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9 Comments

  1. Completely agree! I’ve mentioned to so many people how automatic it is – for most of us – to refer to animals and toys as “he” unless there’s a clear reason not to; they ALL reply “Oh, no, I don’t do that” then, after half an hour of playing with my daughter, shamefacedly admit to realising that they absolutely do.

    My toddler and I often watch the bigger kids walking to and from school and I was surprised how difficult it was for me to call them “girls and boys” rather than “boys and girls” – it took me weeks of consciously changing the order before it became natural to me; I was stunned by how deeply rooted was the habit of putting the boys first. Most of the time I use the gender neutral “children” or “people” but, when that’s not appropriate, I now always put the female option first because I think there will be enough other people out there in the world telling my daughter she’s in second place.

  2. Beautiful article. I have noticed an incredible surge in sexism in my workplace since returning to work after 3 sons! More than ever I want them to be feminists. I had to giggle while reading #2, because for whatever reason, my 5 year old has always referred to God as a woman! And I absolutely love it! I’m not sure where it came from, and sadly it has always caught me by surprise because as you say, God has always been the Father/Him/etc.
    wonderful tips. Thank you.

  3. This whole post deeply saddens me. Not because I don’t think that men and women should not both be shown respect; they should. I have had to correct saying “like a girl” in a negative tone. Little boys pick up things so quickly and they need to be corrected with equal speed. No, the thing that saddens me is the loss of identity by our boys today. With all our fighting and revolutionizing for female ‘rights’ our little boys are getting lost and many people have yet to see it. Men are looked down on (who do we think we are fighting for these rights), generalized as being a hinderance to women in general and talked about in often times, very degrading ways. And it is hurting our sons, and our daughters. There is much more that is going on on a psychological level, but I won’t delve into that now. Just remember, as you build up yourself and your daughters, don’t tear down your sons unintentionally.

    1. Saadia Sharjeel says:

      I agree with Lea. As I read in an article, boys are being treated as defective girls. Boys are no longer allowed to be boys, just because girls can’t be boys. and to give them an illusion of equality, men are being stripped of their manhood.

    2. The reason why it is important to stress the importance of feminism is because we live in a masculine society that has always honored masculine traits while shaming men, boys, women, and girls who display feminine qualities. It’s alright to be masculine, but it is also alright to have feminine qualities regardless of one’s sex or gender. Femininity isn’t about being a woman. Feminine traits include thoughtfulness, empathy, vulnerability, intuition, emotion, patience, etc. and all sexes and genders can have those traits. The problem is that men and boys are often shamed for not being “manly” if they show emotion or empathy for others. Normalizing feminine traits rather than ostracizing and shaming them in our society is not a threat to manhood. It is a push towards equality and it is a push to end gender roles that restrict both men and women. The only reason this seems odd is because our society has become too masculine as a whole and I would hope you would teach your children that it is okay to display and feel emotion, it is okay to feel empathy, and that there should be no such thing as “manly” or “girly”.

    3. I’m with you Lea, too much emphasis is being placed on girls at the expense of boys. I’m surprised that the author as a minister does not focus on the God made qualities of men and women. We were never supposed to be alike (not talking equal pay, etc.) But God had roles for men and women. Esther had her role, no less important than Moses. Our lack of embracing those divine roles and teaching them is what has created a society now totally confused. If you had daughters would you be teaching them how great men are? Time to go back to God given attributes and roles (nothing to do with favorite colors). Because of feminism men have no place in society now except to applaud women on. Who’s applauding the men? Can women do many things men can do? Of course. Can men do many things women can do? Of course. Can women do ALL things as well as men, no. Can men do ALL things as well as women, no. Male and female created He them to be helpmates to one another. Feminism is selfishness, seeking her own, prideful. Maybe your own personal definition of “feminism” is just really respect for each other and differences. I suggest you lose the word feminism, by the way is there a “masculineism” and if so why not. I’ll give you an example that may help; one of my sons is a firefighter. Because of “feminism” and EOE laws they have to hire so many women. They are tested different, perform differently, and cannot save the guy next to them in a burning building without help. (A false equal) None of the male firefighters like putting their lives in the hands of “I can do anything” miss firefighter, but they have no choice. This example is extreme I realize- there are MANY occupations that it makes no difference whatsoever but there are some that do. At least be honest with your sons about the differences between men and women and why they are important and how God intended each to compliment the other, not replace or better one.

  4. Like Hilary, I’m raising all boys and also one who had pointed out to me that girls like pink and purple. I especially like her tip to watch how you phrase gender words or assume everything is a “he” (turtles can be girls, too!).

    One thing I try to do is encourage them to dig deep and ask WHY people think girls like pink and boys blue, or why toys try to say certain things are for girls or boys. I hope that they’ll grow up always questioning why things are the way they are and not assume they’re to be expected.

  5. Your Tips for How to Raise a Feminist Son is great! And not only that, I agree with all your insightful thoughts that you’ve shared. Being a Nanny to my own grand daughter, these tips will definitely be helpful.

  6. I love this article, Hilary! Thank you so much for sharing. A few weeks ago, I was telling my daughter a silly story about work, and she stopped me mid-sentence and said “Wait! You said ‘she’ when you were talking about your boss. I thought only boys could be bosses.” BACK THE TRUCK UP. NO MA’AM. Girls can be bosses too! Girls are great bosses! Women and men can both lead the world. Do you remember a few months ago when we were doing the mock election at school and you could choose between a woman or a man? Women and girls can do all of the same things as men and boys. We’re all built equally and should be treated as such.

    I thought I was doing such a great job because she’s this gorgeous petite little girl with the blondest hair, and instead of focusing on beauty, she loves playing dragons and reading books. I parent and work outside the home in addition to owning my own businesses. Yet, she still thinks girls can’t be bosses.

    Slowly but surely through conversations like these, we’ll change the world. Thanks for your help, Hilary!