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I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boys and Girls and People

We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
-Gloria Steinem
I posted this quote on my facebook yesterday and I have been thinking about it since.  I am a huge advocate of teaching my daughter to be a person, not just a "girl".  You will never hear me say she can't do something or have something because its for boys.  I am not for that.  Can you wear that Star Wars shirt? Yes, you can, because its for a person, and you are a person.  Can you play with those awesome Legos?  Yep.  They're for kids (or, adults, my mister would argue), and you're a kid.  Can you wear that Captain America costume? Yes, because Captain America is awesome.  And you're awesome.  (Really, I don't care that he is a male super hero...he is strong, and kind, and moral and does the right thing.  Who wouldn't want their kids to look up to that??  Also,he doesn't wear his chones to fight crimes, so that's a plus.)
I don't try and shove this girls and boys are equal stuff down her throat, but it is woven into our daily interactions.  You are a girl, yes. Embrace that!  Have tea parties and learn to cook with me and wear the dresses you love.  First and foremost though, you are a human being.  A person.  A person with strengths, and brains, and talents, and things you need to work on.  You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you set your mind to.  Somewhere along the line, some girl had to have the dream of being the first female astronaut, and had to work hard to achieve that.  And she did it.  A long time ago, a bunch of strong awesome fearless women had to fight for their right to vote.  And they did it.  It was hard.  But they kept at it!  And kicked butt.  You can do that, little girl!  You can go out back and chase our chickens around and clean out their coop, and then go play basketball, or shoot a gun, then come in and help cook dinner and wear a dress.  Its all for you, whether everyone else thinks its for girls or not. 
As much as I embrace all of this, do I take the time to make sure my boy knows this as well?  I like to think so but I am not sure that I spend the time telling him its okay if he wants to sew, or wear pink, or scrapbook with us.  All those things are for people.  And he's a person.  And we NEED to let our boys know these things.  I tell you what, I am so thankful that the man I married knows how to cook.  And vacuum. And do laundry. And some people (a lot of people?) would argue that those are "womanly" tasks.  (And to those people, I say...shut your dirty mouths.  Don't leave all the household drudgery to me just because I am a lady!)  We will all serve our sons well to teach them to be not only manly men, but well rounded human beings.  You can like the movie Frozen if you want.  Ain't no thang.  If you want to learn to knit...that's super cool.  You can do that and then still go out and work with tools.  Because for all these chicks kicking butt and blazing paths because we've spent the time to tell them they can do whatever they put their minds to, there needs to be boys who have been told the same thing.  Because not only will that give them the abilities to be well rounded people, it will keep them from being the people who oppose these girls doing "boy" stuff.  If we teach the boys and girls equally, maybe eventually we can just get rid of that.  Get rid of the resistance.  And I would definitely be okay with that.