Olivia Wilde is an American actor, model, producer and activist. She is also a loud and proud feminist. And it seems Wilde is instilling these ideals in her children. In a new article for Think, Wilde revealed she is raising her son to be a feminist and her daughter to believe that one’s assigned sex should not (and does not) define their social position and/or role.
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“One day my son watched his father lifting something really heavy,” Wilde wrote. “He turned to me and said, ‘Mom, Dad is like Wonder Woman.’ In that moment I was really proud [because] as a parent, I’m trying very hard to reject traditional messaging of gender roles. If my son equates his dad’s strength with Wonder Woman, I am given hope; hope that he never develops the artificial mental barriers — so prevalent in our society — that limit what women can and can’t do.”
Wilde went on to explain how she is helping her daughter to embrace this mentality too. “I encourage my daughter to embrace her love of Spiderman and the blue Power Ranger instead of the pink Power Ranger, etc,” Wilde wrote in Think. “This doesn’t mean that I prevent her from playing with her collection of baby dolls, which she loves very much. But I do really try to make sure that neither of my kids put themselves into binary categories. I think that’s a parent’s job, and it’s something I wasn’t as keenly aware of before I had kids.”
Of course, Wilde admitted that this isn’t always easy, especially in our very gendered world. “How do we prevent our children from falling into oversimplified brackets?” Wilde asked. “Brackets that are really just created for marketing purposes? There’s no right answer. But,” she added, “something as simple as telling a two-year-old a story from Thomas the Tank Engine that encourages them to consider gender equality can lay a foundation that will affect the way that they process societal pressures for years to come.”
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And we couldn’t agree more. Strength isn’t physical; it is a state of mind, and if we instill that mindset in all our children at an early age, the world will be a better place.
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