Where are all the great stories of male role models for boys? (besides dad and grandad)
There’s a Fierce girl podcast (nothing for boys). There’s at least two Rebel girl books (nothing yet for boys), and Great Women Who Changed the world (I can find “People” who changed the world not men) and that’s just to name a few.
But what is there for boys ( am I just missing them?)
Should these books be gender neutral so boys can also read about rebel girls and fierce women? Maybe they should just be called “Great role models for kids?”
We drum into our boys to never hit girls (no brainer). We teach them to have a voice over violence.
We let them play with dolls, wear tutus, take them for pedicures (just me?)
We encourage them to not create a divide between the two genders and that girls can do just the same as boys and vice versa.
But where are the inspiring stories for our boys to look up to?
We did find that a beautiful and inspiring collection of stories about boys who changed the world without killing a single dragon or saving a single princess, is coming out next month.
The book synopsis explains – “There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things.”
In an article today in the Irish Times they share how Sweden have tackled the gender war.
In Swedish schools the girls yell and the boys run the play-kitchen.
It is normal, in many Swedish preschools, for teachers to avoid referring to their students’ gender – instead of “boys and girls,” they say “friends,” or call children by name. Play is organised to prevent children from sorting themselves by gender.
Boys and girls were even separated for part of the day and coached in traits associated with the other gender. Boys massaged each other’s feet. Girls were led in barefoot walks in the snow and told to throw open the window and scream.
Are we becoming too fixated on raising gender neutral children?
Lack of boys safe houses
Last year the Kisaruni group of girls’ schools in Kenya’s Maasai Mara finally unveiled its first all-boys high school.
Village elders christened it Ngulot, Swahili for “strength.” They want their sons to be as strong as their daughters.
Ngulot High School’s first lesson: When empowering women, we must include men.
Before the boys’ school, local community leaders, like Willy Cheres, were concerned about that very problem.
Donors had lined up to fund two Kisaruni schools for girls, but there was little support to build a school for boys — until Mitch Kurylowicz, a 12-year old from Ottawa, began raising funds in 2011 to address the gap.
“Our girls were rising up, but our boys were being left behind,” says Cheres.
In 2016, Australian blogger, Constance Hall used her social media influence to raise over $166K in less than 24hrs to help build a safe house for girls in Kenya – The Queens Castle.
What is it teaching our boys? That they always seem to be a second thought? OR is it just because I am only a mum of boys maybe?
Love to hear your thoughts on whether this is an issue – or if you think we have missed the bigger picture??
Share your comments below.
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