My son Ellis just turned one last month. It’s an exciting time for my husband and me as we get to know our little man and shape the person that he is becoming.
As a mother, I’ve reflected more and more as he grows up on how I can raise a child who understands and takes away from the mission behind UGauGrrl. To, as a boy and eventually a man, recognize the special gifts women and girls bring to the world, be inspired by that and empower them to share those gifts with the world.
I have to admit – it seemed a lot easier to teach this mission if I had had a daughter. Now, I happily accept the challenge of teaching my son what that should mean to him.
I am lucky to have a husband who shares in this journey with me. He grew up with a mom who was self-made in her own right. He had the opportunity to watch his mom realize her gifts and strengths through the way she lives her life and entrepreneurship. Together, it’s just as important to help our son see that example in all the women around him as it is to share with him how he can be just like Dad and be a man that supports them.
The topic of men’s role in the progress of women in our society has been an important one for Gau and me. With all the issues that women face today, from equal pay to the #MeToo movement, we see that we women and girls are not alone in our endeavor. So we’re excited to continually find ways to highlight the role that men play and their specific contributions.
The challenge to raise our sons to recognize that their efforts and involvement are important is not a new one. We are grateful to famous moms like Pink, Mayim Bialik and Eva Longoria, among others, who are raising “feminist sons.” While that sounds like a strong label, in this day and age, it’s simply a phrase that embodies tearing down traditional stereotypes that we’d been taught as boys and girls in the past and including boys in the conversation of gender equality and mutual respect.
I’m excited to share UGauGrrl with my son and see my raising him in this unique way as an opportunity to further my personal journey as a mom and woman.
One of my favorite quotes is “Strong women. May we know them. May we raise them.” Well, that’s the most of the story. Let’s not forget our sons and men in our lives who can help complete it. What are your thoughts? In what ways do you think, as both women and men, parents or not, we can change the definition of a strong boy in today’s society?