Hello!

Often as we grow older we learn to appreciate the concept of gender equality. In fact as we mature we may even strive to be the catalyst for change whether it be at our work place, educational facility… or even our own home.

Gender inequality may be blatantly obvious as we are placed in external situations which require us to fight for our own rights. But have you ever looked back on your childhood and noticed double standards when it came to your siblings because of their gender?

Totally Unbalanced!

I love my family dearly, but I have to say that speaking from experience, the balance was severely out of whack when my brother and I were growing up. And perhaps because of culture, it always will be tremendously unbalanced.

There was so much my brother could do, based purely on the fact that he had the ‘right’ set of genitalia to allow him more rights than me, he had so much more freedom and so fewer expectations.

It’s one thing that has stood the test of time, and most likely will never change in my family.

My Brother Always Had More Privileges

My brother could go out with his friends, have a life outside of school, he never had any chores to do and absolutely everything was done for him.

Food and drinks would be served to him as he sat at the table, after school or work he was allowed to rest and unwind. In fact, he never had any of the additional pressures which I had growing up, based on the fact that I am a female and there is more expected of a woman than a man.

“A man can pump into any bush, but a woman can’t”, would be my grandmother’s response to a majority of my protests. And the confusion that one sentence would unleash on my young mind would make me give up all hope of equality… I mean how can anyone argue with something so utterly silly… especially when she never wanted to elaborate on her sentence or explain what the devil it meant.

“Girls have to work hard and do all the chores, because we have to look after the men – they’re the breadwinners of the family,” my mother still argues to this day. Admittedly she is beginning to see how extremely flawed this belief system is – although unfortunately she most certainly isn’t going to change it anytime soon.

Unfair!

It was a hopeless ordeal. Completely ridiculous! And totally unfair! But perhaps the worst part is that these same beliefs will never change.

Looking back on my childhood I can really appreciate the current concept of raising “gender-neutral” children.

If it means that parents will then allow all their children to have equal rights no matter what genitalia they are born with, it could possibly be one of the greatest parenting styles ever!

I Will Not Repeat The Mistakes Of My Past

Because of the injustice I have known, I strive to give my children equal rights and age-appropriate responsibility.

I may never be able to win these basic human rights for myself when it comes to my family’s expectations of me, but I can give them freely to my children as well as rally for them for my grandchildren, if the need should ever arise.

Your parenting technique is completely up to you, and I bet you’re doing an absolutely amazing job with the resources that you have. I just feel incredibly passionate about the fact that as we grow and learn more about life, we can then pass this incredible knowledge on to our children… and if what we learn to be true, directly conflicts with culture or traditions, then so be it!

Sometimes you’re far better off creating your own beliefs based on what you know now, rather than following outdated advice based on what they believed then.

Love Beats All!

At the end of it all, if you parent with love at the forefront of your mind and give it freely and equally to each of your children without imposing gender-specific rules based on ancient cultural traditions then you’re off to an incredible start.

Love your little ones, respect them as individuals setting aside their gender and know that no matter what, they will always love you more than anything.

If love is gender-neutral, then surely gender-appropriate expectations cannot coexist alongside love.

Love really is all you will ever need!

Did you grow up with gender inequality in your household? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I must admit I am harder on my 9 year old than his younger siblings. I expect more from him…….. this comes from the way I was Brought up with a brother 8 years younger. We try to treat them all equally, but they are all different in themselves

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  • I am youngest in my family. I got two brothers. But this never problem to me.

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  • l am the youngest of 4 kids l grew up in the 70’s . We were all treated the same in our house . We all had to do chores at a certain age . Even my Brother who is the eldest he had to do the same as we did my mother ran the house we were all treated the same thank goodness

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  • I was eldest of four girls and strict rules never allowed to sleep at friends I was unhappy and told by my mother you have to leave school and help the family (as in the sixties girls don’t need to do good)as your going to get married and have a family so you need to leave school when allowed I was fifteen and had to work and give over half my pay to my mother and what was left was for clothes fares hairdressers so it was hard. My youngest sister was spoilt and didn’t have to do the things I had to do hanging out washing setting the table wiping dishes. I hardly any clothes and what I had was second hand but my sisters seemed to get more and did less with the youngest doing nothing. Most men in the sixties the man was the wage earner and wife stayed home.

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  • I’m very lucky in that I didn’t have that issue and I’m glad to say I never used that with my boys or my granddaughters.

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  • I grew up in the 80s and was tired of being told “that’s not lady like” and “you can’t do that in a dress/skirt” so I stopped wearing dresses and skirts and stopped listening to what was lady like! I had way more fun. And I did whatever my brother did. I also got fed up of hearing “he’s a boy, he can do that” or “he’s a boy that’s what they do”

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  • I did not have this issue in my house. I think each child is individual and their uniques talents need to be nurtured.

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  • It wasn’t too bad in my household.

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  • My brother was the fourth child with 3 sisters so Mum was always easier on him, he got away with more, didn’t have to pay board or help with anything. And my Mum continued to pay for his things until adulthood and he finally left home. He was a real Mama’s boy. It was frustrating, but it has impacted him in his married and family life too.


    • Yes I can imagine this had it’s impact, our experiences shape us

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  • I try to make things more equal in our house- I assign my husband chores to do but I do find that men just aren’t as good at cleaning as women, he’s not as thorough and he slacks off.

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  • It was quite equal in our house, i just behaved better ha ha. Mum and Dad would do anything for us, just my brother was better at asking for money and lifts to friends houses etc.

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  • This is a issue that is unique to each family I think. Not all families with male and female children do/have done this. I only have sisters, but I know even between them more pressure was put on one over the other for looking after younger siblings etc as they were seen as more responsible and it created issues. We need to try and treat our children as equal and remember how we felt when it was done to us as children and make those changes


    • Yes I get where you’re coming from, however our children may differ too. Whilst I’m all for treating our kids equally, we may have a different approach and different freedoms for our kids depending on their maturity and what they can handle. For example my 7yr old and 11 yr old both have special needs and I won’t let either of them go on the road without adult supervision, whilst my other 2 were allowed at that age. Or my 11yr old can not go over the school ground without adult supervision, cause of risk taking behaviours and stealing, whilst other kids of her class/age group can do this.

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  • No I come from a family with 5 girls only. And my parents made always sure that we were treated equally. Despite that we still can have feelings of inadequacy as some of us are naturally more insecure and feelings of inferiority

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  • I came from a family of boys and girls and I never felt this. Although my older sister had much more strict rules than I did..

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  • The privilege thing is so true! Boys always have it easy

    Reply

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