I teach my girls that they can do anything. They can be whoever they want to be. They can live their lives as they want to live them; their gender does not define them.
And yet, all around we are all subjected and even socialised to believe that girls are somehow the weaker sex.
When someone "runs like a girl", when someone is called "a big girl."
When we teach our boys not to hit girls, are we not instantly dismissing our girls as weak? Shouldn't the message be not to hit anyone at all?
When we tell someone to "grow a pair" or to "man up" we are inferring weakness of women.
I wear trousers quite a lot, and yet I don't see many men wearing skirts. Would they feel silly? Why would they feel silly - is it silly to be a girl?
What about all of the insults specifically reserved for women? Slag, bitch, tart. You know them all already I don't need to write them here. Are any of these words reserved for males? No. Why do we hate women so much? Why do we reduce them to weak at every step and put them down?
I'm bringing my girls up to believe themselves equal to boys. And yet all around social pressures, norms, toys, books, people - they tell us otherwise.
We are not the weaker sex. We don't need doors holding or anything carrying. We don't need men to protect us. We are strong on our own and can make our own decisions. For far too long we have been held down. From a very early age we are taught that we are fragile. I believe it is my job as a mother to raise strong, independent, confident children. I hope they have "ideas above their station" I hope they bite off more than they think they can chew and I hope they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men and know that they are the same and that nothing can hold them back from whatever they want to achieve.