I grew up in a household that did not tend abide by gender stereotypes. Both of my parents pursued careers. But both of my parents also spent time at home as full-time caregivers. In some ways, I was aware that not all households were like this. That not all Dads took their girls outside to learn to throw a ball properly. And that not all Moms gave their girls Adventure People instead of Barbies. But in many ways, I was oblivious. I think the same could be said for how my husband was raised. I wouldn’t imagine that it was the norm for a country boy to know how to cook, clean and sew, and yet his mother taught all three of her sons these skills.
I can see now that what our parents gave us was a gift. Because in raising us in this manner, it is now possible that I, as mother, can teach both my daughter and son how to throw a ball properly. I’ve been armed not with just the desire to do so, but with the actual skill. (Sometimes I do still find myself ill-equipped, but in those instances, I fake it for the sake of my kids.)
Most days I really feel that the world has changed and that our generation is at the forefront of turning over any remaining gender stereotypes once and for all. Like when I heard a documentary about stay-at-home-fathers this morning on CBC radio.
But then there are other days. Days when I end up “crying like a girl.” I really hate those days.
What are the most common gender stereotypes that you run into? Are there common phrases that irk you, like “Oh, boys will be boys?” Do you ever find yourself acting out gender stereotypes (consciously or unconsciously)?