Actress and entrepreneur Eva Mendes wants her daughters to know that it takes teamwork to have a successful relationship. That includes avoiding many of the gender norms that society has placed on women and men for generations.
For example, women shouldn’t feel like they have to step up when a load of laundry needs to be done, and men shouldn’t feel less capable just because they don’t know how to fix a leaky faucet in the bathroom. It’s something Mendes and husband Ryan Gosling are trying to teach their young children.
“I’m not an amazing cook – I leave that to Ryan,” Mendes told Forbes during an interview last month. “Hopefully, it’s showing my girls that there are no gender-specific roles that one must take on and that we are partners in this and that we’re all partners in this, not just Ryan and I, but our children as well.”
Mendes added: “It’s a team effort every day, so if they see him and I switching off doing certain things that again aren’t specific to stereotypical gender things, I think that just creates balance and harmony.”
According to a report by the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement, parents can sometimes “unintentionally expect and encourage particular behaviors and traits based on a child’s gender.”
Eva Mendes is right. It’s up to parents to set an example for their children and show them that there’s nothing wrong with mommy taking out the garbage or daddy vacuuming the carpet. Plus, based on the fact that there’s something called the Ryan Gosling Cookbook, we’re going to assume the Oscar nominee can make a mean mac and cheese.