A week into school runs and I’m ready for another half-term break already. One thing I loved about our little half-term trip last week was that I actually got to sit and read my magazines while the hubster and mini-me splashed around at the water park.
Flicking through Marie-Claire I came across this fantastic article on “Why every man needs a feminist mother”. It was a great read and as a mother of a young boy I thought it was so poignant, especially in this current political climate where certain mindsets seem to have taken a step back 50 + years and we are still having to do women’s marches in order to stand up for our rights.
We see many motivational quotes all over social media about how a mother is a role model for her daughter and it being imperative to raise the next generation of “strong women”, but not much on the values to instil in young boys.
If the next generation of women are going to be strong it’s about time we raised a generation of men who won’t be intimidated by that strength. Its imperative that they realise whatever a man can do a woman can do too and not find it threatening, but instead find it an attractive quality.
Without actively trying to I realised I have been trying to instil these thought processes and ideologies in my son from a young age. Here’s a few examples:
1) No such thing as “women’s jobs”
For my son’s first birthday I bought him a toy kitchen. Surprisingly I did get some people ridicule me for that, so my response was that I didn’t want him growing up thinking kitchens were just for women. Now, as a four year old he often comes into the kitchen to “help” me make food. Yes, it gives me anxiety when he cracks an egg and the shell goes in the dish too but at least he is willing to learn what some would say is “a woman’s job”, without giving it a second thought.
2) Boys and girls are equal
I have always set up play dates with a mix of girls and boys and have no qualms or worries about him playing with so-called “girl toys”. What’s the worst that could happen, he pushes a trolley, pushchair or hoover around. These are things he’s seen his father as well as other men do, so why make it a big deal when young boys play with these toys.
Another little lesson I am trying to instil is that colours don’t have to be for a particular gender. A year ago I bought my husband and son matching baby pink Ralph Lauren polo shirts, when I tried to put it on him (the mini-me, not the husband) his first response was “euuuuwww, pink is for girls”. This took me by surprise as we had never said anything like that at home, so I said “If girls can wear blue why can’t boys wear pink?”, he didn’t have anything to say and when he saw Daddy wearing the pink polo shirt he was happy to wear it as well. Safe to say he hasn’t kicked up a fuss about wearing pink since.
These may be minor examples to some, but to me this is the start of a young boy realising that boys and girls can do the same things, making them equals.
3) Women work hard
When Sav and I were setting up Mini-me London and my son hadn’t started school yet I have to admit there were days when I would plonk him in front of the TV whilst I was busy on my laptop. I felt pangs of guilt as I wasn’t interacting with him or giving him quality time, but then I read an inspiring blog (it’s bugging me that I can’t remember who the blogger is) about how us mums who work from home shouldn’t feel guilty because we are showing the youngsters you have to work hard in life. From then on I didn’t feel guilty, instead I was proud that I was showing my son that mummy goes out to work, as well as works from home and is able to look after him at the same time.
I am no way trying to say that my son is a fully fledged feminist or understands these life lessons; he still says “Euuuuw, I don’t want to watch Frozen, it’s for guuuurls”, although he used to love watching it and sang “Let it go” (really badly) all the time, but my point is that it’s important for sons, not just daughters to see strong feminist mothers from the get-go. This mindset will hopefully lead to a generation of strong, confident men who will admire and appreciate their wives/girlfriends achievements and are able to walk into a boardroom and stand face-to-face with a female colleague/ boss and not think “She must have got here due to her looks”, or “I can do a better job than her” but to shake her hand in admiration and NEVER feel it’s acceptable to think that if he wanted to he could just “grab her by the p***y”.
Mini me London - mums with a passion for fashion and our kids! Matching outfits and trendy clothes for parents and kids.