#AtoZChallenge – Am I Gender Stereotyping my Daughters?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the issue of gender stereotypes. Therefore I assign letter G to gender on the #AtoZChallenge. Having two daughters, I am determined that they will not be held back from any ambitions they might nurture. Yes I know that women are far more liberated in society now than they were 100 years ago. But we still have a long way to go, if we ever achieve true equality at all.

Take me as an example. I was raised to believe that I could do anything I wanted in life, regardless of my gender. My mother always advised that I shouldn’t marry young, and that I should live my life before I had children. As it turned out I met my soulmate at the age of 19, but we waited several years before we got married. Looking back I feel like I somehow submitted to gender stereotyping, and yet I don’t know how or when it really happened.

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What is a gender stereotype? Is it that girls are the nurturing, creative sex, which is why we enjoy ‘the arts’ and providing welfare for others, be it children or vulnerable adults?  Is it that boys prefer to be more physically active, and that they exercise their analytical brain functions rather than their creative ones? I don’t know.

Personally I think we have become our own worst enemies when it comes to equality and the idea of gender stereotyping. I am happy in the roles that I have chosen, and yet I often feel that I should be doing something more outrageous, or simply something different. I worry about the clothes I dress my daughters in, but my eldest is given freedom to choose her own outfits now, be it a puffy pink princess dress, or a green t-shirt with diggers embroidered on it. The same applies with their toys. They both like to play with a mixture of dolls and diggers, and I am happy with that. Perhaps I just need to lighten up and let things be…

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Thank you for stopping by, now why not check out my fellow writers on the #AtoZChallenge? See you tomorrow!

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Catherine Green: The Pagan Housewife. Join my tribe, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book from my Redcliffe novels British paranormal series! http://eepurl.com/b7HHVn
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3 Responses to #AtoZChallenge – Am I Gender Stereotyping my Daughters?

  1. habisha says:

    I always told my daughter and my son they could do and be anything they wanted, if they wanted it enough. It was who they were inside, not their gender that constrained them. So while I dressed Leah in purple (she didn’t like pink; still doesn’t), and Kent in blue (or green, or yellow), they were free to choose. I did guide them through their teen years, but never told them what to do with their lives. Leah wanted to study archeology. She went to an outstanding college where she started in History and switched to Classics, coming out with honours in Greek and Latin. During college she married a Marine and has been all over the world with him. She just gave birth to her first child, our lovely granddaughter. My son went to a year of college, and then started working in construction. He found a crew he likes and has been with them for years. He is a terrific drummer, and plays at his churches (he attends more than one) every week, and for others who ask him. Mostly, I ma impressed and awed by the wonderful people they have become.

    I’m sure you will be able to guide your children, too. Love and a listening ear go a long way — much farther than worrying about the roles girls play or woman’s rights (which is really a human rights issue rather than an equality issue).

    This is a good blog post. Happy mothering and you’re doing good.

  2. Marlene Moss says:

    I think no matter what you do to purposefully gender stereotype or make every attempt not to, your children will behave as they either want or were meant to do. I’m a tomboy, my sisters are girly. My husband is manly in every physical way, yet he’s more nurturing than I’ll ever be. His brother is physically – hmm, not strong or outdoorsy – but fills more stereotypical male roles.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

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