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Mom lauded for asking parents to engage their sons in holiday preparation to challenge gender roles

She is asking parents to not raise another generation of boys who think the kitchen is the domain of women.

Mom  lauded for asking parents to engage their sons in holiday preparation to challenge gender roles
Cover Image Source: Twitter/@theostoria

One mom's advice to fellow parents about challenging gender roles during the holiday season is going viral on Twitter. Emily Taylor, a 36-year-old mother of three, explained that she was speaking with another mom when she overheard a remark that inspired her to write the tweet.


Taylor told TODAY, "A comment was made (arguing) that boys can't stay in the kitchen all day like girls can when helping with Thanksgiving stuff. This person has two adult sons. I was a little flabbergasted. Like: 'Yes they can if you teach them to.'" After pondering over the fellow mom's stance on the matter, Taylor issued a tweet advising parents to involve their sons in Thanksgiving preparations. 

"As we approach Thanksgiving, I beg of you please involve your boys in the preparations as much as you involve your girls. Let them measure and mix and bake and create alongside their sisters. Have them set the table and pour drinks. Make them help clean up too," she wrote, adding: "Don't let another generation of boys grow up to be men who think the kitchen is the domain of women until it's time to cut the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!" 


Taylor admitted she was surprised by the responses to her tweet—which has gained more than 11,000 retweets and 72,000 likes since being posted—that were a mix of positive and negative. "In my online circles, it was a really inconsequential thing to say—most people I know wouldn't have any argument with it. But when I got outside of my 'normal circle'? Wow, people have some opinions," she revealed.

Many individuals, including men who "grew up in the kitchen and appreciated those moments with their moms or dads," according to Taylor, resonated with her tweet while others were quick to passionately disagree. She said, "A bunch of men were like: 'Nope, my job is to sit on the couch and watch football." Taylor shared that she was "pretty shocked" by all the negative responses to her tweet. 


She said, "That was around 40% of the comments, though I don't think that's the attitude of 40% of men in the world. But yeah, it was surprising to see that many comments like that." 

There were several people questioning her ways and saying that they can't force boys against their will. One person commented, "How about letting the boys do what makes them happy and the same for the girls? Force boys to cook? Maybe they want to watch football. Let them." 


YouGov, a British online market research and data analytics company, found that 48% of the women it polled claimed they "do all or most" of the cooking on Thanksgiving and 21% said they "do all of the Thanksgiving dinner clean-up." These statistics show that there is an inequality in distributing chores during holidays. While for men it is a day to relax, women bear the burden of all the work that revolves around the kitchen. 

However, people like Taylor are working towards changing this gender role discrepancy. She said that this year too, her son would be in the kitchen with her and their sister, prepping for the family dinner. She hopes her tweet will inspire parents to be "more thoughtful and intentional" about what they teach their children.

She said, "We can help dispel myths that are prescribed to certain genders. And who knows? Maybe more boys will learn to love cooking and more girls will love watching football when we're doing all of those things together." 

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