Are Our Attempts at Bridging an Inequality Gap Creating Another One?
The modern feminist movement has gathered ever-important momentum in recent history. It has worked, and continues to work, to rebalance and distribute power and privilege between sexes. As a result, women (and, of course, men) have rallied their daughters to be strong and empowered individuals. The movement continues to make significant progress toward ensuring that our daughters are supported and accepted as equals among their male peers. Young girls have never had more support to partake in athletics and aspire for the same academic and professional excellence as young boys. Our girls will continue to make their mark in society and need readily available access to support and resources.
Young boys are also now part of a broader societal movement that encourages them to have increased emotional awareness as well as sensitivity. They are, however, still expected to be strong and stoic. The issue stemming from these expectations is that young boys have not been provided with adequate support in managing them. They are therefore often faced with the difficult task of managing situations accordingly to society’s expectations, and are unfortunately not equipped to do so. Our young boys and men need to be taught how to label and identify their emotions, to be given opportunities and forums to discuss, and to be educated on effective communication skills.
Leadership, assertiveness and empathy are qualities that are of equal importance to young boys and girls. Are the methods we are using to cultivate these qualities in our sons the best and most appropriate? Are we disproportionately instilling certain qualities in our sons based on sex alone and/or societal pressures?
This issue without a doubt adds to the complexity of raising children in today’s era. Perhaps this is an opportunity for parents to break down the barriers of entitlement and have a teachable moment with their children. An opportunity for parents to teach their children valuable life skills and that their success will be a result of their effort and determination to achieve their goals and objectives.
Attention: This article is intended to serve as a thought-provoking piece around issues related to equality between our daughters and sons. It is a reflection piece and in no way, shape or form written to offend or discriminate any parties. The purpose of this article is simply to promote awareness.