When I was at our company charity in Mozambique last year we took out a rugby ball. The local kids had never seen one before and we thought it would be fun to introduce something new. With no preconceptions of the game there was no gender stereotyping. Guess what? The girls played as much as the boys and actually ‘got’ the point first!
It’s true this was not the sort of rugby played by a scary rhinoceros-sized teenager prop. And to be totally honest I would definitely refuse to get on the pitch with my eldest son’s team! But some girls are gutsy enough for the rough and tough aspect of the game and relish it, so if they show an interest why not encourage it?
I have two boys. My eldest plays rugby and loves it. My youngest preferred footie. Whether they are thugs on the pitch or not they both love cooking and Toby just got an A in his Food Tech GCSE! He can make a mean Hollandaise sauce and I often come home to the smell of baking. If they are hungry when I’m at work they know what to do and don’t wait for me.
Let’s ensure the younger generation grow up to be useful in the home (making better partners in the future) and without the gender stereotyping of my generation; which meant I was sent to typing school and my brothers to agricultural college. It turns out I want to be the farmer (I’ve just bought a small holding in the country and enjoy growing my own veggies) and my brothers now struggle with their jobs by not being able to touch type.
The best thing we can do for the next generation is to let them choose who and what they want to be, so join in our Scrums or Sequins campaign and ask your little ones what they think?