1. Boys should be unafraid to show emotions.
Boys are brought up to be “Tough” and “Strong”, which could be why they are usually hesitant to voice out their true feelings. Men are often made to believe that emotions aren’t part of their DNA, that they would look weak. But contrary to that, vulnerability is a quality most women look out for, in friendships and relationships. Men should be shown how to channel their feelings in the right away, aggression and anger cannot be the only feelings associated with them
2. Crying is ok.
Similar to what was said in point 1, feeling your feelings needs to be normalised. When a boy tries to express his emotions, why is he always told “Don’t cry like a girl!” Firstly it sets a precedent that girls are unreasonably emotional and second, it deters the boys to express themselves. Boys , from very early on are taught to suppress their pain and sadness. Bottling up feelings only results in destructive behaviour.
Boys need to understand that No means No!This cannot be stressed enough. It’s something that isn’t negotiable and they need to understand boundaries. In most houses, boys are brought up to feel entitled. And when these boys become husbands, they don’t respect their partners. If its a friend who’s uncomfortable with your hand around her shoulder, or a wife who doesn’t want to engage in sex, a no means a no.
4. How to cook!
Being a self-sufficient adult is important.For all the mothers who don’t let their sons do housework, do every little chore for them, you are setting them up to be terrible partners. Making a meal is a necessary life skill, it’s important for everyone, irrespective of gender to know how to cook for themselves. Treating it as a ‘woman’s job’ is a gender bias that we need to do away with.
5. Cleaning after himself.
When you look into most indian households, if there are two kids, a boy and a girl, they will tell you they were brought up by different parents. The chores that were asked of the girl weren’t even considered for the boy. Let’s teach them to be self sufficient, that is when they will stop looking at women as help and start looking at them as partners. This is seen especially in new-age relationships where both husband and wife work jobs. Splitting jobs makes life easier for everyone.
6. Respect all women.
They are told from early on that they have to respect their mothers, sisters, girlfriends or wives. But the people in the same house discuss other women and their characters. Instead of showing them in a negative light, always talk about women in an uplifting way. This encourages them to also think like that. Men are trained to respect the women in their households. Their aunts, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and in some cases, family friends. They should be taught to respect all women.
7. A lesson in feminism
The definition of feminism and what it means should be discussed freely in every home. Equal rights, equal voice and equal pay are topics that they should be aware of and sensitive towards women’s struggle. Sometimes even the most modern parents don’t release how feminist they might seem. Unlearning the stereotypes and curbing misogyny will break generations of conditioning.
8. No sexist words.
When two men fight, why are the women related to them brought into it? Why does profanity have to do with degrading women? Boys lose their filters and cuss using words that demean the woman who birthed them. It’s shameful how the vocabulary for swear words is limited to female genitalia. It’s problematic and unacceptable.
Disclaimer: Pictures used are for representative purposes only.