Its time for the Sunday Parenting Party. Please link up your parenting posts. Tell us how its been going, give us some tips and tricks, link up a posts that doesn't have all the answers - you never know you might get some useful comments back. Please don't link kids activity posts, those can be linked to the Kids Co-op. Please note that the Sunday Parenting Party will be taking a festive break so there will be no link up on 23rd or 30th December. This week I'm linking up the following:
I've been extremely lucky with the men in my life. My Dad is wonderful. He has been a perfect role model of what I expect gender equality to look like and never once made me think for even a second that my gender could hinder my ability to do anything I wanted. As a result I am a confident and capable human being*. Gender doesn't really come into it for me. If I want something I go for it. And I believe that any woman can be as capable as a man. I guess that's hard wired into me through my upbringing.
And yet I shy away from calling myself a feminist. The word makes me feel uncomfortable.
Mainly because a lot of the time I feel discussions about feminism descend into sessions that criticise men or see men's actions as misogynistic when they aren't. I saw a post a while ago saying "If your brand of feminism involves telling other women that they are doing it wrong, I'll find my feminism elsewhere". Well that's how I feel about the brand of feminism that thinks for women to be strong, men have to be made to feel weak, and inadequate.
There is the example of "feminists" who get cross when a man holds a door open for them because they assume the man is doing it because he thinks they are the "weaker sex". Er no! That guy has just been brought up to be polite. Its polite to hold doors open for either sex. Would you prefer that he slammed the door in your face while saying "I value your strength as a woman!"
It also concerns me that it seems to be acceptable to make sexist jokes at the expense of men, while screaming from the rafters if jokes are deemed sexist to women. For example why is it acceptable to use the term "man flu"? We women would never accept such a derisory term being bandied about for females who were feeling under the weather. And point of fact, I am ill way more often than Hublet.
You may be wondering what this has to do with parenting. Well the trouble is, I'm raising a boy. And I want that boy to be a confident and capable human being. I want him to feel that gender doesn't really come into it and if he wants something he should just go for it.
But every time the cause of women is elevated by stepping on the cause of men the chances of my son having that future is diminished.
So lets be careful with our words. We can celebrate the feminine without doing it at the expense of the masculine. We can all be equal and fight for equality by respecting one another. That is the world I want my son to be raised in. Is that not the world you want your child raised in?
*I'm not saying that people without great gender equality espousing Dads can't be confident and capable human being, I'm just saying in my case I am pretty sure this helped a lot.