We all want to think we live live in a world where men and women are treated equally, but we simply do not. Women all around the world face a variety of incredible challenges and struggles. From trafficking, genital mutilation, pay gaps, educational discrepancies—even witch-hunts!
The truth is that feminism has never been a more important lesson to teach to your kids; especially your daughters. And even though everyone knows the importance of teaching our daughters to be empowered individuals, there simply isn’t enough literature available online to supply our demand.
Thankfully, we’ve found six ways that can help make teaching feminism easier than ever:
1. Support gender bender activities
Never let your daughter feel confined to social standards or gender specific activities. If your daughter wants to play basketball, by all means let her. Better yet encourage it.
The world will always try to tell you to be someone you’re not. In letting your daughter participate in activities that society would deem “masculine”, you’re letting her be who she wants to be. Support her in defying gender related stereotypes!
2.Display strong examples of sex equality
A great way to encourage a feminist mentality is to eliminate gender limitations in your household. As fathers, don’t be afraid to cook dinner instead of your wife. As mothers, don’t be afraid to be the breadwinner of the family.
It’s important to make sure your daughter knows that there are no gender specific roles in any household.
3. Encourage a diverse wardrobe
It’s always important for kids to express themselves—even when it comes to their wardrobe. It’s also important to make sure that your daughter knows that nothing is truly off limits. You shouldn’t allow her to think that she has to be restricted to dresses, skirts, or anything that may be considered a gender limitation.
Your daughter should be able to wear what she feels like, despite what stereotypes depict in the media or in society. Encourage your daughter to dress in a way that suits her.
4. Choose your words wisely
There are plenty of gender stereotypes in colloquial language. Idioms like “man up”, and phrases like “crying like a little girl” do nothing but perpetuate such stereotypes. If you want to make addressing feminism easier, always watch your tongue around your daughter(s) and remove any gender stereotypes from your vocabulary.
5. Defy and combat gender stereotypes
Once again the power of stereotypes is shown. Stereotypes mold an individual’s understanding of someone or something. Your daughter is very impressionable and you should combat any stereotypes that you see. Whether her favorite cartoon character broke a nail playing a sport, or her friend’s father is the breadwinner of his family, it’s your duty to clear up any possible restrictive ideologies.
6. Identify sexism
This can be implemented just about anywhere, at anytime. Remember that cartoon character that broke a nail playing a sport? Tell your daughter how and why that’s sexist. But don’t stop there. Everything down to her toys can display remnants of sexism. Identify what is sexist to your daughter to help instill feminist values.
READ: Why we need to teach our sons to be good men without pressuring them to ‘man up’
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