I got angry last week.
I saw this article, headlined “In Praise of Daughters” pop up on my Facebook news feed.
I almost did not want to read it, when I skimmed through the article summary – about how daughters are better than sons when it comes to caring for their parents.
I did read it. And I got angry.
I’ll give you a summary.
The writer is one of three sisters. Her elderly parents, who are completely dependent on her to care for them, live with her and her family. She goes on to detail how devoted she and her two sisters are to their parents, running them to and from medical appointments, errands, making sure their complicated medicine regime is correct and implemented, and handling their financial affairs. They have a brother, “who lives nearby. But somehow, we never expect him to help out with such matters. It’s just not his thing.”
She then ends the article by saying that, oh, not all men treat their parents that way, her husband and her sisters’ husbands are all devoted to their parents. Because they are so lucky they picked the “right men”.
So everyone else’s sons and brothers are leaving their parents’ care to their sisters, except for YOUR husband, lady?
This made me angry.
Not just as a mother of two sons, but as a wife, and as a daughter.
My parents are far from needing any of us to swoop in and save them, but I know that when the time comes, all four of us, brothers and sisters, will come together to ensure that my parents live out their lives in comfort.
This article, this writer, has just implied that my brothers will fail my parents. Not true.
This article, this writer, has just implied that my husband, and his two brothers, will leave their one sister, to care for their parents when the time comes. I can say with certainty that my in laws have nothing to worry about when it comes to ALL their children.
This article, this writer, has just implied that I, mother of two boys, am basically screwed when I’m old and frail, because I have no daughters who will take care of me.
People like this writer, who insist on perpetuating age-old gender myths about how much more filial daughters are, really piss me off. She cited a 2010 study in the United States about how adult daughters place more emphasis on their relationships with their parents, and are more affected should those relationships sour. Is there more to this study? How many subjects did they study? Was it a particular socio-economic group? What relationships did these women have with their parents to start with?
In other words, she’s saying, if you want to be sure you’re taken care of by your children, have girls.
Well, Ms June Wong (writer of said article, who happens to be the mother of two girls), let me show you the other side of the fence, as a mother of two boys.
It is not whether you have sons or daughters you need to worry about, as a parent.
Regardless of whether they are boys or girls, we should teach our children the same things.
These are the things I am teaching my boys. These are the values I want them to hold true, to go out into the world as good men, and come home to us as good sons.
Instilling them with good values, good sense and love, I believe in my children.
So parents of sons AND daughters, do not fall into the trap of believing that one gender is better than another in any way. It is how YOU raise them that will make a difference.
Read anything lately that pissed you off?
PS: My final secret is out: I’m now a regular contributor to Everyday Family! My first post is out now (complete with a picture of a hugely pregnant me), so I’d really appreciate if you could head over to read, or send a pregnant friend the post! Every post click counts. Like, literally (my version of begging). Thank you!