Gender equality issues were never on my radar before becoming a father. I was selfish. Being a white guy, I was always considered in a privileged class, but I was more concerned about the unprivileged group within.
Sure, I’m white, but my father had died and we were living off of the various social security checks that come along with that. Plenty of my family and white friends in high school weren’t privileged despite our race—I recall an argument with a friend who was considering dropping out of high school and I made an insensitive comment without realizing her mom was a high school dropout herself.
Sure, I’m a guy. In high school, I was more concerned about finding a way to pay for college knowing that my family didn’t have the means to offer support and came across more scholarships than I care to admit that weren’t open to me since I’m guy.
One of our girls mentioned the other day that girls don’t drink coffee. V asked them why would they think that? Well, Mom and Grandma don’t drink coffee. Dad and Grandpa do. Boys do. Girls don’t.
In O’s school, a full 60% of the Kindergarten students were princesses of some sort for Halloween.
O is beginning this phase of doing anything possible to not be different than the rest of her peers. She’s not eating her lunch because it is different than the other kids. Not changing into her black leotard for dance/gymnastics because the other girls have pink leotards and so on.
I’ve heard of late hate being directed toward the phrase “As a father of daughters…” in regards to men expressing support for women issues suggesting that these men didn’t feel women were equal or thought of them as objects before “all of a sudden caring about a woman as a person”.
Becoming a father of daughters has broaden my view quite a bit. Not that I ever thought that women were not equal to men or should be restricted to or from certain fields, but seeing the world through their eyes has evolved my point of view. I’ve matured; not into a state of seeing women equal, but rather of becoming less self-centered.
This is one of the trickier parts of parenting a daughter. You want them to fit into their peer group. It sucks to be the odd duck, so you want them to avoid that. But, seeing them impressed into different roles and behaviors because of them trying to fit into their peer group? That sucks too.
I don’t have any conclusions or answers to this, yet, and believe I’ll be wrestling this for some time to come.