Monday, 22 April 2013

Girls 6 - To Sum Up

So what is a girl?

Well, according to the etymology of the word woman, she's just like a man, only with a womb. And that's exactly how she should be treated.

Don't like that idea? Got a better one?

There's a new book on the market:

When you raise a girl, you are actually raising a human being. Except she just happens to be female. It's a 50-50 chance your child will be female, after all.

My family is living walking proof that you do not need to raise kids differently according to gender, and that they will turn out just fine as a result. My girls are good mothers. They were not harmed in any way by not being treated differently to their brothers.

We have to get past this idea that there is a need for gender-specific upbringing. Yes, I know some people appear to take it to an extreme, with exclusively gender neutral clothing/names/toys, but they do less harm than those who decide "My daughter needs to be a Princess".

I'm so done with the whole Princess thing.

Yes, I've heard the support for it, I have. There is nothing you can say here that will make me say "Oh dear, I was wrong" so don't waste your time. I know some girls like it (even despite their parents hating it!), I know you can do the whole "Princesses are strong, just look at the Super Mario one". I have heard all the exceptions, and they are not relevant. I know I'm seen as a party pooper on a number of these issues. Trust me, after all this time, an entire lifetime, in fact, of believing in gender equality, I've heard it all. It's just more indulgence, is all it is.

Suddenly, the rest of the world has woken up....some of us have been trying to explain it for years. If you raise your kids differently, it will have effects. Some of these are undesired effects.

Also, don't bother telling me that men and women "really are different". I know. I am not clueless about biology. But some - possibly many - of these alleged differences are absolutely not biology, they are 100% cultural.

100 years ago it was still believed that people of non-white races were different, less able, in fact, due to biology

It is vital that girls are raised understanding that they are not lesser than men. That they are not defined by men. That, with the possible exception of lifting/pulling exceptionally heavy things, they can do all the same things men can. And there is technology for the heavy stuff. A person is not lesser for being unable to move a piano, any more than a man is lesser for being able to bear a child. The whole idea of lesser is one that the human race can do without altogether, it certainly doesn't need to apply it to 50% of the population.

But the fact is, the hard truth is that women are just as guilty of proliferating the idea of lesser as men are. Possibly more so. Most of the time it is not intended that way, it is through ignorance. Well, the word is out. Nobody can miss the latest wave of feminism.

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