Raising boys is easy.
Hand them a footy, teach them that boys don’t cry and then engage in a bit of roughhousing to toughen them up. Right?
Not so much.
We teach girls to follow their dreams and tell them they can do anything they want, but cringe when boys want to do ballet past the age of 10. Parents put so much effort into raising strong feminist daughters, and so little thought into how to raise a feminist son.
Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss how to raise a feminist son on the latest episode of the This Glorious Mess podcast:
‘Huh? Men can be feminists?’ I hear a gaggle of resistant blokes say.
And this is what we need to remember: men are every bit as important to this fight as women. Without them, the fight for equality will grind to a halt.
We need to raise feminist sons because that’s the sort of men we want in this world.
We need men who love women, and not just for their bodies. We need men who aren’t afraid to love fashion, or be nurses or any other traditionally feminine roles. We need men who never say things like ‘fight like a girl.’ We need men who don’t hit women.
A recent article in the New York Times provided a guide to raising a feminist son and it’s been widely shared among parenting circles.
It comes from an intelligent cohort of neuroscientists, economists and psychologists, and well, it was some pretty good advice.
Let him cry. Give him role models. Share the work. Teach him that ‘no’ means ‘no’. And never let him use ‘girl’ as an insult.
But it made us think… Isn’t that just raising a good person?
Because the two go hand in hand.
You teach your son to respect women not just to make him a feminist, but because that’s the right thing to do.
Feminist or not, a boy who teases girls for being inferior or claims ironing is women’s work will not turn into a man you can be proud of.
So let your little boy play with his doll. It will only make him a better man.
How are you raising a feminist son? Let us know in the comments.
For more parenting talk, listen to the latest episode of This Glorious Mess here:
You can buy any book mentioned on our podcasts from iBooks at apple.co/mamamia, where you can also subscribe to all our other shows in one place.