The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


How Raising A Child Reveals Whether You’re Full Of Shit …

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.

Bullying.

Heartbreak.

Sadness.

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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23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Cindy Gallop does not represent me. I don’t believe you win when you attack others based on their age or color of their skin.
Otis is adorable by the way. You and Jill are doing a great job.

Comment by Mary Bryant

My wife speaks the truth.

Comment by George

That’s because she’s never worked in advertising.

Comment by DH

That’s my problem too Mary. I get that if you don’t go ‘all in’, you are often ignored or patronized, but I just feel there would be a better way than just seemingly shaming an entire category of people. But I want her to win, so I feel conflicted in questioning some of her methods.

Comment by Rob

Great post Rob. Love what you say about preparing Otis for the best and worst of the future. I agree with your comment on Cindy Gallop too. What she wants is what all women deserve but I don’t know if the way she is going about it is the best way forward. Maybe she can’t win, but the blanket attack seems wrong.

Comment by Pete

What does Sarah think?

Comment by DH

About?

Comment by Pete

Cindy Gallop.

Comment by DH

I’m not going to speak for her, you should call her.

Comment by Pete

Actually I wish I had spoken to Sarah before writing this. I’m an idiot. OK, you all knew that but I’m an even bigger idiot for not thinking of talking to a lawyer who specializes in this specific area.

Comment by Rob

Sexist.

Comment by DH

You are a good person Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

Ignore what others may say, it is obvious you are raising a wonderful little boy.

Comment by George

Does Otis understand that you’re setting him up to be short order cook and floor sweeper at your diner?

Comment by John

If he’s anything like his old man, he will own the companies.

Comment by DH

And if he was fulfilled doing that, I’d be happy.
I actually mean that too. But he would have to be fulfilled.

Comment by Rob

Love Otis.

Jemma xxx

Comment by Jemma King

I cannot wait to meet him.

Comment by Katerina

Soon. But you know you will have to give him back to us.

Comment by Rob

I’ve been thinking about this post for more than a day.

Firstly, don’t listen to anyone. You are raising a wonderful boy who will be confident in his choices. Thank you for teaching him that he can play with whatever he wants. And be himself. And respect other’s choices.

The part of the post that has been sticking with me is Cindy Gallop. I agree with you and you have explained it better than I could. I have not met her. I do not want to meet her. When G and N launched their company, she posted their launch statement with her unkind blanket “not enough women” comment. She didn’t contact them to talk before she posted, she just did it with no consideration for the individuals.
So, on the day when I should have been feeling proud of and excited for two honest, professional and not bigoted men, she made me cry. No exaggeration. Someone I have not met made me cry and spoiled one of the most amazing days of my life.
I want to support her, what she is trying to say is correct. But do some research and attack the people who deserve being attacked and exposed. Otherwise people will not see your message and support you.

I have finished venting. Maybe one day I will get over this.

Comment by CK

Thank you for your compliment and comment.

While I am not specifically saying this will happen to Cindy – I believe she is far too smart to let this happen – but there is a history of people who show zero tolerance or nuance to issues they are fighting for/against ending up being seen as a characture of themselves which ends up setting their reputation and cause even further back.

What she is doing is important. How hard she is going for it is necessary. But her blanket accusations and/or blindness is a threat to her cause. She might not see that or care about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

I hope she finds that contextual focus or she is going to end up being the wrong sort of role model for my son and I don’t want that to happen.

Comment by Rob

You sum it up so well. I am with you and I hope she does find a balance in fighting for her cause. It is an important one.
(you do know who I am, don’t you?)

Comment by CK

Hahaha … I’ve literally just worked it out. The reason for my naivety was because I thought you were way, Way, WAY too smart to ever come here.

That means I’m ever more with you, given I now know who G and N are.

Comment by Rob




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