If you’re a parent and you’re fed up of inequality, then you need to be the change you want to see in the world… And it starts from the way you raise your sons.
Let’s start from the basics. Feminism is not the hatred of men. It’s the belief that all women and men are equal and should, therefore, receive equal wages, hold the same control over their bodies and destinies, and have the same opportunities in life and work. Secondly, people are not born racist, homophobic, or misogynist. They’re taught to be by the opinions of others, the realities of their world and the indifference to the countless – both small and large – situations that put women down and men up.
So, do you really want to be the person that helps raise the next generation of chauvinist pigs? Of course not!
Right, then… So where does one start?
Friendships – Allow your sons to have friends who are female. Let them hang out before their sexuality comes into itself. Let them play with each other’s toys, watch movies created for their specific gender together, and teach them that the difference between a skirt and a pair of trousers is just in the cut of the fabric.
Emotions – Let boys cry when they need and want to, and teach them that it’s not unnatural if a girl is not as emotional as society expects her to be. Let children experience the emotions they need to experience in order to truly become sensible adults. But also, teach both boys and girls to show their emotions respectfully.
Words – Don’t tell boys to man up or that they throw like girls, and remove phrases like ‘rabbi par’, ‘għandu l-bajd’ and ‘ħareġ ta’ raġel’ from your day-to-day diction. So when a woman is brave, don’t say she has more balls than the men, but that she’s courageous.
Talk to Them – Use everyday situations to explain things like consent, the patriarchy and misogyny. Explain how no means no and how silence also means no. Teach them boundaries, respect and common sense.
Housework – When you assign chores, give boys housework too. The most important thing about a man doing the dishes or the laundry isn’t the fact that he’s doing the dishes or the laundry. In fact, I personally don’t mind doing them at all. It’s about the fact that the work is being shared, and that you’re eroding the notion that housework is exclusively a woman’s job. And, if you have a boy and a girl, reward them equally for equal jobs.
Most importantly though, make sure that as parents you treat each other with respect at all times, especially in front of your children. After all, example is the best teacher.
What do you think of Evelyn’s argument?
Let us know in the comments section below.