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?
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.
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.