Over the past two weeks, coming together with family and spending time with our nieces, we have been keenly aware of the language we are using with the children that we love so very much. They are sponges, always aware, always hearing, even if we don't think they are. In the year to come, we are committed to taking note of the slight subtleties of gender stereotypes and language we use on a day-to-day basis.
So, how can we be good examples for them?
Let's start taking note of everyday language and really check ourselves.
Here are changes we can make today:
- Using the word “guys” as a generic word for everyone! It's an easy one to eliminate - guys can generally be replaced with everyone, friends, all, people and more. Here are a couple of examples: "Hi guys" becomes "Hi friends," and "How are you guys doing?" becomes "How are you all doing?" Simple yet, effective!
- Using words that are ‘female’ in nature as a put down to another person. The one I heard growing up, being a softball player that hurt, was when a guy told another guy that he 'threw like a girl'. Excuse me? That person is throwing like someone who hasn't been taught to throw, not like a girl. Other 'female' words used to put down others are sissy, douche, cunt, pussy and bitch. Yup, we are calling it out! How do we stop this? Pretty easy, we just don't say those words to one another in a derogatory way!
We are committed to changing the narrative! We are challenging the idea that there is only one way to be a boy and one way to be a girl. We are evaluating how we talk to girls and boys and how we talk about girls and boys. We can treat each kid as an individual, cuz that's what they are! Small humans who deserve the chance to play with all kind of toys, pick the clothes they wear, watch all types of shows, and know that they can be whoever they choose to be!
We have the ability to become more aware of the gendered language we use. Together, let’s change the narrative. Let's lift all humans up. Let's be inclusive when we write, speak, and tell stories. The more we embody the change we want to see, the quicker it will become a reality! Are you with me?? We hope so!
We would love to hear from you, please share in the comments section below, examples of how you are changing the narrative! We’d love to learn from you and your family’s experience!
Wishing you love and a joy filled 2017!!