An Age Old Tale Of Gender-Specific Bias

posted by Donna Dias Manuel, April 14, 2016

[pullquote]This morning I couldn't help notice the absence of dolls and superhero figures from the box of indoor play items.[/pullquote]

Playgroups are slowly beginning to grow on me and I've begun to appreciate them a lot more now. This morning I couldn't help notice the absence of dolls and superhero figures from the box of indoor play items. It immediately made me wonder if this was a conscious effort to avoid gender-specific toys at an early age. I've met a few mothers of little boys who've bought their sons dolls and kitchen sets to play with. It is so encouraging to see parents being experimental with their children. Am I against girls playing with dolls or boys playing with airplanes? No! But I do have a problem if that is what is expected of them. If we don't provide our children with all the options they will never be able to make an informed preference. Toys are only the tip of the iceberg.

As a parent to a little girl, I have my own set of inhibitions. I totally despise people saying "Women can do everything men can, except wee like them. With the STP (stand-to-pee device) invention, we beat them at that too." I mean, where does this crap stop?

[pullquote]I think parents of sons have it harder. They have the added responsibility of teaching their sons that girls are just normal human beings with different hormones and fully developed brains.[/pullquote]

Parents of daughters definitely don't have it easy. We will always have to be extra cautious about their safety, but I think parents of sons have it harder. They have the added responsibility of teaching their sons that girls are just normal human beings with different hormones and fully developed brains. And girls need to be treated with love and mutual respect. Love and respect are the key words here. Once they are established, I don't think a fight for equality will continue to exist. I surely don't want to see my daughter growing up fighting to be an EQUAL. Other than being a bully, my little girl can be whoever she wants to be and she doesn't need anyone's approval. She simply needs to be true to herself and stay clear of proving a point to the world. It's important to remember - as we raise our children we raise hope.

This post first appeared on my blog Expat First-Time Mom




Image credits: DonnaDiasManuel



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