What are we teaching our kids?

I have had this post in my head for a while now. I have been getting really uncomfortable with the messages we are sending our children. Especially our boys. I have 3 girls and 1 boy. I grew up in a female-dominated family, as one of 5 daughters. My husband grew up in a male-dominated family with 4 sons and 1 daughter.

I grew up learning that girls were strong and capable of anything. My husband grew up learning boys were strong and capable of anything. I think both our parents taught us the right thing.

I am really passionate about equality for women. Some people assume that because I am a sahm by choice, and a fairly ‘traditional’ wife, that I don’t believe in pushing my daughters to become strong, intelligent women. My girls often say that they want to be mums when they grown but they want to do this job or that, and are torn by the two. I explain to them that they can do both and that being a sahm is a choice. Either way, they need to do something with their lives, whether it’s traditional work or sahm work.

In the same way, I believe that my son should be strong and intelligent. I believe that if he choses to stay home and look after his children, that’s ok too. Either way, he too needs to do something with his life.

I keep seeing a lot of advertising on tv lately that shows men being submissive and dominated by women. This ad in particular really bugs me.

I understand that after hundreds of years of female oppression, we are spreading our wings a little, seeing how far we can take our freedom. However, I think this ad is touching on something that will backfire eventually. Think about it, if the roles were reversed and the man was telling the woman, no you can’t take your golf clubs and you look ridiculous in that hat, I can assure you there would be public uproar! Why then, is it ok for a woman to talk to a man like this? Why is it ok for anyone in any relationship to shut them down like that? Do you think the history of our oppression makes this ok?

I know this was just meant for a bit of fun, but I think through these ads we are sending the wrong message to our kids.
In my opinion, it isn’t ok to deny your partner time out when they need it. In the same way it shouldn’t be denied to me.
In my opinion, it isn’t ok to dictate how your partner should dress if he/she feels comfortable in what they are wearing. In the same way it shouldn’t be denied to me.
In my opinion, one partner should not dominate the other. Sure, there is usually a stronger personality in most relationships, but that means that the other person needs more quiet consultation.

I want my daughters AND son to be strong and intelligent. To voice their concerns and opinions openly, but they should never make another person feel dominated, and I pray they themselves never feel dominated.

It’s time we wake up to the messages we are sending our sons and daughters. Teach them love, compassion and respect for others’ feelings. Teach them to stand up for their beliefs without compromising their own behaviour.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you see this as a problem? Do you think I am over reacting?

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3 thoughts on “What are we teaching our kids?

  1. I think that you’re absolutely right Marianne. I hate it when advertising changes pictures of women to make them look unachievable, because it really messes with female self-esteem. But I also hate it when ads make it look like it’s okay for women to dominate over men (or anyone for that matter). Anything that shows that one person is allowed to have complete say in a relationship, at work (with the exception of the boss), in public, etc is just wrong. Our world needs strong people, who are genuinely strong and confident, with an appropriate level of self-esteem, and who understand that being strong doesn’t mean being in control of every situation. Being strong just means that you are empowered enough to know who you are and what you want in life, and because of that you can make appropriate decisions that also benefit and empower other people.

  2. i havent seen the ad. but yes i agree we should be teaching are kids to be be strong and proud and supportive of others and their choices. i think we live in a pretty balanced household thats the best i can do is for us to show our children how we do it and hope they learn from us. thanks for linking for sunday brunch xx nice to see you 🙂

  3. I completely agree with you (and consequently, I hate this ad for the same reasons). I believe it’s absolutely essential that there is give and take and mutual understanding and respect in a relationship, regardless of whether you be male or female and therefore assume you should be afforded certain luxuries or characteristics or opinions.

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