As I prepared to take part in the Women’s Health Day in Perth last month, I realized something: so many events and messages are focused on raising strong girls, girls who know and understand their worth, know that they are not second best, and that they are good enough.
So powerful, right?
I am a firm believer in this notion, especially since I know first-hand the struggles a woman faces specifically within the business world.
But it got me wondering: What About Our Boys?
For years and years (and years), a male’s place was at the head of the table. They were the privileged gender. They were the breadwinners. The authority.
Society has gone to great lengths to teach our boys how to treat girls and women. With respect. Equality. Fairness.
And that’s awesome and so powerful.
As the movement toward equality continues, those stereotypical gender roles are balancing out.
Again, so great.
Yet with that, I kind of feel like boys are struggling to find their ‘place’.
Here’s what I think is missing.
Boys are still mean to other boys.
I’m seeing it first-hand as I raise my own two boys.
Today, boys are treating other boys the same way we are teaching them NOT to treat girls and women.
There’s a missed message here.
We have been so focused on the who and not the what.
We have missed the boat on what the focus should really be about.
It should be about treating everyone with the same respect, equality and fairness.
Surely I am not the only one that feels in today’s world looking at the bigger picture- we need more people who are truly kind, genuine and accepting of all others; not just to girls or women, but to everyone.
I cannot help but think that while we have been striving for equality for girls and women we have missed the true focus – Treating others – all others, the way we want to be treated.
I can often hear my own parents’ words in my head when I am parenting my boys on this topic – “Do onto others, as you would have done to yourself”. These words made me a stronger child, person and mother.
When we raise our children to have open minds to treat all people with respect and kindness we are growing a generation without barriers.
Now that’s powerful messaging.