“Boys don’t cry” is one phrase that we commonly hear even today. In a society that has long conditioned into people’s mindsets about the gender disparities between men and women, a Mumbai man’s story comes as a whiff of fresh air. He talks about how he is bringing up his sons as feminists and we can all probably take a leaf from his book on parenting.
This Mumbai man’s story was shared on the Humans of Bombay Facebook page, wherein he narrates how he and his wife constantly reassures their sons that it is okay to cry and not any ‘less manly’. Most importantly, among other lessons, he also teaches them to treat girls as their equals, even in little things like a game of cricket or football. His story also contains an anecdote from his child’s life when he motivated a girl to ‘kick like a girl’ in a game.
“When we had our son, a lot of people congratulated my wife saying, ‘you can relax now…you have a son in the house’ and my wife and I laughed at their mentality but realised that this is how people still think. I was overjoyed that I had a son, but I knew I wanted to raise him right. It’s okay if he cries and if he shows his emotions — my wife and I are constantly telling him that crying doesn’t make him any less of a man. We teach him to respect girls as equals and even in little things like a game of football or cricket to not make fun of them — that’s where it all begins.
Just the other day at the park, they were playing football and right before this small girl was about to kick the ball, a boy shouted — ‘don’t kick like a girl…we’ll lose’ and everyone began to laugh. That small girl looked so shaken, but before anyone could say anything my son went upto her and said, ‘kick like a girl…that’s how we’ll show them how to win!’ and I promise you, that girl was beaming — she played like a real rockstar.
As a father, I felt proud because the boys we raise today are the men of tomorrow. Everyday we hear things about women empowerment and feminism but I’m trying to teach my son that women don’t need to be empowered— they already are. By trying to empower them, we’re proving that they’re weaker and need us to help them. Truth is, women are ready to rule the world as is…all they need is the world to be fair to them —to give them the respect they deserve…whether it’s at home, at work or out on the streets.”