Don’t you think that boys and girls should be raised equall?
In many countries, boys and girls are raised differently. Parents have their own mind when bringing their children up, but society will control them. In Indonesia, from the time they are born, boys and girls are usually treated according to their gender. This extends to how they look, how much independence they are given and how they socialize with others.
In Indonesia, when parents discover the sex of their baby, male or female, they prepare clothing and toys accordingly. Baby boys will be dressed in blue or green, and baby girls in pink or purple clothing. Girls are adorned in bandanas or cute accessories like necklaces and earrings, but boys are not. Girls are also given pink presents like bags, cups and plates, pink dolls like Barbie and her pink kitchen set. Boys are given blue or black bags, trucks, cars, and warrior weapons. When they grow up, parents, especially mothers, think more about how pretty and cute their girls look, buy more cute shoes, accessories and cosmetics for their girls, than for their boys. Boys are usually dressed in t-shirts and jeans with a cap, and this is enough. Mothers spend more money for their girl’s appearance than for their boy’s. In Indonesia, now it’s very common for girls to dress in pants or trousers with a t-shirt and a cap, but can boys dress in dresses, use necklaces and earrings with cosmetics? He and his family will be mocked and embarrassed their whole of life.
When they go to school, more female students are accompanied by their parents than male students. If they have to study together at a friend’s house after school, girls are accompanied and picked up by their mothers, but boys go home by themselves. Boys can go to explore places outside their homes and have some adventures with their friends. Girls also have a curfew, that is, they have to be back home at nine or ten o’clock. If they are not, their parents grumble and complain, and then punish them. Although boys also have a curfew, they are not punished if they do not keep it. but not for boys. Boys are given more freedom than girls because parents believe that they have good “navigation radar” and can remember ways better than girls. Many parents also think that girls need more protection than boys. Because of these factors, boys grow up to be more independent than girls. Boys can survive on their own but not girls.
Parents have different ways when they talk with their children. A mother speaks more politely and uses more “feeling” words to their daughters than to their sons. Fathers speak more clearly and to the point when conversing with his children. It means that women and men have different a communication styles, and these styles are imitated by the children. In other ways, girls learn to socialize bases on how pretty and ladylike they are, how they express their feelings and emotions, and think about other’s feelings. Girls role-play conversation games which don’t use physical power and play in small groups with intense connections. Girls are also allowed to cry, but boys are told that they shouldn’t cry. Boys learn to socialize based on how masculine, macho, independent, and strong they are, and how good they are at repressing their feelings. Boys also play rough games with teams that are physical and competitive, and all try to be the winner. When family or neighbours have a party, girls are to help their mothers in the kitchen, doing something matters when connected with cooking. Boys are asked to help their fathers in the living room or they do nothing. In Indonesia, boys who help their mothers in the kitchen will be mocked by others. The kitchen is a woman’s possession.
Children’s appearance, independence, and socialization are overseen by their parents and society. If boys and girls are raised equally, maybe we can meet independent girls but what about feminine boys?