In the most recent episode of her new podcast, High Low, Emily Ratajkowski sat down with actor (and ex of Kanye West), Julia Fox, to discuss their shared parenting experiences - both are single mothers raising sons, something they admit comes with challenges given gender roles within society and the patriarchy.
After discussing how they no longer dress with the intention of impressing men, but rather dress for themselves and the gaze of other women, Julia added, "It's hard as a single mom, raising a son, you just don't want them to end up like every single guy you've ever met, you know? How do I stop this conditioning from occurring?"
To this, Emily shared it's something she's also thought about and questioned the role of 'gendered' toys, saying her son, Sly, who is one, love trucks, but that she recently ordered him a baby doll and a tea set to readdress the 'balance' in his toy box. "I'm like we gotta balance this out, but also is this just what he likes naturally?"
In response, Julia said her son, Valentino, also loves trucks, along with pushing a stroller around.
"Sly has a pink convertible thing... Are those the little ways you can start to make sure the conditioning doesn't happen?" Emily questioned. "[As well as] spending time around women? It makes me so sad thinking about someone trying to 'toughen' them up."
To this, Julia agreed it's an important issue, adding, "That's why the patriarchy hurts men, I feel like men are these really repressed individuals. Think about women's fashion... the way women play around and can express themselves, the way you dress is your first mode of expression. Men just kind of fall in line, it's limiting. Women are more free."
Rounding out that part of their conversation, Emily confessed that she loved a book which explores the idea that sexism is bad for everyone, no matter your gender. "Men are in their flop era, they're living with their parents way longer, they don't have close relationships, the suicide rate is way up, they're not making as much money... They're failing programmes meant to incentivise young kids, girls do well in them, but little boys don't, which, obviously as a mom to a son, makes me really sad and scared.
"Obviously sexism is f*cking terrible for women, you and I know that personally, but also it's really bad for guys. Some part of me feels empathetic."
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