Emily Ratajkowski Says She's Trying to Protect Her Son, 7 Months, from Culture of 'Toxic Masculinity'

"The best I can do is teach him compassion, and about these power dynamics that men don't have to inspect in the way that women do," Emily Ratajkowski said

Actress and model Emily Ratajkowski attends CoinGeek Cocktail Party at Gustavino's on October 04, 2021 in New York City.
Emily Ratajkowski. Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty

Emily Ratajkowski is getting real about how she's approaching parenting.

The model, 30, welcomed her first child, Sylvester "Sly" Apollo, in March with her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClard. Now, the new mom is opening up about motherhood and gender in a conversation with philosopher Amia Srinivasan, published in Interview, Tuesday.

Ratajkowski chatted with Srinivasan about the specific way she's raising her son, admitting she feels "protective" over her 7-month-old. Ratajkowski recently published a book of essays titled My Body, and said in the interview that writing connects to her life as a mom.

"This culture that I'm writing about in the book, is very bad for men. There are books about how bad it is for men," she told Srinivasan. "I see it in my life, the ways that it limits men, and how depressing their existence and their lives can be when they have to adopt this toxic masculinity. So I also feel incredibly protective of him in the same way I would with a daughter, from this culture."

Em Rata

While Ratajkowski said babies "have this genderless quality to them," she notices that people treat Sly differently when they learn he's a boy. She explained, "As soon as people know that he's a boy, the way that they interact with him is different than they would have with a baby girl."

"Sometimes I feel frustrated by that because I think there's even a tendency to throw a little boy in the air, be a little bit rougher with them than you would a little girl," she added.

Ratajkowski said she's taking in such moments and using them to help inform her own actions with Sly.

"That stuff already bothers me because I can see where it's leading," she said. "I don't have the answers, but the second that I knew I was having a son it came to mind. The best I can do is teach him compassion, and about these power dynamics that men don't have to inspect in the way that women do, and make him aware of them and make him care about them."

2021 CFDA Fashion Awards
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The model's latest comments come after she previously said she was "relieved" when she learned she was pregnant with a son and not a daughter. Ratajkowski told Elle earlier this month that she initially wanted a daughter, but her feelings shifted when she found out the sex of her baby.

"I wanted a daughter initially, but when I found out I was having a son, I was so relieved. Because I think that it would bring up — I want more children, so it might be something I deal with later — being sexualized way before puberty and being aware of it," she told Elle. "I have a memory: I did a sexy move down the wall of my parents' kitchen. I was probably in first grade and my parents were like, 'Where did you learn that?' I was like, 'I fricking learned it. That's what women do.' "

Updated by
Related Articles