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what are you teaching your girls?

(53 Posts)
gillybeanz Thu 17-Nov-16 13:59:16

Hello, I rarely venture on these boards for fear that people will vilify me for being a sahm for so long. I'm working now as it suits me and family to do so.
So with this in mind I always used to think that I hadn't set dd a good work ethic (nor her brothers), how would they grow up? Had I done them a disservice by not working.

I'm sure it's about what you teach your children than rather what you do yourself.
Both my ds and dd can cook, do housework inc laundry and ironing.
They can work together as a team to get chores done. In fact the boys are older and much better than dd.

Anyway, I have managed to raise a dd who questions everything traditionally male, especially within music which is her chosen career.
She has made such a fuss and called teachers sexist for not allowing her to audition for the solo popular Christmas song usually sung by a choir boy, that they let her go for it and she got it. grin Her view, why can't a girl do it?

My point is due to so many women pushing through glass ceilings and having great careers, something I've never been interested in for myself I believed people when they said I wasn't setting a good example to my dd and worried about her future.
I really needn't have worried she is doing fine, just like many other girls/ women joining male dominated professions.
I know there is still a fight to be won in some industries/ vocations, but does anybody else feel that today's girls are finding it easier than we did and questioning more often?

ISaySteadyOn Thu 17-Nov-16 14:09:21

gillybeanz, I am a SAHM atm and in all honesty, I have found more support for that here than elsewhere so I doubt you will be vilified.

As to our girls, I have two DDs and one DS. I don't know if they have it easier, but I do know that DH and I try very hard to normalise that there aren't really girls' things and boys' things, just things people like or don't like.

My dyspraxia has actually been a benefit in stereotype breaking as due to it, DH does the sewing and nail cutting in our house.

Not sure if that is what you were looking for, but that is our experience.

gillybeanz Thu 17-Nov-16 14:18:55

Thanks, yes the type of thing.
I suppose I've always been active in telling all of them they can do whatever they want to and not to let barriers of gender stop them.
My ds2 did ballet dancing for a while, but unfortunately stopped because it was considered girly. He's early twenties, so this was about 15 years ago now. I hear of other boys sticking it out now and feel this is much better.

The same with girls joining previously male only/ male dominated activities.
girls can now go to Beavers, Scouts, Cadets, rather than The Girls Brigade as previous.

I wonder whether it's something that parents just do now without thinking about it, have we accepted there is no difference between girls and boys in most things now?

I did get some stick in Feminism before, but I know it's a small minority and most people on here are lovely.

VestalVirgin Thu 17-Nov-16 14:36:02

I wonder whether it's something that parents just do now without thinking about it, have we accepted there is no difference between girls and boys in most things now?

I imagine it highly depends on whom you ask.
Definitely there are lots and lots and lots of parents who still do very, very heavy gender stereotyping with their children.

However, it is possible that things have progressed a bit, in general.

It is hard to tell with all the backlashes we have at the moment, how many steps forward and how many backwards it is.

The way toys and clothes are marketed is much more sexist than it used to be, that's for sure.

does anybody else feel that today's girls are finding it easier than we did and questioning more often?

My impression is that today's girls mostly don't realize that they still need feminism. Yes, they find it easy to have a career, due to the progress made by the previous generation, but they seem to question things less than previous generations did.

The tendency to react to sexism and gender stereotypes by identifying as boys (sorry, I know people don't like to talk about the trans, but it is everywhere) seems to indicate a lack of awareness.

I honestly cannot figure out whether the ignorance of modern girls is a good sign (after all, this ignorance is a privilege only men used to have) or a bad thing that will lead to us losing the rights previous generations fought for.

ChocChocPorridge Thu 17-Nov-16 15:05:00

Vestal articulates exactly what I think - at my DSes' school there are people who heavily gender police, and people who are more like me (thankfully, including the teachers generally).

I think that there are lots of girls and women who think that the battle is won. I certainly didn't feel particularly put upon (some sexism, like when I was the only girl in Computer Science and CDT at school), but it all seemed pretty minor until I had kids and I watched my opinion of my own pain dismissed until DP went and spoke to the nurses etc. That set off all sorts of memories, remembering all the times that sort of thing happened and I dismissed it, until the weight of it pressed my anger button and I went full bore radical feminist!

OlennasWimple Thu 17-Nov-16 16:38:50

I'm a SAHM at the moment too, for various reasons. It's not incompatible with being a feminist!

I agree with pp that young women today probably don't realise that they (and the rest of us) still need feminism. We don't have the big, simple to explain wars to fight (the right to vote, the right to equal pay), but we have lots of smaller, more invidious battles. TBF, I don't think I truly realised this when I was in my teens either - I thought that the world would welcome me with the same open arms as my male peers. It's only over the years - including working and having children - that I have realised how far we still have to go, even if by our grandmothers' standards we have got it good.

What I do with DD is reinforce that she can do pretty much everything a boy can do (plus some pretty awesome stuff that a boy can't do, like grow a whole human inside her wink). I let her play princesses and wear pink sparkly stuff, but also try to stop her focusing on things like what she looks like. I don't think I'm doing too well on this score at the moment, and I've become more conscious of things like putting on make up in front of her. Like the rest of parenting, it's a constantly evolving field!

However, I am also making sure that I reinforce the same messages to DS. He is older than her and naturally protective, but I try to make sure it isn't tipping over into "all girls are weak and need a man to protect them", or lazy stereotypes about boys being better at maths. I think in terms of securing a better future for our DDs, we need to ensure that our DSs help deliver this too.

IAmAmy Thu 17-Nov-16 18:55:28

I think your daughter sounds brilliant and I love that she's questioning sexism and succeeding in challenging it with the solo Christmas song. She's already winning feminist battles!

I don't know if today's girls, of which I'm one, have it easier or not. In many ways we probably do in terms of advances which have been made for women in terms of rights, the workplace. But I talk to my mum about this kind of thing a fair bit and we both think there are ways in which things seem more difficult, not least the constant sexualisation of girls and women across media, the ways in which gendering of toys seems to be getting worse (although lots of people are fighting against that too) and contributing to gendering of subjects particularly at mixed schools, misogyny amongst quite a lot of boys my age (I have some great friends who are boys but have come across a lot of casual and also vicious misogyny from others). I also agree that many girls today don't particularly consider feminism, though at the same time rest assured many do. It's difficult though as we're brought up with the sexism which still exists so normalised and made to feel with so many of the messages we're regularly sent that our worth is the approval of boys/men.

I also have two brothers, both younger, who I'm trying my best to influence positively (in between winding one another up)...

Pizanfan Fri 18-Nov-16 18:31:10

Women are accepted to University in higher rates, graduate in higher rates, and are more likely to be employed after graduation than their male ounterpart.

There is also a positive marking bias toward girls in junior schools according to recent studies, and certain workforces are that desperate to hire women specifically they offer free training, funded courses, and higher starting wage to entice them.

We have it better than ever before, with all the advantages from the earliest age, what we have to be carefull of is too much of a swing toward our favour, as it will damage generations of boys.

CaesiumTime Fri 18-Nov-16 18:38:33

what we have to be carefull of is too much of a swing toward our favour, as it will damage generations of boys.


Did you actually just say won't somebody think of the menz?

Susiesue61 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:40:13

I have one DD and two DS. DD is (in my very unbiased opinion!!) fab! She is confident and outgoing and plays 2 traditionally male sports, one very well. I think she has 3 excellent female role models in myself, my mum and my mother in law- we are all hard working and strong women. I don't think it would occur to her that she couldn't do something because she is a girl. She likes feminine things like make up and her hair is beautiful, but equally she is proud of being strong and high-achieving.

Xenophile Fri 18-Nov-16 18:50:00

Caesium, ignore Pizan, she thinks she's funny.

CaesiumTime Fri 18-Nov-16 18:50:55

Ok, will do. Thanks.

Ellasshitholekitchen Fri 18-Nov-16 18:51:18

For my DD who is 6, right now she gets on better with friends who are boys, she's' very outdoorsy and likes typical boy humour and there silliness which she finds hilarious. DH and I really hope she keeps good friendships with the boys and when she is older see's a new boy as a potential new friend rather than a potential boyfriend.

reallyanotherone Fri 18-Nov-16 19:02:52

I am teaching them that there is nothing they can't do because they are a girl. Except maybe not wee standing up.

But they can dress in whatever they like, do whatever activity they like, grow up into anything they like, no limits. They can wear make up if they want, but equally it's OK not to.

I am also teaching them that there is nothing boys can't do because of their sex. A good example here is when they started a ballet club at school, and several boys weren't allowed to join by their parents, and there was a round of "boys don't do ballet" going round the class. So I took them to see the nutcracker with a world renowned male dancer, and told them to make their own minds up as to whether boys can do ballet.

growapear Fri 18-Nov-16 19:11:47

Blues licks on the piano and JavaScript - I seem to be utterly failing to persuade them of the virtues of these. I try to teach them and share with them all of the things I love.

growapear Fri 18-Nov-16 19:29:55

Teach my boys the same.

Mumof4boysmcr Sat 19-Nov-16 02:20:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pemba Sat 19-Nov-16 02:57:34


ICJump Sat 19-Nov-16 03:17:20

I'll reply after mnhq do

ICJump Sat 19-Nov-16 03:22:35

Yeh ignore my last post.
I'm a feminist and a sham. I don't see any issues with it.

From memory Australia women's still earn 27 cents less than men. Also girls are hyper sexualised, open is rife, sex work is being seen as empowering, women don't have access to safe abortion, birth or even toilet.
Neoliberalism has given women the impression we have choice and empowerment when really they have just guilded our cage

ToastByTheCoast Sat 19-Nov-16 03:57:57

Maybe girls today have fewer obvious barrier at school, uni; in hobbies, sport, starting career etc but I think the reality will still hit when it comes to child-rearing. By and large, you are either economically dependant on someone else (and so are your chikdren), or you are fighting to hold your position in the workplace, juggling time and guilt about doing neither role 100%. I know a couple where these roles are very effectively reversed but it is a rare exception to the norm. My DD plays with the boys, is in a traditionally male team sport etc , but I think sees that that her future choices will be more complicated than theirs because she is a girl. So there are two things going on, what we teach them......and what we do/how our society is structured and the first part is much easier to tackle than the second.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 19-Nov-16 05:04:34

For my DD who is 6, right now she gets on better with friends who are boys, she's' very outdoorsy and likes typical boy humour

What is typical 6 year old boy humour? I only have a son, and it was a long time ago, but I can't recall his sense of humour being different from that of my closest friend's daughter of the same age.

ToastByTheCoast Sat 19-Nov-16 05:41:59

I'be just re-read the great post from IAmAmy and the vicious and cowardly reponse from MumOf4Boys. I cannot believe anyone could have grounds for feeling boys fully experience discrimination on the same level as girls, but hope for the personal comments alone that the post is removed.

Xenophile Sat 19-Nov-16 08:07:55

Hmmm, someone was going hard on the Bucky last evening!

IAmAmy Sat 19-Nov-16 08:38:30

I think asserting there's such a thing as "typical boy humour" is bad for all, classes boys all as one group who have the same humour and girls all as one group, suggests they're humourless and not "silly" or fun. Entrenches divisions I think.

Thank you for saying that about my post Toast!

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