, but there was a cost.
And being outside of my parochial world for the first time, it occurred to me that if anyone not baptized Catholic was destined for hell....it was going to be one crowded place.