Aakriti Dhungana Agrawal

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Published On: April 6, 2019 09:35 AM NPT By: Aakriti Dhungana Agrawal

How I want to raise my Son?

How I want to raise my Son?

There is a saying by Gloria Steinem that states, “I am glad we’ve begun to raise our daughters, like our sons, but it will never work until we raise our sons more like our daughters.” As much as I wanted to have a daughter as my first and probably my only child, it took me sometime to come into terms that I was having a baby boy. So, why did it matter so much that I was having a boy and not a girl?

Like many moms, I wanted a daughter because I wanted to dress her up like a doll, play with makeup and yes wear same clothes and twin with her. Although, I can do the last one with my son too, but my point is “a daughter is a daughter and a son is a son”, there is just no comparison. Another, funny reason that I have is “the fear of being a mother-in-law”. Well, yes me being me a liberal and a bit of feminist I don’t know how I will cope up being a mom-in-law when the time comes. I can talk about this as much as I can but I know that I won’t be able to give equal love and treatment to my future daughter in law as much as I would to my daughter/son.

Being born in a family, where I have seen my father helping my mom in her household works, and yes cook delicious food too, I have always thought that I want a husband like him. Although my husband helps me and my mother-in-law in many of our household chores but I have realized that men have a way getting away with it. They are either excused because they work hard outside and they are tired or because they have a mom, a wife or a sister who are always there to help him out in these chores. So, with much deliberation, thoughts and mental notes I have come up with few points on raising a feminist son.

1.    Gender Neutral Toys: Children should play with whatever they enjoy the most, their interest usually shifts. So, if a girl enjoys playing with a car and a boy enjoys playing with a doll, we should not discourage them. 
2.    Working mom guilt: Talking to your son about why some moms work and some don’t. It is a way of teaching him that women have an equal role to play at home and outside. This way he will learn not to stereo type work on the basis of gender.
3.    Exposure : Exposing him to books and biographies of strong women and female super-heroes.
4.    Encouraging co-ed friendships: Although, my parents never told me that I should talk to both boys and girls but I always had a good rapport with boys than girls and I still do. There, is no harm in having more female friends than male friends. It will only give him wider perspective on life.
5.    Feminism is not male bashing: Feminism has long been misinterpreted, whenever we talk about feminism or say I am a feminist people will give you a strange look, they think feminists are all about bashing men, when all it really is about equality. Yes, feminists wear pink, have husbands and boyfriends yet talk about equality and there is nothing wrong in that.
6.    Dividing household chores: This maybe one of the most important points specially growing up in an Asian society like ours where gender divides our household chores, I want my son to know that men can cook, wash dishes, do laundry and yes clean the house too. 
7.    Not to body sham: Respect women despite her looks, our media has specified us how women should look, I want him to know that there is no specification on being a woman. She can be tall, short, fat, thin, girly or even a tomboy. 

Lastly, taking the surname of the husband has long been discussed and recently we have seen a shift where men are actually taking women’s last name. But I want my son to know that neither choice has anything to do with how much she loves you. 

being_a_mom, son, daughter,

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