To my sons on International Women’s Day

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

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But what if you’re a strong women, who knows other strong women but is raising boys?!

This International Women’s Day I was going to celebrate some of the strong women that I know. Those women who inspire me, who uplift me, who empower me.

Then I came down the stairs this morning and saw two little faces looking up at me. My two eldest sons.

And I realised that instead I wanted to reflect on the values I am teaching my boys. The lessons that I must teach them so they can grow up in a world with strong women. So they too can help empower others. Lift them up where they belong.

After all, feminism is not just for girls

Being a feminist isn’t about stridently marching through the streets shouting down with men. It’s about striving for equality. For all, regardless of sex.

It is up to us to teach our children to shun stereotypes, to promote gender equality, to help them empower others.

10 lessons I want my boys to know this International Women’s Day

  1. Feminism isn’t just for girls; it’s for everyone. It’s about equality for all, not just for some.
  2. There is no such thing as “girls” toys or “boys” toys. Toys are toys irrespective of who plays with them.
  3. Stay friends with girls. They will enrich your life. Be strong when others question this decision – your friends are friends because of the people they are not the sex they are.
  4. Always be true to yourself, and help others be true to theirselves
  5. Know that anyone can be anything they want to be. And help those who have a dream achieve it.
  6. Be a voice for those who cannot be heard
  7. Lead by example; when others are shouting you down be the voice of reason. Stand up for what you believe in. Do what you think is right not what the herd says.
  8. No means no, maybe means no, silence means no.
  9. Celebrate your differences; a team needs strong foundations. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, find those that complement you.
  10. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Onceler – The Lorax
10 lessons that all parents should teach their sons.

Lessons for boys.

Feminism is not just for girls - 10 lessons that I am teaching my boys.
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