Can we develop out misogyny?

Can we develop out misogyny?

6th March 2020By nanhoodadminNo Comments

People not boys and girls

I’m a grandmother of boys, and here’s what I think achieving a fair and equal society for my boys needs. 

I want a society for boys and girls alike, where gender is not a factor. 

My  grandsons may benefit from the status quo but I want them to be part of a fairer future for all.

A world full of people respecting people. A place where boys happily show admiration and respect around girls. Girls who expect more of themselves too.  Boys who can express their emotions, cuddle and care. 

Men struggle too

Boys who grow up  without unwelcome pressures – to succeed, earn more, understand tech and electrics, enjoy football, open doors for women or to fix things. These expectations can mean they struggle.

The high numbers of male suicides provide a clue to their unhappiness. Parents and grandparents working together can change things for all children. Bringing up boys and girls as people first is the start.

Gender free homemaking

Men can feel ill prepared and unskilled in how to be a homemaker, stemming from their early lives.  There is little that helps them and much that hinders.

How many men have turned to a new Mum asking how to change a nappy, when to feed a child, what to dress the baby in,  as if she was born with the innate knowledge..she was not. Or how many new parents invite a mother to come and help in the early days but not father.

Gender free learning

British culture is geared towards girls seamlessly learning how to be parents as they grow. We do not offer an equal privilege to boys. As adults, parents, and elders, we fail boys as much as girls in the way we guide them. They are our most important assets. Being rounded human beings is the goal. 

High profile men are thinking differently

  • Prince Harry spoke out after the birth of his son. He made the point that manhood needs to be rethought and how men are brought up matters.  If men are to be freed of the ‘shackles of expectation’ to be steely, strong and successful, then they need leaders like Harry to build their confidence. 
  • Actor John Hamm spoke out against violence by men towards women. He said we need to bring up boys differently. 
  • Will Smith sees beyond the benefits of being male to what no change would mean for his daughter. “Boys laugh at what they put girls through, but they won’t be laughing when they are wiping tears off their daughter’s face for the same reason”
  • David Beckham said to Stylist in 2017, “I want my sons and people around them to respect [women] in the way that they deserve”.  As parents the Beckhams’ have made a point of teaching their children how to treat men and women equally. 

Celebrity support helps but ordinary folks challenging and changing expectations of their boys and girls will really shift the dial.

Act early and firmly

We must act from the day our sons are born not reveling in the advantages society has given them but make them proud to hold the hands of all the girls they know in creating change. 

To achieve change means giving boys and girls the language and understanding to close the divide.  They have to work against a tide of marketing, media and messaging which genders them from buggy, to toy preferences, to watching shows. Grandparents and parents are the filter. 

Make the future for boys and girls a place of equality of opportunity for all.

Top Tips

  • Parents and grandparents have to think hard about their part in how boys and girls become divided by gender.
  • Listen to the boy who likes dolls, dance and pink and the girls who want football, tree climbs and martial arts.
  • Encourage and welcome Dads  in the campaign for equality and fairness.
  • Ensure schools always express gender neutrality 
  • Read other Epiphanan series blogs