Monday, 14 May 2018
What is Netta's 'Toy' teaching my sons about feminism?
"Boys aren't stupid."
That was the reaction of my ten year old son on hearing the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
He was less than impressed with Israel's entry "Toy" by Netta. And his comments got me thinking.
On winning Eurovision, Netta, who performed 'Toy' thanked voters for "choosing difference and celebrating diversity".
But really? Is a song that derides males actually celebrating diversity? My ten year old son doesn't think so and I think I agree with him.
I consider myself a feminist. I believe in gender equality. And I think there's still a lot of work to be done to achieve this: there's still a massive pay gap; there are still a lot of stereotypes in the media; there's still a glass ceiling.
As the mother of three boys and a girl, I'm trying to bring my children up to respect others, no matter what their gender/race/religion/orientation/size...
I want my children to treat others with kindness, compassion and fairness.
And I get that Netta does not necessarily fit the mould of your typical female pop star. I also understand that "Toy" is about calling out blokes who treat women badly. But to tar all males with the same brush "you stupid boy" isn't helping teach my son and other young men out there that we should not call insult each other or call each other names. It's not teaching respect. It's not teaching kindness. It's not teaching compassion. And it's not doing much to improve his self-esteem.
While some may believe that "Toy" is all about empowerment, I'm not sure empowerment should be at the expense of disempowering others. Because that's not equality.
What do you think?