Every once in a while I still come across publications whose authors promote educating boys and girls separately as they did in ages past. However, the gender approach in present-day world can do nothing but harm. Let’s see why.
Every one of us truly wants their child to grow up happy, successful, respected, popular, rich and noteworthy. Let’s ask ourselves what kind of knowledge and skills are required for that? Let’s say that in 20 years our children will live in a modern, civilized country where household issues are resolved either by technology or by available services. Let’s assume that our grown up children are 25-30 years old and that they (both girls and boys) are busy building a successful career and are not yet married.
It is obvious that the ability to cook will be equally essential and equally insignificant. Some women don’t like to cook and eat at cafes or get take-out food, like I do. Many of my men-friends, on the other hand, prefer to cook and enjoy it immensely: it is their way to relax, even though they earn enough money to have three meals a day at expensive restaurants.
Even these days there is no gender difference or expectation that a woman is the only one who cooks and the man gets to eat it. Most often, you order food in a box that you can re-heat or get food delivered or go out to eat.
The same thing happens with maintenance and repairs. All you need to do is call the office or the servicing company and the problem is solved. This works for everything, including changing lightbulbs, so the traditional “man’s” job is really no longer relevant.
In a number of countries the division between a “man’s” job and a “woman’s” job is no longer there even in our days. My oldest daughter Katya, for example, who is going to high school in the US, made furniture for the stage with other girls as part of theater studies. Together with her girlfriends, she sawed and hammered and, as a result, made a beautiful wardrobe. So that now, Katya can be just as good a cabinet maker as any boy.
So what will happen in the future if you bring up your son to do a “man’s” job and play the role of the breadwinner in the family, while his wife serves his household needs? It is obvious that he can expect problems in his home life because with that world view he can only marry a woman who has low social responsibilities and does not want to establish herself professionally, practically a kept woman. Will your son be happy providing for a more stupid woman who does not want to improve herself? It is unlikely. Yet, he will have a hard time building a relationship with a normal, successful woman who is looking for a partnership-type marriage.
Such a boy will be less successful at work too because his behavior will be perceived as chauvinism, harassment and discrimination of women. Because of the socially damnable statements he’ll make, he will not be able to move up the career ladder or he will cause a scandal that pushes him far back as is now commonly happening to men who behave as he-men towards women and whose careers are now ruined.
By trying to prove mythical advantages of the male gender to the boy, you rob him of an opportunity to live normally in the present-day social structure and program him for becoming an outcast and a maverick.
If, God forbid, you try to steer your daughter towards the 3K: Kinder, Küche, Kirche (children, kitchen, church), it is highly likely, unfortunately, that she will choose an egocentric and chauvinistic man for a husband.
As a result, she will end up among the single mothers who first push the husband away from equal responsibilities for bringing up a child and then carry the burden alone, living on minimum wage. It is minimum wage because it turns out that with her “feminine” education the girl can only do low-paid housework: she can be a cleaner, a dish-washer, a nanny, etc. So her prospects for getting a good education for her children and a decent level of living are fairly slim. In order to earn good money and not be dependent on the ups and downs of family life, the girl would originally need very different skills, of which you would rob her, believing that your daughter must serve her man who will provide something for her. Unfortunately, in our present-day world, marriage is no longer something sure and stable for most people. Except in very rare cases, people no longer spend 50 years or more together.
However, even if your daughter gets just this lucky chance, you need to realize that a person is mortal and sometimes suddenly at that. Besides, a husband may become ill or disabled or lose his job. In this case, your girl must have enough knowledge, skills and financial stability so that neither she nor her children, your grandchildren, suffer.
Then we ask the question again: what kind of skills, what type of education are necessary for your child to integrate into modern life successfully?
We then see clearly that these are common, not gender-dependent things, equally important to the successful future of both girls and boys. Undoubtedly, knowledge of foreign languages, ability to learn and acquire information and skills as part of professional activities, leadership skills, ability to manage people and work well in a team, as well as self-presentation skills will lead to success much quicker than the skills in cleaning, cooking or hammering in a nail. A successful CEO can easily hire those who will solve these household problems for a small fraction of his or her salary.
That is why I believe you should not put emphasis on gender and right away steer the kids to equal rights and an option of a partnership marriage for two adult, successful and independent people who like to be together not because one of them cooks and brings the slippers while the other gives her money and has the financial responsibility for the family, but because they have the same values and because they enjoy being with each, because they are happy together.