The news today was full of some terrible stories. The young girl in Bristol for one, but also the horrible story of the men in India who have no remorse for the rape and death of a young girl who dared to go outside in an evening. I won’t post the link here. It’s found easily enough via the BBC news website, but suffice to say it upset me. It was specifically the conversation about women not being the same as men. That women are second class citizens. That them and many children, are not the same worth as men. That women are nothing.
It reminded me of why feminism is needed. That whilst there is this awful situation in India where it is still so ingrained in culture, there is still some of this ingrained in the culture here in the UK, USA and Australia. That there are people who still believe that women are second class. As long as this exists, there will never be equality.
Feminism isn’t just about empowering women. It is also about empowering men. Releasing them from the shackles of what is expected from them, culturally. Giving them their freedom too.
We can’t just teach our girls about what THEY can do and by that I’m not talking about how they avoid being attacked, treated badly or being raped by staying inside.
We must use our most strongest weapon to chip away at the barbaric culture that treats human beings differently depending on their sexual organs or sexual orientation. The strongest weapon we have to smash pre-conceived ideals that have become norms because nobody wanted to rock the boat. Our sons. Our boys.
We must teach our boys that:
- Boys can cry
- Boys can do ballet, teach and nurse
- Girls can be digger drivers, doctors, train drivers.
- Anything a girl can physically do and chooses to do, can be done.
- Boys can be kind.
- Being kind is not girly. It is humany.
- Love is far more powerful than sex and lasts a whole lot longer.
- Women can change their mind because it’s their body involved and it’s their right to choose what to do with it every second of every day.
- Sport is for everyone. The game tactics sometimes change depending on who is playing. Enjoy the difference if you see it. Enjoy the game regardless if you don’t.
- Girls can be strong.
- Boys can care.
- Men can stay at home to look after the children if it works for the family.
- Women can work a 40 hour week if it works for the family.
- Men can like other men. Being gay isn’t catching and it doesn’t make you less heterosexual because you think being is gay is fine.
- Being gay is not an insult.
- Girls can wear whatever they want.
- So can boys.
- Clothes don’t tell you anything about the girl. No clothing is an invitation. They are a fashion statement.
- Strength isn’t everything. Don’t find out the hard way.
- Boys can dance.
- Boys can read.
- Boys are exactly, EXACTLY the same as girls, they just sometimes make different choices.
What would you add to my list?