Through my work, personal experiences and conversations with fellow gal-pals I’ve come to the realization that harassment, cat-calling, and unequal treatment are almost considered to be normal. I can sadly say that none of the women and girls in my life are unfamiliar with these experiences. Not only does this make me angry, but it also makes me wonder why.
As I was scrolling through TedTalk video’s I came across this video by Tony Porter. He draws a clear picture of the issues starting point and solution: Boys & how we raise them.
Boys are rewarded for taking risks. Girls are punished for it. Girls are raised to be perfect as where boys are raised to be brave. We all know perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection is an idea that is different for everybody. Therefore you can imagine that when it’s expected of you to be perfect that means perfect in the eyes of those in front of you. Enabling girls to be themselves but forcing them to fit the perfect pictures of others.
As I was watching Tony Porter’s TEDTalk one of the things he said caught my attention.
I can remember speaking to a 12-year-old boy, a football player, and I asked him, I said, “How would you feel if, in front of all the players, your coach told you, you were playing like a girl?” Now I expected him to say something like, I’d be sad; I’d be mad; I’d be angry, or something like that. No, the boy said to me — the boy said to me, “It would destroy me.” And I said to myself, “God, if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about girls?” (Porter, 2010).
Are we teaching boys that being a girl is a disgrace? What does that teach girls? Are they, no matter what they do, never going to be as good as boys? I wonder why we teach children they are different than one another solely on the basis of their sex.
Treat your sons equal to your daughters. so they will respect them as they grow older. People don’t hurt the ones they view as equal. They hurt en belittle the ones they view as less worthy. treat your daughters equal to your sons. They have the right to grow up knowing they are strong and that they can accomplish anything based on their own strengths. If you treat them as you would your sons they would know they can depend on themselves for protection instead of depending on others for their safety. Treat both your sons and your daughters as individual characters and not pre-programmed gender defined characters.
Tony Porter explains in his video what he calls a man box. Just to visualize the differences I created a woman box. Have a look at the labels and expectations we attach to our boys & girls.