If you’re a normal human being living in 2018, you are acutely aware that although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long road ahead when it comes to both gender equity and gender equality; but let’s be positive here focus on the progress for a minute.
When we look around, we see signs everywhere that give us hope and faith that as a society, we’re moving in the right direction.
The #metoo movement. #TIMESUP. The Women’s March. We can literally see the tide changing in front of us.
The Fairy Tales are different. Princesses now handle their own shit.
Girls are encouraged to get dirty, and learn to code, and play sports, and they’re praised for their brains – not just their beauty.
Boys are encouraged to understand their emotions rather than suppress them. A generation of men is being created who will not be afraid to be vulnerable and who don’t feel like they need to wear the mask of masculinity in order to be accepted by their peers. They’re being raised to understand the concept of consent and to know that we can solve problems with words more effectively than with weapons.
We see kids who really could grow up to change the system and that’s exciting as hell.
The future is incredibly bright – but today, we still have work to do. So, take a deep breath, bear down, do the world a solid, and do everything in your power to raise a feminist, no matter their sex.
Here are a few useful tips on how to do it:
- Let your kids (boys or girls) play with whatever the fuck toys they want. Do not lead them to the “Boy Section” or the “Girl Section” first. Just let them cruise the aisles and decide for themselves what they’re into.
- Read books with female heroes as much as you do books with male heroes to your kids (boys or girls). They internalize what they see in everyday life as well as what they watch on TV and read in books. Books are where the diversity really lies, so get to readin’!
- Teach your kids (boys or girls) how to take care of themselves and others. Both boys and girls should flee the nest feeling confident in their abilities to take care of themselves, their living spaces, and (one day) their spawn.
- Encourage your kids (boys or girls) to form friendships with other kids of the opposite sex. If they are taught to believe that boys should only hang with boys and girls should only hang with girls, they will miss out on a big chunk of time wherein they could be learning about and learning from the opposite sex.
- Speak up when you see acts of intolerance – especially in front of your kids (boys or girls). Roleplay how to stand up against things like teasing and harassment (the kind they would experience in age appropriate scenarios, of course) and don’t be shy about calling them out on their own shit too.
The truth remains that we may not figure out a way to close the gender gap in our lifetimes; our biggest contribution to rectifying inequality and inequity will likely not be something we do, but rather, someone we raise.
P.S. Have you read our post on gender roles yet?