9 Phrases from Mafalda About Equality

Educating our children on equality is something we have to do from an early age. Here are some phrases from Mafalda that will help you.
9 Phrases from Mafalda About Equality
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 13 December, 2023

In today’s society, it’s still complicated to educate our children on equality. Although nowadays there are many movements for gender equality, the truth is that the way we educate our sons is somewhat different from the way we educate our daughters. In today’s article, we’re going to talk about phrases from Mafalda that you can use to educate your children on equality.

Mafalda’s cartoonist, Quino (Joaquín Lavado, Argentina, 1932-2020), created a girl who attempts to solve the dilemma of who the good guys and who the bad guys are in this world.” Based on her phrases, we can learn about self-esteem, housework, education, rights, the pressure on women when it comes to their image, etc.

It’s important that not only schools educate children in these aspects, but that families and parents also have an attitude of equity at home. Below, we’re going to see some phrases from Mafalda that can be used to teach little ones about equality.

The symbol for male drawn over a blue background on the left, the symbol for female drawn over a pink background on the right, and an equal symbol drawn in the middle.

Phrases from Mafalda about equality: What to do at school?

For there to be an education based on equality, it must be encouraged from the time children start preschool. For this, it’s important to develop critical thinking in little ones so that they’re able to confront the different stereotypes or generalizations in which girls, on many occasions, are the losers.

For this reason, the school must show that all children, both boys and girls, can do anything within the possibilities and individual characteristics of each person and that these capabilities don’t depend on their gender.

The use of inclusive games that encourage teamwork to achieve objectives rather than promoting masculine and feminine roles should be taken into account in schools.

Phrases from Mafalda to educate children on equality: What to do at home?

Of course, it must be clear that school isn’t the only responsible party when it comes to educating children on equality. Parents and families also have to do it at home, setting an example and collaborating, regardless of gender. Mom isn’t the only one responsible for doing housework. Rather, it’s a responsibility to be shared among all family members.

Another important thing to do at home is to avoid stereotypes regarding toys or colors. Many times, we adults say that certain toys or certain colors are for boys or girls. This is the wrong thing to do, as anyone can use any color and play with any toy, as the purpose of these is to provide better development and, of course, fun. Don’t stereotype games.

All this must also be taken into account for emotions. Often, when a boy cries, he’s told not to cry or that men don’t cry. So, girls can cry, and boys can get angry, but they can’t cry? This is completely wrong and is a damaging message for our children. Therefore, it’s important to take this into account as soon as possible.

Crying is the expression of an emotion, just as laughter is the expression of another emotion, and both are valid for everyone. So, boys and girls have the right to feel and express all emotions; they shouldn’t be deprived of that right.

Some phrases from Mafalda to educate children about equality

Next, we’re going to see some of the phrases from Mafalta that she said in her comics and that can help to educate little ones on equality.

1. About equality between women and men

“In this family, there are no bosses; we’re a cooperative.” With this phrase, Mafalda attempts to make it understood that in the home, no one rules over the others, but that everyone is part of it and has the opportunity to give their opinion and make decisions.

2. On the discrimination of women throughout history

“Of course… The bad thing is that women, instead of playing a role, have played a rag in the history of mankind. Precisely, she’s referring to the concept that women have to take care of all the housework and that’s it. Fortunately, this is changing, and we women have shown that we can be women, mothers, and fantastic workers, and break away from these stereotypes.

3. On the pressure on women regarding their appearance

Mafalda asks her mother when a person gets old, and her mother answers that it’s not a matter of age, but of having a young spirit. That’s when Mafalda says the phrase, “At what age does the spirit start to need makeup?. Here, Mafalda talks about age and the pressure on women to always look good.

4. About the work of a housewife

“The day the land belongs to the one who works it, you’ll be the owner of a dust bowl you can’t even imagine. Here, Mafalda criticizes the fact that people who work very hard aren’t usually the owners of their labor. In addition, she wants to make visible the work done by housewives.

A blue male figure and a pink female figure on a balance, both weighing the same.

5. On the division of household chores

“Mom, what would you like to be if you had a life?. Here, it becomes clear that housewives only exist to do the housework. Fortunately, this has been changing, and there’s a greater awareness that chores are everybody’s job, and everybody collaborates.

6. About self-esteem and life challenges

«In the end, what is the matter? “Does one carry one’s life forward, or does one’s life take one’s life?” Life is not usually easy, in fact, on the contrary, it is always full of very difficult moments. Being able to evolve and recognize our worth and power is what leads us to be more self-compassionate.

7. About teamwork

Felipe appears reading a comic book, and Mafalda asks him who appears on the cover of the comic book: The Lone Ranger. “Why ‘lone’?” asks the perceptive girl. “Because he fights against the bad guys alone,” Felipito answers. Mafalda answers him bluntly, “What, doesn’t this fool know it’s better to work in a team?”

It’s more and more evident that individual competition is less satisfying and less advantageous than cooperation and solidarity.

8. On love beyond conventionalisms

While walking in the street, Mafalda and her mother meet an acquaintance who asks the girl, “Who do you love more, sweetheart, your mother or your father?” After a moment’s thought, the young girl answers, “Do you want the ‘standard’ answer or a more complete explanation of how I feel about each of them?”

The acquaintance is clearly surprised by such a response. In many cases, we answer questions automatically in order to look good and get out of trouble. But assessing, weighing, and discerning are part of a mature and responsible attitude, and they help us to put our feet on the ground and improve our relational environment.

9. On the non-imposition of criteria

Mafalda’s dislike for soup is one of her most well-known quirks. Quino’s humor went from small to macro, from details to an overall world vision. In the comic strip we’re looking at, an innocent and nourishing family bowl of soup becomes a reason for Mafalda to claim rights and equality.

Indeed, the smell of soup reaches a peaceful Mafalda while she’s in the living room, raising a question whose answer she intuits…. “Are you making soup, Mom?” she asks. “Yes,” the mother answers. “And you’re supposed to force me to eat it, aren’t you?,” Mafalda assumes. “Exactly.” This causes the girl to burst with indignation and brandishing her fist, she replies, “Then we’re going to have a scene because lately, I’m losing respect for high-handedness!”

Mafalda’s phrases to educate about equality

These phrases from Mafalda can be of great help to teach the little ones at home how important equality and respect are. We’re all human beings and we must have the same rights.

It’s also important to remember that we must educate children in self-knowledge, rational management of emotions, and a sense of solidarity, justice, and cooperation. Mafalda is undoubtedly an excellent teacher.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.