Gender. Gender inequalities. Gender differences. Always up for debate. You have to tread lightly to not step on someone’s toes. But sometimes that cannot be helped. Sometimes you have to voice your opinion even though not everyone will agree with you.
Are gender differences due to biology? Or are they a social construct only? Perhaps a mix of the two? Nature or nurture, or a little bit of both?
But what if we’re asking the wrong question? What if it doesn’t really matter why there are differences? Shouldn’t we instead try to minimise these differences and aim to treat everyone the same regardless of gender? Shouldn’t we try to see every individual for who they are and not let their sex define them?
Even though this is what we aim for, we fall short. It’s impossible to treat girls and boys alike because the gender differences are so deeply ingrained in us.
Will we ever have a gender neutral society?
Numerous studies have shown that we caution our daughters more than our sons. That we tend to compliment our girls more on their looks while the boys get praise for their accomplishments. Any parent who claims to raise their sons and daughters the same is deluding themselves. It cannot be done. At least not in today’s society.
So should we just give up? Should we stop striving for equality?
No. Of course not. We must continue to work towards girls having the same chances as our boys. And the first step is acknowledging that today they don’t.
We need to empower our daughters instead of treating them like delicate flowers.
We have to let them jump from the 7,5-meter tower. Even when our heart is racing and we really want to say no. Because if her brother’s jumped, why shouldn’t she? The pride in those eyes when she overcame her fear and hesitation and just did it. Now that’s something worth nurturing.