Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Feature-Avoiding gender role stereotypes

Asalamu alaikum,

I am trying to raise Saad without too much influence from my husband's family's very set gender role ideas. I really dislike the "Boy's don't do this, that is girl's work", that they push on him. The preference for boys over girls is also very annoying. They do love girls, but they pray for boys.

Our Prophet(saws) helped his wives. There are hadiths that show how he helped out around the house, cleaning or mending his own clothes. If it is not beneath our Prophet(saws), how can anyone else disdain household work? What makes the dishes "woman's work"?

To try to keep Saad more even in his ideas, I let him "help" me wash dishes, or sometimes Tariq does the dishes. Saad also sits near me in the kitchen while I roll the rotis(flat breads) and Tariq cooks them. He sits with me while I sew, and "helps" daddy fix the motorcycle. Sometimes I get out the tools to fix something around the house, while daddy plays with Saad. I want him to see that work is not always divided by gender, but by ability.

I am pretty sure we are doing pretty good keeping him even. Whenever anyone asks him if he likes boy babies or girl babies, his reply is-"I like plain babies".


Farhan Jalil said...

your right in your approach.It's just that some succumb to the pressure of society and some challenge it based on our islamic values and logic.

Garpu said...

Cool. :) It's definitely a good life-skill to at least be able to do laundry, cook, and sew a button back on. I keep telling my single male friends that knowing how to knit is a good way to meet people, as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi i have a request please add a tutorial for Muqaish (is a kind of embroidery where shiny silver flat metal strip is used to place stipples on the fine cloth).Please

Unknown said...

Ugh, men. Do they not realize without women there would be no men? They don't have the needed parts to give birth by themselves being my main point with that. Not to mention how much they love their mothers. I don't get why they can't see that girl babies are equally important to the survival of a race, family, etc. And I know many say they want boys because girls are expensive but I don't believe that either.

You're doing the right thing by teaching your son gender roles are wrong. Just know that he will cling to you more than them and will listen to you a lot more closely so the work you're doing is not wasted no matter what. >hugs<

Aishah said...


FarhanJ- The more annoying thing is when people misuse Islam to oppress others, and twist it to fit cultural pressures.

Garpu- Agree(1), all people should have the basics down, otherwise how will they ever manage on their own?

Sara-I don't yet know that type of embroidery, but if I learn I will try to get a tutorial for it.

Kristy- I think it's the dowries that get lots of people, boys grow up and bring a bride with lots of stuff to the house, while girls just take your hard earned money to some other house. Sucks that people think that way, but change takes a long time.

Unknown said...

Hi Aishah, I am new to your blog, loved your approach and can totally relate to this post, I am sure your son will grow up respecting both genders equally and also respecting work. I am a hindu and in india we face very similar kind of issues.