Articles From the Team

What I will teach my Daughter

It is indisputable that we live in an age where rampant extremist ideologies are given significant air time on social media and have been allowed to achieve greater penetration into society than ever before. For example, at the weekend I read an article where someone was trying to ascribe a mother’s refusal to allow their son to have a butterfly painted on their face as an example of “toxic masculinity” and “rape culture”.

As a father to a daughter (and two sons) there is a lot of advice out there about what I should be teaching her as she grows up, particularly from feminists. This is weird because at the same time there is also an awful lot out there to suggest that feminists aren’t particularly keen on fathers.

So having read all of the advice from the crazy, dangerous extremists out there – what do I think I should be teaching my daughter? In no particular order and slightly tongue in cheek:

1) When you fall over (actually or metaphorically) pick yourself up, don’t expect anyone else to help you until you’ve tried to get up yourself. 2) If you fail don’t blame others, don’t blame your gender, your ethnicity, your sexuality (when at the appropriate age) or society. It is very difficult to change any of these things, so blaming them won’t help you. Find out what you can change and do it better next time. 3) Whilst power and pace are important on the rugby field, soft hands and an eye for a gap are what truly mark out the great players. Practice your handling skills whilst you are young – no I don’t care if it is raining. 4) In any given contest you will win or you will lose. There is no point entering the contest unless you try to win. As long as you try your best, there is no shame in losing. 5) Anything ending in “–ism” is probably an ideology. No ideologies particularly have any basis in biology or nature but instead are part of the collective self delusion of the human race. This delusion is important, without it we’d be no different to chimpanzees. Some of them contain some good ideas; pick and choose the good bits. 6) Biologically girls and boys are very different. The alliance of the two is what has put us at the top of the food chain. See your brothers for further details… 7) It took us millions of years to evolve into the best hunter gatherers on the planet. We are woefully under evolved for the society in which we now live. Hence stress is the biggest killer. 8) Your mother and father (and your grandparents – who grew up in the 60’s) have already made all the mistakes you will make. Advice on how to get yourself out of them is available if required. 9) Being bossy is not the same as having management skills. It is about as far from having good management skills as it is possible to be. 10) You are good at maths – but it is ok not to enjoy it. I’m not going to force you to go into coding/engineering/construction just because “there aren’t enough women doing it”. 11) The Ghostbusters re-make failed. Wonder Woman succeeded. There are lessons we can all learn from that. 12) The truth or falsehood of the vast majority of what you read is defined by the perspective from which it is viewed. Laughably few people fully grasp this. It is ok to laugh at those that don’t. 13) Some of the biggest arguments your mother and I have are caused by me trying to help with the housework – outside of jobs she’s told me I’m allowed to do. 14) Your mother and maternal grandmother chose to work part-time. Your paternal grandmother chose to work full time. Be a house wife, be the CEO of a company, be an astronaut, be a ballet dancer but just don’t do anything because some crazy ideological fundamentalist makes you feel like you should. 15) Don’t hate the player or the game. Just become the best player of the game. 16) The most dangerous thing on this planet is the human male. Just be careful. See your brothers for further details… 17) Women are more attractive than men with or without make up and yet bizarrely are generally far more worried about how they and other women look, than men will ever be. Appreciate the irony in this and laugh at it. Don’t be controlled by it. 18) #teamironman

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