Struggling with ds (6)(33 Posts)
Can anyone give me some advice on how to bring up my DS as a feminist? It's really hard when I explain something to him but he goes to school and his friends tell him another. We live in a village where it is very closed minded. Someone coming out gay is a big deal and casual racism is just the norm. (just to give you an idea of the place) He is in year 2 now and I'm finding it harder to stop him being influenced at school. Sorry I'm not explaining this very well. I also have an 8 year old dd who seems to just 'get it'.
When my son got into superheroes I made sure to always get him the female characters as well as the male. So he was never getting Batman and Robin if he wasn't also getting Batwoman and Batgirl. He didn't get Spider-man without getting Spider-woman, etc. There is no Batman and Superman poster on his wall, there is a framed Justice League jigsaw with 4 male and 4 female characters on it. I used to cherry pick the cartoons he watched and books we read to make sure we mainly watched ones with the women being every bit as useful as the men and not damsels in distress.
It used to be extremely difficult to source figures, books, cartoons, etc but in the last 3 years that's changed an awful lot for the better.
presumably you have supplied him with a wide range of toys ?
I always found incredulity a good tool
'what??? johnny said girls can't be astronauts? what a silly! does he think you use your willy to fly a plane? dear oh dear...'
My dad is much more of a feminist than my mum. I think that has had a really profound effect on me now I think about it. And dh is definitely an ally.
It's great that this thread has focused on what men can do to raise their children to be feminists. Makes such a change from all the 'read this/do this/say this' that actually creates more work for women. (And which I'm just as guilty of as anyone - just musing, not blaming)
I actually missed your earlier post, which I've now read. I think you are saying what I wanted to say, and much better than I did
@BertrandRussell 😉 not our Dad... our father is a narcissist.
Which is why as women we are the foundation of how our boys will treat the woman of the future. My boys love and respect me, but I do not do everything for them.
When we had our boys it was my husband who had them on his side of the bed, because I had a c section and I couldn’t lift them up. So he did it. He if as involved as I am.
I can not take credit for it all
I’m sorry to have been chippy. I just get so cross about men being given a free pass with this sort of thing. And I am a bit miffed that my earlier post on the subject has been so comprehensively ignored!
The children’s father should be doing a bloody sight more than that!
Of course, but it depends upon how tasks are divided up.The op says she works part time the husband works full time - that could mean her 25 hours, him 35 hours; or it could mean her 12 hours, him 60 hours. Husband might do all maintenance, gardening and bill paying, but do little in the house - that's up to the couple.
The reason I chose washing up specifically is it's seen as a woman's job. The husband should be taking this job on with the son, and telling the son why he's done this.
Having said all that, yes, of course he should be doing a bloody sight more than that. My point was about it being the father's job to bring the boy up to be a fair man, not just the mother's.
“ @BertrandRussell I guess we must be super lucky. Both my brothers and their partners are pro feminism.”
That’s great! You certainly are luckier than most- well done your mum and dad.
@BertrandRussell I guess we must be super lucky. Both my brothers and their partners are pro feminism.
Sadly, in my experience, gay men can be just as misogynist as straight men!
How does your dp feel about the subject, @CookingProblem?
I have 2 boys.
We are a very male dominated family BUT both my brothers are gay so I guess it makes it easier.
Is he into sport?
My 7 year old is sport mad!! and will watch anything sporty and i mean anything consequently he watches woman's... football, rugby and netball and LOVES it. We are waiting to go and watch some woman's rugby as we live near twickenham.
He also plays rugby and plays with girls so for him its very normal.
I get my boys to do chores with me. They love having their bed sheets washed so they help me load the washing machine and dryer and my older one now helps make his bed and he wants to be independent with it.
Sorry I didn't actually give any adive in my post
But I think NellieEllie has good ideas.
Does your son watch anything on YouTube op? I find a lot of stuff on YouTube for kids is so full of gender stereotypes. My little girl loved a show with a brother and sister playing, I've stopped putting it on because one day when getting new shoes for her she said she didn't want red ones, red ones are for boys! Then I realised the little boy in the show wears red shoes and of course the little girl wears pink.. Why do most girls in any cartoon or show for kids have long eyelashes and the boys don't? Boys have eyelashes too.
It's grand to say let them be who they are and all that but these stereotypes are constant in their lives.
I think you just incorporate stuff everyday. Even when my two were really little, Id chose books to read to them which didn’t stereotype about mummies and daddies. If anything came up on TV, or said by someone else, I’d challenge it. We live in a very white area, so I would buy books with black and Asian characters, talk about differences - appearance, culture, religion. But not in a preachy way, just as things crop up. Often something would be in the news so we’d talk about that. Children often like talking about families and different types of family.
As they got older we could talk about racism, sexism in really simple terms. I am a SAHM so Id tell them stories about when I was at work and what I used to do. They saw both of us doing household chores as they grew up. I have a DD and a DS. Treated the same - sharing clothes, no pink/blue stuff. Anything heard that was racist or sexist we’d challenge.
The children’s father should be doing a bloody sight more than that!
Your husband needs to step up here - there's no point you telling your son these things if the main male role-model in his life isn't demonstrating them.
At the very least your husband should be doing the washing up with your son (or loading the dishwasher) and explaining why it's them that's doing it.
I understand how you feel OP. I have a 5 year old son and it's so ingrained in them, I'm really not sure from where or whom. E.g. Mine will say 'but boys don't cry', 'girls can't be a pilot' etc. Maybe they just say it as they see it - we watch aviation documentaries and the pilots are always male.
All we can do is keep correcting them.
I always take the DC to vote and have a little conversation about the suffragettes. Oh dear, I think I do the he/she with animals too!
Oh sorry I've just seen all the other replies! I type too slowly!
I know I can't force him to be someone he's not but I want to give him the best chance of being a good person. I want him to be able to think for himself and not just do/say/think things because everyone else does. Like @stillathing said, I think I need to do more than just be fair myself.
I am 'that' parent at school too! Everyone just thinks I'm a bit weird and over the top. Making an issue over nothing. It's very sad.
Also it's the anniversary of Rosa Parks today do you could find a way to bring that up if you pass a bus today and if you can take him with you to vote you could raise the subject of Pankhurst and the Suffragettes.
Everyday feminism over everyday misogyny/sexism!
As a PP said I also change how I refer to animals we see as I found myself always referring to them as he/him and I have no idea why I did that so I changed it.
We are reading Enid Blyton which has the stereotypes of girls crying and needing protection and the boys are clever and leading the gang. I play around with that a bit where I can.
It's hard to change the mind set but he's young and you won't be able to stop once you start.
There are things your dp can do as a father to both children which I think are important. He can do his share of child raising and household stuff without being told or guided by you. He can acknowledge your contribution, paid and unpaid, to family life. He can model a good, equal and respectful relationship. He can acknowledge women as equals when watching telly and playing games, and point out when others don’t.
And specifically with your son, he can model recognising, expressing and handling emotion. Often boys (and men) default to anger because they’ve never learned about sadness, frustration, grief, confusion and fear.
There is one male teacher and teaching assistant in his school. The rest of the staff are women. It's more the other children influencing him. I know they aren't doing it on purpose but ds would rather listen to them than me.
Thanks for the film recommendation. I will look it up. Books are a great idea too. I will see if I can find the thread.
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