Saturday, August 10, 2013

Has Feminism made us Dislike Little Boys?


I was blessed to have 3 sons in a row although many people would not see that as a blessing. I didn't realize this until I had a little girl. Before that when I would take the boys out the comments I would get would be, "Boy you have your hands full!" "Wow 3 boys I don't know how you do it!" Sometimes there would be the occasional elderly person who would stop me and say something like, "Oh how well behaved your boys are." or "I had all boys too and loved every minute." These comments were rare. When I was pregnant with our 4th almost everyone I ran into, even complete strangers would say, "praying for a girl" "I really hope you get your girl this time". My counter-cultural side screamed inside me "well, I hope it's a boy just because EVERYONE wants me to have a girl!" 
       Please don't misunderstand me. I'm sure in many ways it is the same for someone who has all girls.
We all assume what you don't have is what you will want and many times that is
the way it is. I also was definitely not opposed to having a girl and was delighted
when Eliza was born and we in fact DID have a girl!
     The first time it began to dawn on me that our society in general does not
necessarily "like" boys is when I took my little girl out. My husband and I got a
constant stream of comments such as "oh how sweet" "how precious" "she is so
cute" "you must be so proud". We NEVER got these comments when we took
our infant boys out (and I really don't think it had to do with looks since at the
time she looked exactly like her brothers).
     This made me start to wonder if our culture is anti-boy. Other cultures prize
sons as the future of their family, the providers, etc. I think we have lost
something in America. Boys in general don't fit into a feminist mold. We as
women like things orderly. We like strong verbal skills, less action and wrestling.
We like little girls who pay attention and sit quietly in their seats not boys who
wiggle and are easily distracted. I have read several books on how America is
trying to force our boys to be like girls and I'm not just seeing the trend in the
classroom but I am witnessing that trend in our society's attitude towards boys.
       What has happened and how did we get here? My assumption is that most of this
attitude has slowly crept into our thinking by the feminist mindset that men are
pigs or at least extremely insensitive and usually dumb. From commercials to
television starting from probably the 80s if not before men have always been
portrayed as close to mentally handicapped. If it wasn't for the women in their
lives they would blow things up, indulge their children to their own harm, and say the stupidest things at all the wrong times. Slowly these stereotypes and extreme portrayals of men have seeped into our attitudes and in the 21st century we have no respect or love for men even the smallest ones in our society. 
     I am praying hard that those of us who have been blessed with sons will raise then in an environment that encourages their masculinity, that raises them to be strong, effective and Godly men who love and care for women and others in a Christ honoring way. Maybe these men can break societies bias against the male gender?
That is my hope and I am going to continue to fight the attitudes even in myself that try to make my sons like my daughter or like me.