How Defining Genders Oppress Our Kids
Recently I posted a picture on my Instagram, of a little boy wearing a shirt stating “Sorry girls, I only date models” while sitting next to a Victoria’s Secrets model at an Airport. To the picture, I wrote, “Not the best message to put in your kid’s mind subconsciously.”
The funny and tragic thing was that the comments that came from the men didn’t think it was an issue, but that it was rather cool and that I needed to chill and the women couldn’t agree more, that we need to think about the things we are teaching and expose our kids too.
Read more about how to raise strong kids in a mad world, here.
It’s fascinating to see the difference in perception between genders.
For the longest time, women have been exposed to subtle hints about how to dress and look and feel, compare to men.
These hints are everywhere in the society we live in.
Somewhere I can understand that boys and girls were raised differently in the old days: boys had to become men that had to provide for their family and girls had to become women that had to take care of the household.
But time has changed, today both genders are providers and there are more single parents than ever. So why are we still raising our boys to take the lead and our girls to follow?
Why are boys still raised to take action, have fun, chill and empowered to take the lead, while girls are still taught be cautious, responsible, to look pretty and be like princesses?
You just need to go to a kids store to see the quotes on the boy’s shirts. There will be action heroes and cool slogans like “World traveler”, “Large And In Charge” and “Like A Boss”. Then you look at the girl’s t-shirts, and they say things like “I Love Music”, “Daddy’s Little Princess” “#Selfie”.
I believe that we more than ever need to teach our girls to feel empowered and capable. In a man’s world, they always have to be one step ahead.
We need to teach them to love themselves and we need to show them just how unique they are.
They don’t need to find validation from the outside but instead teach them to find it in themselves.
They can do anything they want to as long as they put their mind into it.
Instead of preying on girls insecurities as a society, what if we taught them that they can do and be anything they want?
When they are growing up, we must lead by example and build their self-esteem and self-confidence.
I read an article in The Telegraph.co.uk.
In the survey conducted in the article, a lot of times what girls are l were looking for outside themselves and from others are:
– Better confidence
– Higher self-esteem
– Be able to make their own decisions
– Knowing about the importance of having goals to aim for
– Talking about sex
– Knowledge about alcohol and abuse
– Be able to recognize unhealthy relationships
– Access to non-judgmental contraception services
What is missing here? Communication.
Parents fighting their own insecurities and not being able to show or communicate values to their kids.
Nobody is saying anything, yet it is understood how things are supposed to be; be nice, don’t speak up, just accept things as they are.
I have written about it earlier in this post.
This doesn’t only apply to young girls today, this applies to so many women around the world that have been taught to just adjust and don’t speak up. There is a reason that #metoo have grown so strong.
Some may argue, that if girls become more independent or empowered then they don’t want to have a family or produce kids and the society will go under.
We are all different with different ambitions and life goals. Some may want to focus on their career, but the ones that want a family will make better choices when it comes to their life, choosing a partner, have a healthy relationship and raise strong kids.
Girls being more independent would also take the pressure off the guys about performing, have power, position and money.
Society put so much pressure on guys, expecting them to be alpha males and lead. Taught early on not to express feelings or cry, just looking past the fact that not everybody’s nature is that of an Alpha male.
Many guys just want to be themselves, to be able to feel the emotions they feel, cry when they have to and express themselves without being judged.
On top of that, more and more focus is on their looks too. They have to care about their looks without going overboard.
Still look manly, be strong, tall, “well equipped” and able to satisfy sexually too.
They are taught that nice guys finish last and if you are a “player” you can pick and chose.
Is stereotyping damaging our youth?
Have this definition had any consequences?
This has created a lot of broken guys with no connection to their inner self.
They can’t seem to find peace in themselves if they feel something the distance themselves or express it with anger.
The statistic shows that men have a higher suicide rate compared to women. The emptiness they feel inside has also led them to join others that feel the same way.
There is a reason broken people come together in gangs. When you hear about people that have left gangs, they say that they were raised by a dominant and aggressive male and that they acted out as a cry for help, but no help came.
In the end, they ended up finding likeminded people and joined them. Be it football hooligans, nazis or criminal gangs, they are all made up of broken men.
Many of these kids have dreams of becoming something, being loved and have a family. But they are not raised to dream but to take a job and a responsibility.
If we started raising guys to be able to feel and be themselves. they will have a much better self-esteem.
Let them be comfortable to be able to talk about the things they want to, to express their feelings, let them cry when they want to.
Teach them that they are good enough just the way they are, that they are loved and supported regardless of what they chose to do or be.
It would help fill the void they might have. It will balance them, make them better human beings, make them believe in themselves and make better choices.
Isn’t that what we want for our kids: that they are decent human beings, kind, compassionate, live a good life and are happy regardless of what they do.