This past weekend I caught up myself in a group of parents during a soccer match of my 12-year old son, while my baby daughter was playing with a ball, saying: “My baby girl…looks like she loves soccer so much! Oh no!… I wish she goes for gymnastics or dance!” When I said that, I realized immediately! “What am I saying!!” What am I thinking?”
Honestly, I didn’t even realize that I was thinking like that! I didn’t think, I just said!… which is even scarier for my side!
Now that I am becoming more aware,… I think…, I noticed that I said to my son, while he was writing a postcard to a friend for his birthday party, also this weekend, …”Are you writing a postcard, with a pink envelope? Your friend is a boy!!”
I don’t want to think like this at all! I refuse to have these stereotypes! I am not sure what I can do? I am a strong advocate of gender equity, and also a stronger believer that this comes from education, so I wanted my son becomes a man who supports the women. We have been having great discussions about it! He acknowledges when the difference is happening and we talk about it. Even if the subject comes as the biggest event of the Women Wrestling, WWE.
I am just sharing this, as I believe there are plenty of situations that we don’t even think, which are present the gender bias, and it is not at the workplace it is happening, it is happening in our personal life with our families. We can’t accept any more, the expression: “Oh never mind, they are being boys!”, and think about that…. there isn’t the expression “Oh never mind, they are being girls!”. Actually, if this expression is said would be perceived as more a kind of judgemental.
I have a daughter and a son! And it has been an eye-opener how different I behave with the simples things for a boy and a girl…and I am sure this will impact them and the future leaders and the decisions they will make! The gender bias can only be mitigated through education. But for that, we need to be aware and take action… please do not ignore, face this as a reality that comes from many centuries.
It is ok the boys and girls play together with the little kitchen together! Like my daughter and nephew… but when they were playing it was inevitable, to listen to the comment why the boy has a kitchen?
We are on a journey!
A journey of becoming aware of the unconscious bias.
A journey of acceptance, so please think! The gender gap is not only about women it is also about men. It is not only about to empower the girls for the future but also raise the respectful and kind boys of the future.