I’ve seen lots of coverage recently of various campaigns designed to empower our daughters and to encourage them to grow up into strong women who know they can achieve anything they want to achieve in life.
And as the parent of a 14 year old girl, I wholeheartedly agree with this campaign, I really do!
I even started writing an entirely different blog post to this one with my thoughts on what we can do to encourage our daughters to be the very best they can. I got as far as making this little blog graphic to go with the post before something dawned on me….
I realised that there is nothing on that list that I say to my daughter that I don’t say to my son – he needs to hear it all just as much as she does!
That got me thinking.
If we’re really talking about equality then shouldn’t we be empowering our sons too? Shouldn’t we be teaching our sons AND our daughters that everyone is equal and that no one sex is stronger than the other. If we do this now then their belief in equality will be strong enough that when they’re older, they simply won’t accept any sexism, be it unconscious or deliberate, from anyone.
I get that there are definite issues with the way the world looks at (and treats) women and that my view is a very simplistic view that doesn’t take that into account but on the whole, I genuinely think we should be treating our children equally and not working harder to empower our daughters than we do our sons.
There’s a few things that spring to my mind when I think about the recent campaigns I’ve seen. The first is a quote that I’ve seen circulating:
Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about breaking through glass ceilings.
Without a doubt, it’s a great quote and it’s certainly doing the rounds lately but what about teaching our sons that they can achieve everything in life that they want to achieve?
Another thing that bothers me are the articles and posts that I’ve read about poor body image in teenage girls. Some of the statistics quoted have been quite upsetting and definitely something that needs addressing. I try to teach Miss Frugal that she’s beautiful inside and out and I hate that not every teenage girl has the same confidence that she has so yes, the statistics need to be shared and the people who are raising awareness are doing a great job.
But… I can’t help wishing that we could do the same for our boys though because I’m pretty sure that they feel the same sorts of pressure in their teenage years to look good and to fit in.
Like I say, I get that there’s a lot of other issues that make this such an emotive subject but to me, as a parent of both a son and a daughter, I’m going to teach them both that they are equal and do my very best to instill a sense of self worth into both of them.
Here’s my updated version of the graphic above….
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