If there’s one thing I completely disagree with, it is gender stereotyping. You know, statements like:
- Girls are weaker than boys
- Boys are better at sports
- Good girls help their mothers
- Profanity is okay for boys not for girls
- Girls are smarter
- Boys are lazy
- Girls are better at lying
- Boys shouldn’t wear skirts
- Boys don’t cry.
I am sure you can add a lot more to that list from your own experience, regardless of what gender you are. Why, as the only woman on the sales team of one of the organizations I worked with, I remember how they were wary of allotting me the tougher territory. They imagined that I wouldn’t work late. The second shift was out of the question. They thought I couldn’t handle difficult customers. It was as though I had to prove myself at every stage.
Parenting is no exception when it comes to tackling gender stereotyping. The topic of my latest post at World of Moms is
“Stop teaching your sons “boys don’t cry”
One of the tough things about parenting is putting up with gender stereotyping, and also feeling a little guilty of supporting it, simply because we’re used to it. When we are forced to go with the flow, we use tradition as an excuse, not wanting to upset the balance. What will people say?
I remember an incident from when my son was in the first grade. He was playing in the school ground. As luck would have it, he slipped and fell. He broke his collar bone. Naturally, he howled his head off – after all, he was six years old. One of the other parents rushed over and told him boys don’t cry. Boys must be brave because boys are strong. Don’t be like a girl.
Really? Why the differentiation?
I must confess I was quite furious.
Gender stereotyping is rampant and it is annoying to see even seemingly sensible people succumbing to it. It is time we understood that every individual has her own feelings regardless of gender. Gender does not define a person and it is unfair to make assumptions on this basis. It is as ridiculous as generalizing that all women want to marry and have a family and men love sports.
Please continue reading this post here: Stop teaching your sons “Boys don’t cry”
I’d love to know what you think. Do share your thoughts in the comments!