I’m a mom to two boys, whom I am raising to be kind, thoughtful considerate human beings who treat all other human beings equally – regardless of their colour or gender – because I believe that men and women are equal. If they’re not yet – it’s our children who are going to change that.
Why is it then that moms of girls seem to think that their little princesses are better than boys?
We were at a girl’s birthday party recently, where most of the birthday girl’s guests were other girls – and there were about four or five boys there, including my sons. When it was CAKE TIME (because this phrase is only ever shouted!), everyone came rushing up and queued for their portion. My boys took their place in the queue, in the order that they arrived, without pushing in anywhere.
It was then that the moms dishing out the cake (and there were several of them) decided that all the girls should get cake first, and that the boys should all go to the back of the queue, getting their cake last, even though they were queueing politely.
It’s a small thing, I know, but it’s the small things that make the big impressions on young hearts and minds, and I don’t particularly like the impression that my boys were given that day.
Firstly, girls are not better than boys – and I don’t believe it’s right to teach them, at the ages of five and six and seven, that they are, or that they deserve preferential treatment just because of their gender.
And I don’t believe it’s right to tell boys that they’re lesser humans because they’re not girls – because that’s what chasing someone to the back of the queue, to the back of the classroom, to the other side of the playground, does.
Help prepare your kids for the real world
Apart from the damage it does now, how are these girls going to cope one day when they’re grown up, and the realities of the world come home to roost? And how badly are boys going to resent girls if it’s being around girls that makes them feel like second-class citizens?
How are the girls ever going to succeed in the boardroom when they’re adults if they walk in expecting the men to go to the back of the queue and wait for them to take their piece of the pie? Sorry honey – it’s not going to happen.
Girl moms, if you want your daughters to achieve as much as their male counterparts, teach them that they are equal to boys (just like boy moms need to teach their sons that girls are equally valuable human beings) – unless they take the lead in skills, smarts, or superpowers. They’re not going get ahead JUST because they’re girls.
The playing field out there is not yet equal – more men are in positions of power in all sectors, and hard though we’re all working to change that, the truth is that the young girls of today are not going experience a different reality if they’re going to stand by and expect the boys to go to the back of the queue for them. It’s not worked until now – why do these moms think that it’s going to be different in the future?
It also seems to be a phenomenon unique to moms who only have girls. I chatted to a friend who has a pigeon pair about this issue, and she was just as flabbergasted as I am. The two children in her house – of different genders – have equal rights (to not be made to feel like a lesser human) and responsibilities (like taking their turn in the queue and having proper manners).
So, girl moms, particularly moms who only have girls. I know your children are precious to you, and you want the absolute best in the world for them. But teaching them when they’re little that they’re better than other people is going to cause them (and others) a world of hurt later on.
And please remember my children are precious to me too, and it breaks my heart to see the looks on their faces when you treat them like second-class citizens. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have the gumption to stand up to you there and then and share my feelings on the matter when this happened. Next time, if there is one, I’m going to make damn sure that that I do.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
Have you ever felt that your son or daughter has been treated differently because of their gender?