"These small stereotypes, you might say that it’s minimal. But every small thing, it matters. As long as you can also tell them that there are other choices. Show them both sides."
NICO AND DANI ON RAISING THEIR SON (2) AND DAUGHTER (2 MOS.)
Gender stereotypes in Peru
Peru is still very Machismo. Some mothers, for instance, won’t let their boys support in the kitchen. That’s for the girls. The sister has to wash the dishes. We’ve had comments from people our age, we don’t really believe they’re saying these things. There are rules. For a male, you have to be strong, you have to provide. Women have to take care of family. People will talk to you differently if you’re a man or woman.
In Peru, they do a lot of jokes that’s very macho. “You shouldn’t let the girls decide for you.” We were at a friend’s house and I said that my son loves things with wheels. Our friend told us, “The doctor told me that if they love wheels then they won’t be gay.” Seriously, a doctor said that? That was really surprising. I could have expected that from someone my parents' age, but not someone our age.
These macho attitudes are very wide spread, but luckily there are also a lot of people that don't have that attitude. We have lots of friends and family that are feminists.
Ballet for boys
At my son’s first parent/teacher meeting, they announced that for the special courses, we’ll have karate for boys and ballet for girls. Just like that. That’s normal. The ballet teacher continued to talk about the benefits of ballet. So I was like, “If it’s so good for the kids, why can’t my boy be in the class?” They offered it but the parents had to bring it up. I talked to the principal about it. But we have to ask for it and we weren’t given the choice.
Things are unavoidable
These small stereotypes, you might say that it’s minimal. But every small thing, it matters. I think these things are unavoidable. There will be people that will call them princesses and champs, etc. As long as you can also tell them that there are other choices. Being a princess doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Princesses are starting to be more self-sufficient. Show them both sides.
This issue is up to us to move it forward. We can try to educate this new generation. We might not know how but maybe with example. I believe mainly in the actions that we do everyday. And he’s going to notice those things. Cooking, buying groceries. He’s going to see that not only mom cooks, we both cook, do the laundry. Everything. It’s not like a man’s job or woman’s job. It’s sharing duties.