Why My 4-Year-Old Daughter Is More Than Your Son’s Future Wife

Why My 4-Year-Old Daughter Is More Than Your Son’s Future Wife

My name is Shannon Cain and I am the mother of 4-year-old twin girls. I am passionate about examining unhealthy societal roles imposed on children and striving for equality in gender roles.

An example of inequality in children’s gender roles includes letting people know that the comment My son’s future wives” is NOT a compliment when referring to my young daughters.

Recently, someone left this comment on a @FeministMomming post, which included a picture of my twin girls. Perhaps it was harmless, but I do not favour romanticizing or sexualizing children’s relationships. It is not a compliment.

Many times, well-intentioned grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles make reference to baby boys being ‘heartbreakers’ and little girls being ‘a tease’. The sexualization of children begins almost immediately and kids are put into a box before they’ve even learned to sit up. Before a child even has a chance to confirm their identity as male or female, adults are making assumptions and encouraging inappropriate behaviour.

Previously, a parent at my girls’ preschool came up to my husband and I and let us know that their son was playing with one of our daughters and she was the boy’s “new girlfriend” and

that the “son was a total player.” At the time, the children were only two years old.

These comments marginalize girls. What do some adults feel the need to romanticize different-gender relationships with children? Does it help them make sense of the world?

Parents conclude from the start that a boy’s only interest in girls is seeing her as a romantic partner. — “Girlfriend” or “wife”. Not vibrant, independent, funny, smart, kind, empathetic, delightfully engaging humans. These comments from fellow parents offer insight into how sexism starts early and is ingrained and accepted by society. Girls are marginalized from the start and it’s time that we as caregivers, change that.

Shannon Cain,

Blogger, Feminist Momming

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