I am part of a number of mommy groups online and can I tell you what shocks me the most? The sheer number of posts about father’s behaving badly and women asking advice about how to deal with them. The issues range from cheating, porn and strippers to men who do not stick up for their wifes. Absent fathers. Father’s who do not help out around the house or share child rearing responsibilities. And do you know how often fellow moms use the response, “Boys will be boys”? Too often!!!
I am a mother to a little boy and NEVER will my child be excused for doing something wrong because, “boys will be boys”. What a load of sexist nonsense. I am sorry but it is time to stop giving men a free pass when they do something wrong just because they are a different gender. What example are we setting for our children? By allowing yourself to be treated repeatedly in a disrespectful way, just because you are female, you are teaching your children, by your example that it is fine for women to be treated in this manner. You are showing your daughters what type of treatment they should settle for and you are showing your sons how to treat their wives one day.
I know that it is easy to judge and that life is not perfect but perhaps we should start asking ourselves – am I happy with the example I am setting for my children? Do I want them to model their lives based on the example I have set for them with my life? Actions speak louder than words. No matter what you say, they are always more likely to do as their parents do than do what they say. That isn’t based on some fancy research but I am pretty sure that it is true.
I also have made it very clear to the people close to my son that they are NOT allowed to say damaging things like, “boys don’t cry” or to ever make him feel like he is not allowed to feel emotions because he is a boy. It’s scary how easily gender issues are passed on from one generation to the next. I am certain that we will not get everything right but we are at least going to try our best to not impose our generation’s damaging sexist stereotypes on our children.
What gender based issues have you experienced as a mom? How did you deal with them?