Values To Teach Your Son In A Feminist World
As we march forth towards the new era of feminism and gender equality, it is a challenge for every parent to bring up their child in the right way. Helping your son understand feminism and raising him to be a man who respects women and believes in gender equality, will surely make this world a better place. Here’s how you can contribute towards raising a better generation.
Hands-on parenting: First and foremost, understand that nurturing your son should be the work of both parents, not just the mother’s, and this is something he will learn by example. If he is brought up by only one parent (read: mother), he will grow up believing that it is only the woman’s job to look after her children, while the man can spend all his time at office and return home for only dinner and relaxation. Only if the father plays an active role in bringing up his children, can the son have an ideal role model to look up to and emulate.
Help your wife in household chores: It’s often easy to teach values to our little ones. But do we actually follow our own values? Preaching without practising things can make us seem hypocritical and baseless. The father must take the initiative in helping the wife complete the household chores, including cooking, cleaning, washing the dishes and so on. Such positive feminist behaviour can guide your son in the right direction and help him respect women more as he grows up.
Be chivalrous: Although in today’s age there is a growing number of women who find chivalry a chauvinist quality, there are still women out there who go weak in the knees for true gentlemen. Simple acts such as holding the door for a woman, lifting heavy objects for her and paying attention to what she speaks can go a long way in making him a perfect gentleman and husband. Well mannered men surely have a stronger appeal than the ill-mannered ones.
Equal work, equal rewards: He must be made to understand the significance of gender equality, not only in terms of equal work to be distributed between him and his sister, but also the rewards reaped for the same work. If he grows up watching different treatment being meted out to girls and women with respect to chore duties and rewards, he will expect and follow the same practice when he becomes a part of an organisation in the future.
Feelings is a human emotion: Most boys are brought up with the notion that women are excessively emotional creatures. Although even men experience extreme emotions, it is a popular perception that women love to express themselves more than men, on the contrary men displaying their emotions is considered a sign of weakness. It is important that you teach your son that emotions is a human trait and not a sign of weakness of any gender.
Her body is hers alone: One of the reasons why so many crimes against women take place is that the abusers seem to believe that it is their right to touch and abuse women as per their wish. A man must understand that a woman’s body is hers alone and only she has absolute right over it. So the decision having or not having a physical relationship with someone as well as bearing or not bearing a child, is entirely her choice and she must be supported and valued for her opinion and decision.