Are You Treating Your Girls “Less Than” Boys?

“Girls are not the same as boys.” I believe in this.

Not in what they can achieve. But in the fact that both have their own strengths. But as far as rights go, as humans every single human has the right to choose and BE as they wish.

Yet, time and again I see people differentiating in what girls “can” and “cannot” do. In Indian culture, there has always been a big difference in the way girls are treated from boys. From serving them, to being protected to what they have to wear to what time they have to be outside, Indian women are often shown that they are less than.

The difference is reducing in today’s times. But once married, the difference still exists colossally within the Indian society.

The #metoo conversation brought forth to my mind how many people talk about the need for better parenting. To teach kids that both boys and girls are equal. Yet, there are so many subtle ways that girls are suppressed or presumptions they have to overcome.

So, I delved into the online space and asked women around the world to talk about a time in their childhood when they experienced feeling less than or having to overcome being put down. 

ONE 

“My parents raised me like a boy for the first 10 years as an only child but when my brother came and as I got older my parents’ worry of me irked me. It was not the same for my brother. Or my cousins. In my teenage years, relatives would pass comments about my marriage way earlier than it needed to be talked about. It was not the same for the boys in the house hold. “

— Find out more about Aditi Wardhan Singh 

TWO

” I would say when girls are just overly protected off the bat. I was never allowed to stay home alone with my brothers. Or I was not allowed to date until I was 16 but my brothers were. It’s a standard of boys aren’t to be trusted so we have to protect our girls more so then the boys…. great post idea. “

— Find out more about Sarah Church Caroll

THREE

My grandfather just passed away and all the grandsons and grandson-in-laws were asked to be pallbearers. Just the first thing that came to my mind living in the 21st century and still having those gender differences. All the granddaughters were not included.

— Find out more about Ashley Peggs

FOUR

When boys would pull my hair or be mean to me when we were all little, I was always told it was just because they liked me. I associated meanness with affection. I grew up spouting off that same stupid, misguided notion to other girls, unfortunately. Whenever a boyfriend treated me bad, I always had this thought, “well, he loves me so it’s okay.”
Or when I witnessed my dad disrespecting women and putting them down, I was told by my grandma that he did it out of love. The lesson of “it doesn’t matter how guys treat you as long as they love you” was very pervasive in my childhood.

— Find out more about Lisa Keifer

FOUR

When I asked my dad to teach me how to fix cars, he said no because I was a girl. I pushed and he gave in and was stunned to see I had a natural talent for it. Then I ended up in architecture school which at that time was 10% women. I had a teacher tell me that women didn’t belong in architecture because I had asked a question he deemed stupid. I didn’t want to be an architect after that. I became a graphic designer and ended up in the printing industry where I was sexually harassed all the time. I’m good at math, engineering, computers, fixing things… And I have been told over and over that I have strange talents for a girl.

I have two boys and they are being raised to see everyone as equal. Since I don’t get the chance to raise a confident girl, I can at least raise boys who see them as equals.

— Find out more about Bonnie Landau Weed

FIVE

When I was growing up, it was expected for my sister and I to help in the kitchen with dinner and clean up. My younger brother did not have the same expectation. This expectation still happens now. Last week we were on a family vacation and my mom was putting a roast in the crock pot for dinner. She was trying to decide when to start it. My brother was going to be back at the campground before we got back. I suggested to ask him to turn it on when he got back. My mom actually said, “he just finished a half-Marathon and that’s too much to ask of him.”. My response was “For him to turn a switch?”. This is not an uncommon theme in our family. I intend to raise my son to have the same expectation as any other family member.

— Find out more about Jennifer Crisp

SIX

I was good at math until I was in high school. I was in high track math 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. But then I slowly started thinking I wasn’t good at math because I kept hearing girls aren’t good at math. So when the counselor was helping me pick classes for my freshman year, he basically said “let’s bump you down to average track math” even though I got a high B in 8th grade. And I learned that I wasn’t good at math even though looking back I think I actually was. So I told myself that I wasn’t good at math because other people basically told me that I wasn’t because I’m a girl. And I don’t think I learned as much in high school math because I didn’t try very hard. I had the mindset of “this isn’t my thing. I shouldn’t even try.”

Find out more about Nikki Howlett

SEVEN 

I think it’s more I’ve noticed how lucky I was to have strong female figures and a father who taught me everything. I also read a lot of book with strong females. Here’s my recent post I wrote.

— Find out more about Shari Dawson Shearer

EIGHT

I hate the comment of throwing or running “like a girl”

Nancy Elyse

NINE

I don’t have a post about this, but it drove me insane. Last year my little sister’s high school softball team went all the way to the state championship (YAY!), and they asked to go up to the field two days early so they could get acclimated and practice one day. You know, get in the right mind set. Anyways, their athletic director said nope, sorry, not in the budget. So they showed up the night before, didn’t have time to work out the jitters, and had to play the next day. They lost. I’m not saying they would’ve won with that extra day, but as an ex-athlete I know how nerves can impact your game. It helps to see the field you’ll be playing on and just calm down from all the excitement (our town held a little parade as they left). It sucked, sure, but I didn’t think anything of it.

Flash forward to the football team’s REGULAR SEASON and they had a game in Texas. They were there for three days. It was basically an all-expenses paid vacation for these boys. And they brought the cheerleaders. They got their asses kicked.

I was so annoyed by this. Let’s just go ahead and tell our daughters that it doesn’t matter how hard you work; you can be the VERY BEST and go to the championship game, but you’ll still never be worth as much as our football players. Have fun in life!

— Find out more about JoshlandLindsay Aspinwall

TEN

My husband’s grandma told me when I was pregnant with my daughter that it would be better to have a boy because girls are only good for cleaning. Granted, she’s 93 and has dementia…but it still hurt.

— Find out more about Caitlin Downs

ELEVEN

I was told I could not do percussion in band because it was for boys. I did the flute, but ended up dropping out. 

— Find out more about Samantha A Brooks 

TWELVE

When my parents went to buy me a used car, the guy selling it told them it was a standard/stick shift and that because I was a girl they should go home and talk to me and make sure I could drive it. My mom was so offended but came home anyway to ask me and we agreed my dad could teach me. To this day I still remember every guy friend who rode in my car in college being floored at how good of a stick shift driver I was 😬

— Find out more about Cammeno Messana Murray

THIRTEEN

When I was in my second last year of high school, I had the goal of going to university to study science. My physics teacher told me in front of the boys in my physics class that girls don’t do science so I would never get anywhere in the science field. I set out to prove him wrong. I went to university and studied science. I then got a job with one of the major science organisations in Australia and was ran hands on science sessions for primary and secondary school students. My crowning moment was going to his high school and running a specialized science session for his class!

— Find out more about Jennie Petrey 

FOURTEEN

I was always told about everything that I did that wasn’t “lady like” and how if I wasn’t “lady like” than no boys will want me and it was just sort of instilled into my psyche that I needed to focus on having a man, like I couldn’t possibly live without one. It made me so codependent as a teen/young adult.

— Find out more about Brigid-Ryan Milenkovski

FIFTEEN

Never in the family, but people around us (esp. neighbors and relatives) would always be concerned about our parents not having a son.. as we r three sisters,many people would say it to our faces, how our parents are being foolish not thinking of their old age etc etc.. I’m sure being an Indian you know how hung up Indians are on having sons.

We would often question our parents if there is something wrong about girls and my dad always said “it’s the way people feel ,not us and what others think is not our problem, so ignore!

— Find out more about Shalini Tyagi

SIXTEEN

Beautiful. For sure! I have a twin brother. So many times in my life I felt less than him for no reason. At work he would start after, be a good worker but have his own imperfections like meor…worse and yet, be promoted. As for treatment, I could come up with some memories.

But hey, being a twin is awesome.

— Find out more about Jewel Elise

The Subtle Parenting Difference Between Girls and Boys | Parenting | Women Empowerment | Think about it

  Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”

 

Related posts:

6 Replies to “Are You Treating Your Girls “Less Than” Boys?”

  1. This is such a powerful post! I can relate to SO many of these stories. Having a son and a daughter, I try my absolute best to instill in them that everyone is to be treated equally, and that they can do absolutely anything that they put their minds to!

  2. Oh I absolutely love this post and can so relate to it. I grew up with a very traditional Italian family on my Dad’s side and my Nana always expected help in the kitchen from the women but never the men. I hope to raise my future children to be proficient in as many things as possible, no matter their gender

  3. Such an insightful post. I was raised in a home that never made me feel less than, EVER. So it is always so shocking to me to hear that these things go on and so often. Heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post from wonderful women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *