We were watching Big Hero 6 (again) and it was the scene where the freight container was about to fall on the gang. Wasabi was screaming loudly.
Eros: He screams like a girl! *laughed out loud
Me: Why did you say that?
Eros: Because he scream eeekkk meeek meek meeeekkk
Me: Is that wrong?
Eros: Because he is not a girl.
Me: I see. How should he scream then?
Eros: HHHAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH like that.
Me: What if when you’re at school and you’re playing football with your friends and they started to laugh at you?
Eros: Why they want to laugh at me?
Me: Because they say you play football like a girl.
Eros: That’s rude.
Me: So don’t you think saying that Wasabi screams like a girl is rude too?
Eros: Yes. I think so.
Me: Is Wasabi a girl or a boy?
Eros: He’s a boy.
Me: So that means, when he screams or talks or laughs, what does it sound like?
Eros: Like a boy.
Me: And Go Go. Is she a boy or a girl?
Eros: A girl.
Me: And she likes to ride the bike really fast and ride the roller blades really fast. What does she look like?
Eros: Like a girl.
Me: Exactly. Don’t say something like that to anyone because it’s rude. If someone is a boy, then whatever he does is like a boy. If it’s a girl, then whatever she does is her way and it is like a girl. Understand?
Eros: Yes. I understand now.
As parents I believe we are the ones with most power to teach gender equality and in stopping sexism.
Even though he’s just 6 and doesn’t understand what sexism is, this kind of things are the reasons why sexism and gender inequality is so ingrained in our society. Because if we don’t tell our kids it’s wrong to say things like that, they’re going to grow up thinking it’s funny and continue perpetuating it.
By the time they’re adults, most of the times it’ll be too late to undo the damage done to their mentality.