I grew up in emancipated Scandinavia. My mom was a 1960’s and 1970’s typical feminist, who went to women’s camps, and spent a lot of time and effort revolting against the male biased norms of our society. My dad and mom shared all house work equally, and there were years when he did more because my mom was involved in politics and spent several nights every week in long meetings. It’s thanks to people like her, that my brother today enjoys a long, paid paternity leave for example while his wife works, and that I can enjoy so many funny parenting blogs in Swedish, written by stay at home dads.
My husband comes from a more traditional home and society, the rural mid-west, and over the years I would say we have met somewhere in the middle. In theory we are on the same page, and obviously there’s a lot more to gender equality than housework, but I still think that practical application is important. My husband doesn’t run the household with me, but he (mostly) does his share when prompted, and he steps up when necessary. Obviously, compared to a lot of men here in the Middle East, he is a house wife saint personified.
How will our boys turn out? In general, they help out with housework more than I even remember my younger brother did when he was their age. They treat any female with respect and despite the common media culture, express a firm view on the relationship between the genders that I am proud of. I'm thinking there's hope.
Although there’s always room for improvement. All three boys for example, have at separate intervals explained to me that there are two types of toys/games/books/movies: there are toys/games/books/movies for BOYS, and then there are toys/games/books/movies for BOYS AND GIRLS, such as My Little Pony, Dora, and dolls.
Like I said, still a bit of work left there, but I’m hopeful.