We all know about gender neutral parenting. That’s the clever idea that girls should be given as many trucks and action figures as barbies, and boys should be assigned to as many household chores as girls. That part all makes sense to me. But what about the old fashioned idea of raising well-mannered ladies and gentlemen? Is that sexist?
A few nights ago, I witnessed such a thing. My family joined another for dinner at their home followed by an outdoor glow-in-the-dark art exhibition. I happen to be a single mother with two daughters and in my house we all do boy and girl behaviors as a necessity — although I admit, my toy chest is seriously lacking in trucks and action figures. The family we joined has two girls and one boy.
During dinner, I noticed that the father (who is from a former British colony and probably had a strict British school education) told his daughters to sit up straight and eat like a “lady.” Okay, so I just tell my girls that it’s gross to show their food when it is half chewed. Except for the semantics, we are on the same course.