Our contributor is mother to two boys and a girl. She has recently been thinking about raising her boys, and the expectations society has of them.
Raising boys to have a feminist perspective is harder than it should be. The media, peer pressure and the response of other adults allow a view of boys being the hero boys being tough to be perpetuated.
I have a daughter and two boys, my daughter is frustrated when in their play she is always the one to be ‘rescued’ There are ways to challenge this notion. By looking for male role models who respect women and who see women as equals, there is book about cinderella where she rides a motorbike and rescues the prince. I wish I could remember the title.
By showing boys it’s ok to have emotions, and allowing them to express them. The phrase ‘boys don’t cry’ should be banned.
By showing boys for example that mum can check tyre pressures, top up windscreen wash, and dad can do the ironing or cleaning up. Stereotypical roles can be challenged.
By encouraging them to see that all people are equal beings with similar hopes and dreams and by educating them about power, privilege and the responsibilities which come with these.
Hopeful knowledge is power and will allow my children to recognise its what they want to do in life that matters not their gender.
What do you think? Do the adults around you treat you differently to the boys?