David Beckham explains how he’s raising his sons to be feminist allies

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Kayleigh Dray
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Victoria Beckham is a celebrated fashion designer, UN goodwill ambassador, iconic businesswoman and former Spice Girl, so it makes sense that her husband, David, is making a point of teaching their three sons the importance of “girl power”.

In a new interview with the Irish Independent, Beckham revealed that he identifies as a feminist, praising his parents and wife for teaching him the importance of giving women the respect and appreciation they rightfully deserve throughout his life.

“Having a little girl, I think that’s a big part of it,” he added, referring to his young daughter, Harper. “You know, my mum and my dad always brought me up to respect my sisters, my mum, my grandmother. I think that is one thing that I was always brought up with. It is an important part of my life. It has always been an important part of my life.”

Beckham went on to say that he’d “like to think” that feminism is in his DNA as a result of his upbringing, and added that he wants to “do the same for my children” – particularly his three sons, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.

“I want my sons and people around them to respect [women] in the way that they deserve,” he said, adding that he and Victoria (a strong female role model for their sons if ever there was one) have made a point of teaching their children from an early age on how to treat all men and women equally.

“I think respect is such a massive part of life,” said Beckham, “and, in general, respect is such a strong word for many different reasons: in work, in business, in family. And it is one thing, obviously, with the kids that I have always tried to teach them.”

He even has a mantra for his three sons: “You respect yourselves. You respect other people. And you respect your parents as well.”

Of course, this has had a wonderful effect on Harper, too. Speaking about her family earlier this year, Victoria Beckham explained that she and her husband have empowered their daughter to be whoever she wants to be and do whatever she wants to do.

“She loves to run around in the garden with her brothers and play football - but she is very, very feminine and she loves playing with makeup and my clothes as well,” the fashion designer reflected.

As well as imparting feminist wisdom, Beckham also revealed that she’s always aimed to instil a strong work ethic in her children – and made a concerted effort to raise their awareness of the incredible privilege they’re born into.

“David and I both have a strong work ethic and I believe that’s a good example to set our children,” she told Grazia UK. “We explain to the children what privileged lives they lead. We tell them that in many places in the world children are hungry, homeless and sick.”

She added: “They all understand how important it is to help others. Romeo ran the children’s marathon earlier this year and raised an amazing amount of money through sponsorship, which he divided between David’s charity and UNAIDS.”

Insisting that she doesn’t mind which career path they choose to follow (“as long as they are happy”), Beckham told Vogue that “they will definitely work”.

“They won’t be these children that stay at home and don’t do anything,” she said firmly. “They will definitely work.”

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.