We, as adults, are responsible for what we teach our children.
Children learn by copying/following the adults around them. So, when we display bad/toxic behaviour in front of our children, it slowly starts developing in them too. Now, that’s obvious and often realised as a mistake. But, there’s something many of us do that goes unnoticed—nurturing sexism in young boys.
You must be wondering how but if we look around us, people have been doing it everywhere. People do it when they tell their sons that certain things are exclusively for “girls” and doing them would also make them “girly.” This way, they develop a sense of sexism in them, which sometimes even leads to misogyny, androcentrism and a lot more.
To address this topic better, artist Damian Alexander used his artistic illustrations to explain how adults encourage sexism in young boys through every day small talk.
Scroll on below and see what he has to say.
“That’s for girls.”
While talking to Bored Panda, Damian said “Growing up, my favourite character was Matilda. She was so smart, and I related to her feeling out of place in her family.” “The telekinesis thing was also really exciting for me. Then there’s Anne of Green Gables, Hermione from Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, Mulan, and so many more. I think it’s because girl characters tend to use creative problem solving instead of outright violence, and I found that a lot more engaging.”
But apparently, idolising female superheroes are for girls.
“If I wanted a doll or something though, they’d direct me toward an action figure. “
“Boys in my family would also turn up their nose if I wanted to play as Princess Peach in Super Smash Bros.”
“A lot of men undervalue women and see them as less than.”
“Probably because we have this toxic cycle of telling little boys they can’t admire women, and then having them grow up to disrespect women.”
“A lot of parents also think if their son likes girl characters, he’ll suddenly turn gay even though that’s not how that works at all.”
“Just let kids like what they like.”
We allow boys to believe this. So, if there’s anyone to blame, it’s us.
“Boys will be boys.”
That’s an excellent point.
“If a little boy admires Elsa, just let him and don’t make a fuss about it. I’m so tired of seeing parents in the toy section direct their sons away from the doll aisle saying “Nope, that’s for girls!” Each time they’re planting the little seeds of misogyny in their kid’s head.”
Here’s how people responded to Damian’s work.
What is your take on all this? Let us know in the comments below.