As a mother to a daughter and son, I’ve wished that I could raise them in the same ways, but the reality is that we don’t live in an equitable society (yet). They need to be equipped in different ways to deal with the societal norms they will inevitably face. I hope to teach the same values, but the conversations will sound different.
I will tell my son that boys can cry and talk about their feelings. That he can wear a dress. That there’s no such thing as feminine pursuits. That men don’t have to be the sole breadwinner. That men and women can share household duties.
If we want to create an equitable society, one in which everyone can thrive, we need to also give both girls and boys (all kids) more choices. That’s because women’s roles can’t expand if men’s don’t, too. We need to teach our sons that equality is good for all genders. It allows everyone to reach their potential without limits being imposed on how they think or what they can be when they grow up.