I recently read a post that read "stop teaching girls that boys are mean to them because they like them".
Read that again.
I remember being told that growing up. I would tell someone older that a boy at school was mean to me, and I was told that he must like me. As a child, I didn't think much of it, but now, I see just how incredibly stupid that is.
Telling young girls that phrase ingrains in their brain that it is OK for boys and men to treat girls and women poorly.
It tells a girl that if a boy is being mean to her, it's OK because it's just him expressing his fondness of her. It's teaching girls to accept poor treatment from boys because it's "endearing". That is not OK! Girls need to be taught that they should be treated with respect and kindness and to accept nothing less.
I babysit in a neighborhood with a lot of kids that all play together. Once, one of the boys called one of the girls a bad name, and as I was telling him that we do not call people bad names ever, the girl looked at me and said "it's OK". I explained to her that it is not ever OK, and to never let a boy treat her like that, to which she shrugged and said, "they all do". My heart broke. No child should be stuck thinking that it is OK to be treated poorly or to treat others poorly.
I think that it is equally important to point out that it should not be allowed, accepted, or encouraged for girls to do the same thing to boys, to be mean to them because they like them. Children need to be taught from a young age to be kind to and respect everyone. Their parents and the adults in their life should be showing them that when you love someone, you treat them with respect, kindness, and love and nothing less.
Stop teaching children that other kids are mean to them because they like them.
Additionally, regarding children in school, the two-finger rule for girls' shirt straps, and the fingertip rule for girls shorts are teaching girls all the wrong things. In my elementary and middle schools, if your straps were too thin (aka too much of your SHOULDER was visible) or your shorts were shorter than your arm length, you were forced to change at the nurse's office, have your parents bring you a change of clothes, or go home. This could often result in missing class time.
This rule is teaching girls that a boy's education is more important than her's. It says that girls' clothes are too distracting to the boys of the class and because it will keep the boys from being able to learn efficiently, the girls must put on a sweater or miss out on the material instead.
Let girls wear rompers to school and teach boys some self-control instead of teaching girls that they have to conform to a different set of standards for the sake of the boys.
Girls are also taught that they mature faster than boys and to just put up with their immaturity until they eventually catch up. But boys are not taught that they will mature slower than girls and so they should look to those mature girls as a behavioral example. And of course, girls are going to mature faster when they are taught things like to accept poor treatment from boys and that boys' educations are more important.
But if we removed beliefs such as these from our culture, could boys mature just as fast?