That’s right. For a long time, I focused primarily on raising my boy to respect girls and to understand that they have equal rights. He gets it. And now, at just 11-years-old, he has become a big advocate of women’s rights. Even if you mutter something like, “he runs like a girl…” or another, similar degrading saying, he is the first to correct your ass, and that’s just one example.
He makes me so proud, and I love that he gets it. However, it’s not just me putting in the grunt work to ensure he learns to treat women equally, but his dad, too. To be honest, his dad is his greatest example! I think my son recognizes the way my husband respectfully treats me, his sisters, and women in general.
There are many great movements out there that support women and give them a platform in which they can come out and speak up, giving a safe place for women who suffer from injustice or abuse to be heard. But Lately, I’ve been watching videos and reading articles about events that happen, where women take advantage of the equality movement and abuse it for their own narcissistic gains.
It’s horrible. And I want to ensure that both my son and my daughters recognize the importance of telling the truth and being respectful of all genders. But I recently realized that I’ve spent most of my time focusing on just teaching my son the importance of respecting the other gender.
But then I realized one other vital thing that I was failing to pay attention to:
I wasn’t really teaching my girls the same thing.
This Is What I Need to Tell My Daughters
I learned that I needed to tell and teach my daughters something like this:
That even though you have every right to say and do what you want, demand equality, and to do what you can to be heard, you need to know that you must be respectful at all times, even when dealing with men.
For example, as you know, a man has no right to put his hands on you under any circumstances. But the same goes for you, as well.
If we ask for men to respect our boundaries and you as a human being, you MUST do the same for others. You have no right to aggravate or put your hands on a boy just because you know he can’t do anything to you.
We, as women, cannot abuse the right that we continue to fight for!
What Propelled This Realization?
My kids fight just like all siblings do! But one time my daughter pushed my son (playfully), but after the tiny incident, she said this:
“You can’t hit me back!”
Wait. What? This small incident helped to highlight that I needed to share the same lessons that I was sharing with my son with my daughters, too.
So we talked about the incident, and she gets it now. She needed to know that in order to be a respected girl and to have the rights as any man, then you should treat all people like you want to be treated. I know. I know. She’s just a kid, but we need to raise children who are kind, positive, and ready to change the world.
But that’s not all that triggered this realization!
It also started when I followed Johnny Depp’s #justiceforjohnny movement, and the more I looked into it, the more disgusted I was with the whole situation. This is what went down (for those of you who don’t know):
At one point Johnny was accused of being an abuser, but it turns out that it was his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who did all the abuse. It was his manhood that prompted the public to easily believe that he would be the one to hurt his wife and not the other way around. The situation hurt his career, evidence leaked and people came forward in his defence and I hope that he will get the justice he deserves.
I want my kids to know that hurt can come from all genders, and either way, it’s not okay.
Therefore, I decided to discuss with my kids what’s okay, and what’s not. Forgive me, but I don’t want to live in a world where I fear my son or husband or any man I know that is respected, has respect for women and stands by us to be in danger of manipulation of any kind from anyone. I want my daughters to know that it’s not okay to treat men with disrespect, just like I want my son to learn that it’s not okay to treat women with disrespect.
Of course, women (and men) who go through abuse have to be believed. I believe that everyone deserves to tell their story and to be heard. It’s so important that we listen and hear what people have to say.
I want my kids to know that it’s our job to be respectable human beings and to not use our power as a means to manipulate or inflict harm. People that do this need to be stopped!
I just think, as parents, we need to raise a generation that understands equality. We need to do what we can to teach our girls and boys to be respectful, kind, and successful people. And you never know, they could be the ones who change the world and make it a better place. But it all starts by teaching the next generation the difference between what’s okay and what’s not.
I wanted to share my thoughts, and I’d love to hear yours.
Until next time…