Feminist Parenting: 9 Ways You and Your Spouse Can Raise A Feminist Son
Feminism believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Teaching your sons about feminism and raising them as feminists will free them from society’s obsolete expectations and help create a fair society.
Feminism refers to a range of movements and ideologies which, simply put, advocate the social, political and economic equality of men and women. There are many misconceptions regarding feminism, with many men and women believing that feminists hate men and think that all men are evil. Feminists simply want equal rights for women and feminist movements also help men by liberating them from the need to conform to gender stereotypes and perform traditional roles. It can improve family life and society as a whole. For these reasons, it is good to raise your sons as feminists and free them from society’s obsolete expectations about what it means to be a man.
Here are some suggestions on how to go about it:
1. Your relationship with your spouse should be a role model for the equality of the sexes, in terms of how you communicate and split responsibilities.
2. Treat all your children (sons and daughters) equally, in terms of schedules, freedom, helping out with domestic work, etc.
3. Teach your sons that feminism is not about bashing men or putting them down.
4. Be cautious of what you say in front of them. Don’t blame other women for men’s actions.
5. Introduce them to female superheroes and inspiring women in different walks of life, such as writers, artists, etc.
6. When they are very young, prevent them from watching any cartoons or playing any games that objectify women or promote toxic masculinity in any way.
7. Encourage your sons to befriend girls at school and teach them how to treat their female friends with respect (no pushing/shoving, name calling, commenting on attire or their bodies, etc).
8. Also encourage them to discuss their experiences and share their feelings instead of bottling them up.
9. Let them choose their hobbies, toys, colours etc. instead of labelling these as “too girly”.
This lifestyle will help boys accept gender equality from an early age and peacefully coexist with their sisters, female cousins and friends, with everyone feeling empowered. Along with moms, dads also have an equally important role to play in nurturing this feminist mindset, by being fair and vulnerable, showing their caring and loving side often rather than retreating behind an armour of masculinity with which they can’t be expressive or help out their wives with childcare. Both parents need to come together to teach their sons that feminism is not something to be feared but to be embraced.