We have been hearing slogans on how instead of teaching our daughters to dress properly or forbidding them to go out at night, we should teach our sons how to behave. A person’s first view of the world is their family. Everything begins at home. Teach the right things so that we see the right things in society that we wish to see. Here are 10 ways to raise a feminist son:
FIRST CLEAR YOUR NOTIONS OF FEMINISM
Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground that both sexes are equal. Feminism is not about putting women over men or depriving men of their privileges. It’s all about elevating women’s position and make it equal to that of men in every aspect. Once you as a parent are clear about this notion, you can feed this thought in your son’s mind as well.
CRYING IS NOT A WEAKNESS
It’s absolutely okay to cry. Don’t ever stop your son from crying. Every time you ask him not to cry like a girl, then you are naturally giving him a negative outlook that only women cry. Crying is not a weakness but just emotions, both for men and women.
DON’T EVER SAY, “DON’T BEHAVE LIKE A GIRL”
This phrase that “don’t behave like a girl” demeans girls. If your son likes to play with soft toys, let him. Don’t reinforce stereotypes unconsciously by using sentences which makes him believe that he cannot do anything that a girl does.
LET HIM TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF AND OTHERS
Let your son make up his own room, clear his mess, pick and wash his plate, and do every household work that we most often tell our girls to do. Next time you leave your kids at home, teach them the essence of sharing the workload.
TEACH THEM HOW TO COOK
Cooking has been traditionally a woman’s job. Right from the beginning, we let our girls play with kitchen sets and with age, we expect them to help us in the kitchen. We never tell our sons to do so. It’s time we do.
Teach them how to cook and let them know that it is not just the women’s task.
ENCOURAGE FRIENDSHIP WITH GIRLS
Friendship with girls should not be scorned at, rather it should be encouraged. Tell your sons that girls are just biologically different and are not aliens.
SENSITIZE THEM ABOUT WOMEN ISSUES
It’s important to talk openly about various women issues. Explain to them the various aspects of issues and sensitize them. It all begins at home.
RESPECT HIS ‘NO’, SO THAT HE RESPECTS OTHERS
There are times when we don’t stop tickling, hugging or kissing our sons out of love even when they resist. If they don’t want you to touch them in front of their friends or pull their cheeks or hug them, then don’t. Respect his ‘NO’ and he will eventually respect other’s ‘NO’.
PORTRAY GIRLS AS STRONG
Don’t ever portray that girls are weak. Talk about various inspirational stories and make them read about women who have reached the pinnacle of success.
DON’T ASSIGN CHARACTERS
Assigning characters according to gender stereotypes is a big ‘NO’. Once gender stereotypes are eradicated, consider half your work is done. Let them be as they wish to be, don’t confine them to roles and characters.
Let’s teach our kids the essence of equality and the need for it to make society a better place to live in. Our homes reflect our society, so let’s make our homes a stereotype-free space!
( Picture Credit: mediaresources.idiva)
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Reshma Ganeshbabu is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.