Rae’s Rules to Remember #80: Stop promoting harmful gender stereotypes to children

Even from a young age we teach children the wrong things. This carries on all through adolescence and unfortunately into adulthood. At some point our society realizes the harm in these ridiculous stereotypes but many are afraid to speak out against them for some reason.

Well, I’m not one of those people so I’m calling bullshit.

Stop telling young boys that they can’t cry or show emotion. Why can’t they? Since when is being able to express your feelings in a healthy way a bad thing? What good comes from forcing someone to keep all of their emotions hidden? Men can cry. It’s not something to be afraid or ashamed of, it’s a basic human emotion and normal for everyone regardless of gender.

Stop telling young girls that if a boy hits her it’s because he likes her. Promoting abuse as a sign of love is incredibly fucking dangerous. Not just for the girls that have abuse inflicted on them but for the young boys as well. They should not be taught that the “toughness” that they are required to show means that they have the right to put their hands on another human being.

Do not call girls who like trucks and superheroes “tomboys.” They are girls who like trucks and superheroes. That doesn’t make them masculine. They aren’t trying to be “one of the boys” they like trucks and superheroes. So the fuck what?

Why can’t boys have kitchen sets? Are we afraid that they’ll want to learn and know how to cook? Cooking is something that everyone should know how to do. I mean, seriously people, it’s a life skill. People always want to say that women belong in the kitchen but the majority of famous chefs are actually men. No one ever complains about that so what’s the big deal? Why can’t boys have dolls? Are we afraid of them being good parents (if they decide that they want children)? You do realize that it is the responsibility of both parents to take care of a child, not just a woman’s.

Stop assuming who children will marry and making it seem like they are required to have children. You don’t get to dictate someone else’s life. These are not your choices to make. Kids should not be taught that their quality of life is dependent on being in a relationship and/or being a parent.

On average in America, young boys start watching pornography at age 10. They start having sex in their early teens. Many people expect these things to happen and it’s widely accepted. On the other hand girls are told that can’t have sex until marriage, that they must save themselves or risk being called a whore. Teenage boys are expected to start masturbating soon after hitting puberty and again, for women it’s seen as shameful. Why? Because society says so? Because “boys will be boys” and “men have needs” Bullshit. Having a penis does not mean that you’re required to be sexually promiscuous. You can be if that’s your choice, but it doesn’t excuse cheating on a significant other and you don’t get to let it slide for men but call women whores for the same behavior. Both of these phrases are also used to excuse these actions of male rapists. There is no excuse for rape. The only person responsible is the rapists. Yes, they had a choice and they chose to commit a crime. Seriously people. Cut the bullshit. And in case you still don’t know this. Yes men can be and are victims of physical and sexual abuse. It doesn’t make them “soft” or “weak” The sad and frightening reality is that this can happen to anyone so stop spreading lies.

Surely, the list of awful things that are taught to children could go on forever, but I think you get the point. The bottom line is that people need to remember that gender is not binary. You don’t have to fit into a box or identify a certain way just because “society” says you should.


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About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 23. Avid Reader, Book Blogger. Intersectional Feminist. Gryffindor.
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7 Responses to Rae’s Rules to Remember #80: Stop promoting harmful gender stereotypes to children

  1. thebookcorps says:

    Great post Rae!! I agree with you 100%! I hate that men are allowed to get away with certain things, or excuses are made for them, but the rules for women are so different.
    Recently, one of my friends, let’s call her Carrie, was physically hurt by her male cousin, who is grieving over the recent loss of his father. When Carrie was telling me what he did, I was so angry and ready to confront her cousin (who I know). But one of our other friends, let’s call her Mary, was defending him!! She kept saying stuff like “You have to understand, his dad just died,” and “everyone grieves in their own way.” I’m sorry, but I’ve lost people too and I have never physically struck someone before. Made me so sick to hear that crap coming out of Mary’s mouth, especially because I learnt about feminism from her when we were younger.
    On a nicer note, I have an 11-year-old brother and we’ve never made him confine himself to gender roles. He is the sweetest kid, who always sticks up for his friends. One time, a boy from school was playing soccer with him and said that my brother “kicks like a girl,” and my brother – who at the time was like 6/7 – turned around and said, “What’s wrong with being a girl?” He got so offended by that. And at his confirmation 2 years ago, he chose his own outfit, which included wearing a hot pink tie. Some of his friends made fun of him and he told them off!! He’s a good kid, and I hope that parents teach their kids what my family and I have taught my brother.
    Again, wonderful post!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you!
      That’s awful. Of course everyone grieves in their own way but that’s no excuse to hurt someone else.
      Your brother is a smart kid and is exactly the kind of person that we need more of in the world πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Emma The Book Lover says:

    One word: preach πŸ‘πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ariel Lynn says:

    & stop buying those stupid “Future Trophy Wife” (for girls) & “Future Heart-breaker” (for boys) onesies for your babies!

    You’re so right, Rae. It starts at birth & it just snow-balls from there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: June Wrap Up! 2017 | bookmarkchronicles

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