Saturday, 28 September 2013

How to Raise A Good Son

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I post a lot about equality between the sexes. For me, it is the most important issue of our time. Part of that discussion is about men. Bad men. 

I don't want my son to grow up to be a bad man: disrespecting women, hurting women, raping women. I can't leave this to chance. I have the power to help guide him.

Sure, its early days. He is only two for goodness sake. But here's the thing: he is learning how the world works, even now. I plan to start as I mean to go on.

There is no place for patriarchy in my house. Gender roles are not welcome here. 

In our house, we all do housework. We read books meant for girls and boys. Hunter loves his That's Not My Mermaid book almost as much as he loves his That's Not My Truck book. Hunter has a tutu, and a dolly, and a dolls house. He pushes his teddy around in a pram. He helps with the cooking. He dances with Daddy and plays trucks with Mummy. He is taught (and told off) by both Mummy and Daddy- we share authority and use the same balance in our dealings with each other, so every way Hunter looks he sees men and women treating each other with respect. Hunter is secure in the love and affection he gets from both mummy, and daddy. None of this is by accident. Both Lee and I actively seek this kind of life out.

When he gets a bit bigger and starts developing sexuality we will talk about sex. The first thing we will talk about, and the last thing we will talk about, is consent. If you are interested in reading some more about these topics, you may like to read this article in the Huffington Post about the conversation all parents should be having with their sons, and this insightful piece by famous childhood development author Steve Biddulph on the role of feminism in bringing up good kids.

"It all starts at home. We have to be wide awake, or we can end up being the vehicles of harm to our own (sons and) daughters."
In 2009 at the Vancouver Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama said "The world will be saved by the western woman". I believe it.

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