My son is an old soul. He was born old. It’s amazing and interesting. In many, many ways, I have it easy. For example, an acquaintance recently friended me on Facebook, and wrote, “I want to friend you so I could tell you what a great son you have. He was kind enough to give an old woman directions today at [the] high school.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. About two years ago a friend wrote on my wall that my son was great because he ran out with an umbrella to help her in the pouring rain in the middle school parking lot.
Apparently, my son does these amazing things all of the time without me even knowing it. Wow.
I work hard to instill the importance of giving back, valuing each person and appreciating the power within everyone, including women. That’s why I was so shocked when my son recently said something along the lines of, “Mom, do you really think a woman president under 40 would be a good idea? Once a month, she might be too emotional and irrational.”
STOP THE PRESSES! Where did that come from and why is my son buying that BS? How can my old-soul son not only hear this crap, but also believe it? Am I missing the boat? Have I not continually talked about women leaders and their value? How did this happen?
It turns out he saw it in some stupid comedy skit. And that’s when it hit me, I need to make sure he AND my daughter see powerful women succeeding, thriving and leading. Research shows that success, profits and effectiveness rise when women are in leadership roles. Why then aren’t more in leadership positions? Why is my 14-year-old son OK with simply accepting that point of view? What can we do to change the conversation?
We must all address, ponder and do something about this phenomenon. We must raise well-informed sons who are going to change the perspectives and accepted norms. We must remind them regularly that women have value, their leadership is effective (often more effective) and we should be seen, treated, promoted and paid equally for the work we do. The only way to change the conversation is to change it from the ground up. Raise your sons to appreciate and celebrate women and ALL that we offer. Raise your daughters to own and celebrate ALL that they have to offer. We are powerful, effective and important. Let’s make sure the world knows that.