The first thing you should know is that the things you learn here aren’t meant to be followed only on International Women’s Day. These are guidelines a man should always follow. A man should always respect women and understand why there is such a divide between the two genders. It is the duty of a mother to instill this awareness in her son so that he grows up to be a responsible and decent human being. Many men do not get why International Women’s Day is celebrated. There are many people who do not appreciate the idea of giving women a day to celebrate their achievements and shine a light on the continuing struggle for gender equality. International Women’s Day is a reminder that women aren’t treated equally to men across the world. Women all around the world are subjected to shocking abuse from female genital mutilation to sexual violence, and forced into marriages and becoming child brides. That is why it is extremely important for mothers to teach their sons about the importance of International Women’s Day. Here are a few things that you can teach your sons.
It’s okay to show emotions.
While the strong, silent type and the macho tough guy may seem appealing to boys, mothers should teach sons that in real life, the guys who know how to deal with their feelings (the right way), are the good guys. Men shouldn’t feel ashamed of their emotions and should be encouraged to communicate their feelings rather than bottling up or lashing out when they can’t handle their emotions. These stereotypical “manly” qualities are very bad and need to be nipped in the bud.
You do not become less of a man if you do chores.
In most Indian households, the girls are taught how to cook and do other chores while the boys are told to play, or study. Despite the changing times, this is something that still persists. It is up to the mothers to change this outdated and evil thinking. Your sons should be taught that if he helps out in household chores, it is not wrong. A boy should know that there is no chore or job beneath him. You should always do what must be done.
A woman can do anything that you can do. Mutual respect.
As a mother you should, teach your sons that a woman can do anything a man can do and that they should be looked as peers. If you teach your son that girls are as athletic or as intelligent as he is from an early age, he will grow up to respect women and will not have the misconception that he is better than a woman because he is a man.
Now-a-days it seems that to disrespect a woman is “cool”. Unfortunately, sometimes acting like a gentleman can also be looked upon as sexist. It is not. Teach your son to open the car door for you, hold the elevator, carry the groceries and to buy flowers. Things like giving a coat to a woman when she is cold or to get the car if she is in heels are considered very “old-fashioned” but they’ll never go out of style.
That it is OK not to be strong ALL the time.
Mainstream media has “brain-washed” our society into thinking that “real” men are the silent types who are stoic and are strong all the time. This is wrong in so many levels. As humans we are programmed to feel. That is why boys need to be taught that there is nothing wrong to feel vulnerable sometimes.
No means NO.
A major issue that our society plagues our society is that so many women are sexually assaulted or raped. Your son needs to be taught that when a woman is not consenting or is inebriated, it is not okay to touch her inappropriately or do something that she is not comfortable with. She has the right to choose whom she wants to be intimate with and you have to teach your son that it is wrong (not to mention illegal) to do anything to her without her consent.
Walking away from doing something wrong is not being a coward — it is being a man.
As kids, we tend to go along with the crowd because we are scared of being the outcast. It can be the hardest thing for your son to disagree with the crowd and do what he feels is right, but if that feeling is the right one, he should be encouraged to follow his gut. We have seen so many young boys sitting in a group eve-teasing passing girls, they need to be taught that it is not okay to do this and that they stop this.
Never ever use physical violence. Ever
Your son should be taught that violence is never okay. A woman should never hit a man and a man should never hit a woman. But teach your son that if a woman ever hits him it’s NEVER okay to hit back. Teach him to walk away or to restrain her kindly. He is a man. And being a man comes with advantages as well as responsibilities. Never hitting a lady is one of those responsibilities. There is no exception to this rule.
Don’t play with her emotions.
Most men believe that having many partners is “cool”. While nobody can tell your son how many partners he should or shouldn’t have, it is your responsibility to teach him that if he doesn’t like a girl, he should not play around with her feelings. He wouldn’t like it if someone does that to him, so that is why he shouldn’t be doing it as well.
Standing up for her doesn’t mean you take decisions for her
A thing that many women appreciate is when her partner stands up for her. He should always have her back. But your son should be taught that there’s a fine line between standing up for a girl and speaking for her. Nothing gives a man the right to take decisions for a woman, and that is why you should make sure that your son learns that “controlling” a person, never mind a woman, is a big no-no.
These lessons could easily apply to fathers, daughters or anyone. As a mother, it is your job to instill a sense of respect and responsibility into your child towards women. If you follow these lessons, chances are, your son could turn out to be the type of man you want him to be.