So, I’ve wanted to write a little post about my more personal views for a while but never felt like the time was right. Partly because lots of people will disagree and I don’t want to cause a debate but also partly because these opinions only developed once I became a parent and I need to be sure that something annoys me before I vent about it. So here goes.. (I appoligise for the crappy cartoon images in this post, but it really helps to get my point across).
Something that annoys me to my very core is children’s gender stereotyping. It literally makes my blood boil and I get so worked up about it and the older Isla gets, the more it annoys me. I can’t comprehend why in 2017 the majority of views on what children should play with are still as dated as they were 50 years ago. Fairy tales with sexist and derogatory messages are still read to children and told in films that our children see regularly, just as their minds are growing as they are changing into the adults of the adults of the future. You might wonder ‘why try to change it?’ as its been that way for a very long time. But wonder this.. If we make the conscious effort to raise our children with feminist values now, then their children wont face the issues our children face today. Their children will never be told to ‘man up’. Their children wont learn that its natural to be jealous of others. Instead they’ll learn to be happy for each other. They’ll learn that they don’t have to behave a certain way just because they have a penis or a vagina. They’ll learn that whats in their pants doesn’t dictate whats in their hearts and that all that matters is that they become good, kind people who care about the world and everything in it.
Before this turns into a 12 page emotional rant let me just say this. Let children be children, let children play with children’s toys and wear childrens clothes. Not boys toys, not girls toys, just toys. Not boys clothes, not girls clothes, just clothes. Let them be princesses that rescue themselves and go to on to encourage other princesses to do the same. Let them know that they can be anything, do anything, and go anywhere. We have no exceptions of their lives as its exactly that, THEIR lives. They don’t have to fit in, they don’t have to conform. I fully intend to continue giving Isla all the encouragement she needs to just be Isla and I’ll cross all my fingers that she has good values and morals and stands up for her beliefs because the world needs more feminists and less hate.
The things we do in our children’s everyday lives can be causing damage that we can’t yet see. A huge example of this is within childrens books and the stories they tell, it might not be something that you’ve noticed as its more than likely the same stories you were read when you where a child. With a bit of digging there’s quite a selection of childrens books which empower girls by having a strong female character as opposed to a leading male who saves the day and in my opinion its best to have an equal mix of both. Here’s a few examples of books with strong female characters suitable for young children:
- The Princess Knight
- Not all Princesses Dress in Pink
- Dangerously Ever After
- Cinder Edna
- The Brave Little Seamstress
- Princess Grace
- The Paperbag Princess (personal fave)
- The Princess and the Admiral
- Princess Smarty Pants
- This Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown
I’m also a fan of a good feminist tee for Isla (and myself), I’ve included some pictures here as well as links to the websites of the amazing people behind them.
Eliminate Girl Hate tee £11 (they do adult ones too, and recently released the children’s one in black)
I’m Only Human tee £12 (they don’t do this colour combo anymore but they have the same tee in other colours)
So, as parents of the next generation lets stand together united and teach our children to be their own people. Not what society believes they ‘should’ be.
Thanks for reading, who’s with me?
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