Am I Raising A Feminist Son
Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash
I am a mother of a five years old son. In this era where gender equality is important and the demand of the time, sometimes it gives me a thought, that am I raising a feminist son? Am I telling him that there is no difference between a girl and a boy? Am I telling him that both genders are equal, that there is no need for discrimination?
Then I think he is too young to understand these things or if I will tell him, he will not get it now. So better to involve him in such kind of examples so that he can learn from it or tell him on his level to make him understand these values.
I try to do something to make sure that my parenting is going on the right path.
- There is no colour, toys assign for any gender- I keep telling him that there is no colour for a boy and a girl. Initially, he used to ask me after watching cartoons and all,
“Mumma blue is for a boy and pink is for a girl .” But I told him that you can also wear pink and girls can go for blue as well. Same for toys, I brought him a dollhouse and a kitchen set, I tell him, let’s make tea and food. So that he should understand, he can also work in the kitchen, it’s not only his Mumma's job.
- I tell him, boys can also cry- My son used to ask me,
“Mumma I am boy, I should not cry, right? But I tell him that you can also cry. Emotions are not gender-specific. If you feel weak or emotional, you can also cry and express your feelings through the tears. It’s normal, boys can also cry.
- I keep taking his help- I never want my son to learn that only women do the house chores. I always keep asking him for things. Like I ask him to bring a plate, to put my mobile on a charger, arrange your books and other study materials, keep your shoes in the shoe rack, keep your plates and glasses in the kitchen sink.
- I ensure that my husband respects me and my opinions- It is true that kids learn from your actions not from your preaching. So we show him that woman's opinion matters. It’s a man and woman together make decisions and conclusions.
- I keep telling him about the strong female personalities – Though my son is too young to learn these things. But it’s always better to start early. I tell him about women, who are doing great in their fields, once we were talking about space so I told him about Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. I tell him that woman is not confined to the kitchen only she can do whatever she wants to.
- Respect women- I don’t tell him but allow him to observe in his own home to understand the meaning of respect. How his father doesn’t shout and respects his wife and mother. How we talk to the maid in our home and other ladies in our surrounding.
- I respect his feelings- I don’t force him anything, I listen to him carefully, if I feel he has wrong information then I correct him with love. I give him full freedom to speak without scolding him so that he can share whatever he wants to share with me.
- I will tell him that feminism is not against male but it’s about gender equality – Right now he is too young to understand these heavy words but in future, I will definitely tell him about the right meaning of the word ‘Feminism’. Feminism is not about bashing the male community but is only about gender equality.
Am I doing enough? I feel I am not only raising a son but a future husband and father, he should know how to respect a woman. He should be flexible enough to respect the differences, respect the No. He should understand gender equality. I am doing what I can do right now. I hope he will be a balanced man in the future.
Saumya Dwivedi has done Post graduation in Mass Communication and an MBA in HR. She stays in New Delhi. She is a homemaker by choice and mother of a five years son. She writes blogs, short stories, captions, quotes and poems on various platforms. She has won many contests in writing. Writing is like therapy for her and the biggest stress buster. She writes from her own experience of motherhood. She also loves travelling and reading.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store