Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are working with an organization that wants to re-write the phrase “boys will be boys” and believes boyhood is “fluid,” and “socially constructed.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex teamed up with the Global Boyhood Initiative through their foundation Archewell and podcast Archetypes, which aims to break down gender stereotypes and help young boys evolve into “healthy men.”
The group claims it aims to encourage boys to “share emotions in healthy ways, accept & connect with others, stand up & speak out against bullying & inequality, and break free from stereotypes.”
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According to the duo’s foundation website, the partnership “works to achieve gender equality and social justice by transforming intergenerational patterns of harm and promoting patterns of care, empathy and accountability among boys and men throughout their lives.”
The initiative lists several “resources” on its website, in collaboration with the Sussexes, to offer “a guide for promoting gender equity by fostering positive masculinity in boys and men.”
According to a U.K.-based report released by the group, families can be seen as gender “factories,” and parents are able to “gender” their children before they are even born.
“Parents may begin gendering their children even before birth based on the identification of external genitalia in scans, including through elaborate ‘gender reveal’ parties and a stream of purchases along gender lines (Kane, 2006; Price and Tayler, 2015),” the pamphlet reads.
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“While the family is a place of nurturing and support for many children, it can also be where gender and sexuality are regulated and policed, as many of our interviewees and much research suggest,” it continues.
Harry and Meghan have long made “gender equity” a significant focus of their charitable efforts.
Months before partnering with the Global Boyhood Initiative last year, the duo announced four organizations would receive grants to promote the effort.
“As we cross into Women’s History Month, and ahead of International Women’s Day next week, The Archewell Foundation is announcing a number of non-profit investments in leading organizations working to advance gender equity, build policies that empower women and families, ensure meaningful media representation for women, and provide women with a network of tools and support for gaining employment,” the website reads.
The recipients of the grants included: The Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center, National Women’s Law Center, the 19th, and Smart Works.