Yes You Can
Yes You Can – Despite Hubs and I outwardly adhering to social expectations – he’s at work in a very masculine field and I’m a full time, stay at home Mum – we’re very keen to bring X up understanding that girls and boys can very much do the same things.
But that is not an easy task. Gender stereotypes are so ingrained and it can be difficult to deal with people who have a problem with my son pushing his doll in a buggy when we go to the shops.
That’s why when I saw this Kickstarter campaign for Cheryl Rickman’s new book – Yes We Can – I got excited.
The book covers gender stereotypes in a child friendly way, and I think it will prove to be a great tool for parents.
“The YES YOU CAN BOOK, aimed at 3-8 year olds, features The Climbing Trees Girls: Eva, the outdoorsy one; Maxi, the creative/skateboarding one and B, the football-loving sporty one) who find themselves in a strange new world where people are told what they should play with, what they should wear and what they should do for a living, based on the colour of their hair – an analogy to explain the futility of gender stereotypes to a younger audience.”
Yes You Can
“Football? You should’ve been a boy!”… “Why do you play with boys’ stuff?”… “You don’t want Spiderman painted on your face, that’s for boys… how about a lovely butterfly?!”… “Boys don’t wear pink! That’s for girls!”… “Boys don’t cry!”… “His hair’s a bit long for a boy!”
These are just some of the comments that parents and children who don’t abide by strict gender stereotypes hear on a daily basis, despite this being the 21st century and despite the fact that there is more to being a girl than pink princesses, and more to being a boy than being boisterous. And yet, some studies reveal that these limited gender stereotypes are damaging children’s confidence in themselves (and in their gender). – Cheryl Rickman, author.
I remember, as a child I was not particularly “feminine” – I liked playing with cars and trains, I played football, and for a good while I had very short hair. I wasn’t one for wearing dresses, or make up, or doing fancy things with my hair. I don’t remember any specific negative comments, but I remember feeling different, and sometimes wondering if perhaps there was something wrong with me.
I don’t want X to have that same experience of uncertainty – I want him to understand that it’s fine if his favourite colour isn’t the same as other boys, and that it’s up to him if he has long or short hair, no one else. But I also want him to appreciate these things in other people – that girls don’t have to always like pink and want to be princesses, and other boys don’t have to like blue and playing rough and tough.
Cheryl’s book Kickstarter campaign has just started, and she has a limited time to reach her goal so that the book can be published. I really think this is too important a subject for this amazing book to not get made! Even comedian Sarah Millican is backing it!
If you can, please help support this amazing book by visiting the Kickstarter page here. The campaign runs until the 23rd of May and all support is welcomed!
To further equip children (and parents) with the tools they need to counter gender stereotypes, Cheryl has used her expertise as a well-being author and qualified positive psychology practitioner to write an eBook called, “Raising Children Who Are Proud To Be Themselves.” The eBook is available exclusively to backers of the Kickstarter project.
In addition to the YES YOU CAN Book and the resilience-building eBook, other rewards on offer to backers of the Kickstarter include: an exclusive No-Limits – Be Yourself colouring book featuring children wearing clothes and playing with toys that defy gender stereotypes and a poster featuring advice such as, “be bold, climb trees and be proud to be you.”
To back this project, visit http://kck.st/2pUPIDk