Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Context, Culture, Daddyhood, Family, Innocence, Jill, Love, Mum & Dad, My Fatherhood, Parents, Prejudice, Sexism, Social Divide
I love my son.
I love him so much.
He is such a sweet kid.
Sure he’s a bit cheeky and a bit mischievous, but he’s just a lovely little boy.
I want his innocence and wonder to never leave him – but sadly, I know it will.
I also know things I’d never wish on anyone will happen to him.
And all I can do is try to prepare him for it in a way where he knows he can come through the other side.
Of course part of that will be by making sure he knows he is loved and supported unconditionally by his parents … the other part is making sure he is brought up with as much openness as possible.
One of those things is him understanding men and women are equal.
As I wrote about a while ago, my wife and I have had some stick from relative strangers in how we’re bringing Otis up.
One of the things they’ve ‘questioned’ is why we let Otis play with dolls and brooms, why we bought him a kitchen set and why we let him dance wherever and whenever the mood takes him.
Of course it’s none of their fucking business … but the fact is, we don’t want Otis to grow up thinking boys do this and girls do that and seeing our little boy being as happy playing with dolls as he is with his iPad is utterly wonderful.
I have to admit, I find the level of sexism around me frightening. I find it especially bad when I hear it from a man who has daughters. I literally cannot understand that.
And yet many ignore it exists.
They say any wrong behaviour is ‘cultural’ rather than sexist.
Of course there are cultural traits that define gender roles – especially in Asia – but that doesn’t mean they’re right or you have to carry on with them, even more so when you are not from this part of the World.
And yet it is everywhere – even in supposedly liberal and developed nations, as this wonderful piece by Hillary Clinton shows.
While Hillary says the way women are judged differently to men is ‘not bad, just a fact’, I find it deplorable.
But it’s true.
I remember having to tell one of my talented female planners to clap her hands a bit differently because it looked too much like a little girl and a bunch of sexist pricks would then judge her for that. I hated having to do that … but there was no way I was going to let this talented individual be ignored just because they had decided the way she applauds looks juvenile.
And that’s why I like what Cindy Gallop is doing.
Or what she’s trying to do.
My problem is she’s treating all white men as the enemy which, in my opinion, not only doesn’t serve her purpose any good, but is the sort of generalised bollocks that certain white men have treated females.
And that’s why Otis is being raised to see equality not prejudice … because values, roles and/or potential shouldn’t be evaluated or judged by gender or demographic, even if the way society operates – including those supposedly fighting against it – wants to keep that the norm.
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