You Know You Are A Girl: The Challenges Of The Girl Child

Training the girl child vs. the boy child.

boy child girl child

Growing up, one constant thing my mum kept repeating to me was the mantra:

“You know you are a girl”

Especially during my teenage years when she entered into the whole wanting to ‘train me for womanhood’ phase.

Back then, as the only girl and a middle child, all I saw was that I was been picked on because…

“You know you are a girl”

I usually heard it from dawn when she woke me up in the morning – earlier than my brothers, and all through the day as she tried to get me to be more disciplined, more homely, greet more, talk less, and of course – play less than my brothers, because…

“You know you are a girl”

You can be sure I didn’t even find it funny.

That’s probably why till today, I dislike chores and greeting people up-and-dan.

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Maybe if because…

“You know you are a girl”

I sometimes got given extra sweets, or given the bigger meat or something, I might have been more favorably disposed to all the other things that came with that phrase.

But nope, that didn’t happen.

So in my little girly head, being a girl child seemed more like a disadvantage, at least from my mum, my aunties and the entire society’s point of view.

And as I was not just a girl child, but primarily a human being with a strong sense of self-worth, I didn’t want to feel disadvantaged.

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So I fought it.

I fought to not be the one to do most of the house chores – aside from cooking- because I liked eating good food. And I also liked the extra change I made from handling the feeding money for the house – #WorkChop.

But I fought anything I felt wasn’t fair or discriminated against me just because…

“You know you are a girl”

As you can see, we’ve been fighting for this equal rights something way before the term ‘feminism’ became cool.

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Good values are good values and should be taught to every child, regardless of the child’s sex.

Training a child to speak or act in a certain way, not just ‘because you are a girl’, but because it is the right thing to do, would definitely make her more receptive.

Though I probably ended up being more disciplined, homely, and all that stuff than my brothers, I would have been a lot more so than I am today if a different approach to instilling those values in me was taken.

An approach that included every other child around me, whether male or female, so I could see that those values were good for everyone to have, not just the ‘unfortunate’ ones born as a particular sex.

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Train every child in the way that he or she should grow.

And when he or she is grown, you as a mother will be much happier for it.

You never can tell if in your old age you would have to live with that your son who you never taught how to cook.

Or if that your daughter you forced to stop playing ball with the boys and come stay with you in the kitchen would have been the one to win Nigeria several world records in sports.

Maybe that your son you kept chasing away from the kitchen (yea, some women actually do that) would have grown up to become an Internationally famous 5-star chef, but now he is a bank teller that can’t even fry eggs to save his life.

You never know.

Not all girls are destined to be domestic and not all boys are destined not to be.

Every child should be given an equal opportunity, whether in the kitchen, in front of the TV, or in the classroom.

That is the only way for each child to naturally discover his or her own true potentials.

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Do you think the boy child and the girl child should be trained differently? Let’s hear your thoughts below.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s weekly poetry post as we continue the discussion with Shrinking Women, a poem by Lily Myers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orode

Tank driving, cheeky amazon from Warri Kingdom. Copywriter by day, blogger by night, foodie round the clock.

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2 Responses

  1. July 6, 2017

    […] you read yesterday’s post also about societal expectations? What do you think about this poem’s theme of women shrinking to fit an ideal? Let’s hear […]

  2. July 13, 2017

    […] week on More Than Rubies, I had written about the challenges of a girl child. This week, still on the challenges faced by little girls, here’s a story about an incident a […]

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