Raise them strong, raise them independent, teach them to play with trucks, don’t read fairytales to them, throw away the barbies, learn to throw a punch.
There are so many people talking about bringing up girls. Raise them strong, raise them independent, teach them to play with trucks, don’t read fairytales to them, throw away the barbies, learn to throw a punch.
‘You don’t need rescuing, my baby.’
‘You can be anything you want to be.’
‘My girl is not at all girly, she loves her carpenter tools.’
‘How dare he buy her a kitchen set!’
Well, I want that abandoned kitchen set. For my son. I think it’s wonderful that he loves the world of food. How he loves his cousin’s shiny shoes and wants the butterfly hair clip she has on her pretty head.
‘No, don’t take that. That’s for girls!’
‘Why are you wearing a clip on your head? Are you a girl?’
‘But that’s pink!’
‘No, put Dora down. Here’s The Hulk!’
I want people to talk about raising sons as daughters. To stop saying ‘be a man’. To let them shriek with the girls, and want their purple tutus. They are going to be chasing skirts in a few years, why not wear one now?
My boy loves to wear pretty beaded chains. And I am always asked if I wanted a girl and if that’s why I let him wear the pink beaded chain for as long as he wants to. Yes, that’s exactly what it is, you genius waste of space. I wonder if mums of daughters are asked the same when their babies are in a pair of jeans instead of frilly skirts playing in the dirt with their trucks.
Why wouldn’t you let your son cry when he gets hurt? Why is hanging on to mamma’s leg such a bad thing for a boy? I am all for fist fights and dirt puddles, but is it so bad that he let the girl beat him up in school? He has probably already figured out that’s how you get the girls.
I want him to be tough and strong and be a rockstar at every sport. I want him to be able to charm his way into everything he wants. But I also want him to know it’s okay to cry when he gets slapped for being an ass. It’s okay to wear an apron and cook that special meal to impress someone. To know it’s okay to be sensitive to all the drama hormones bring to this world.
He’s only 2. And he doesn’t realise he’s being judged for a string of pink beads. But it works out, because at all of 2 he can cook and eat his silly version of peas and buttons rice in a real rice cooker, because nobody let me buy him that darned kitchen set.
This post was originally published as a note on my Facebook timeline.