Beyoncé said in the open self-written interview, which is featured in the September issue of Vogue magazine, that she is raising her daughters, Blue-Ivy and Rumi, and her son, Sir, without trapping them in expectations of traditional femininity and masculinity.
The American singer and businesswoman wrote of her daughters: “As the mother of two girls, it’s important to me that they see themselves too—in books, films, and on runways.
“It’s important to me that they see themselves as CEOs, as bosses, and that they know they can write the script for their own lives—that they can speak their minds and they have no ceiling.”
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She said her daughters don’t have to be politically correct, as long as they’re authentic, respectful, compassionate and empathetic. They can explore any religion, fall in love with any race and love who they want to love.
The If I Were a Boy singer wants the same thing for her son. “I want him to know that he can be strong and brave but that he can also be sensitive and kind. I want my son to have a high emotional IQ, where he is free to be caring, truthful and honest.”
Queen Bey said those were qualities that everything a woman wanted in a man, and yet “we don’t teach it to our boys”.
“I hope to teach my son not to fall victim to what the Internet says he should be or how he should love. I want to create better representations for him so he is allowed to reach his full potential as a man, and to teach him that the real magic he possesses in the world is the power to affirm his own existence,” she said.
A study done last year has shown that how we are spoken to as children can have a big impact on us later in life. Last year, a survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed that gender stereotypes can have a profound impact on young people, affecting how they think about themselves later in life.
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In South Africa, we should truly embrace Beyoncé’s sentiments about raising her children as this country is often led by headlines of stereotypical gender roles or toxic masculinity.
Perpetuating gender stereotypes and toxic masculinity can be harmful and the manner in which boys shapes the way they turn out to be and how they treat women and their intimate partners.