- 4 years ago
- Wedding: February 2013
I enjoy the feminism threads on the Bee. Although they can get heated (I am guilty of participating in this) there is so much to be learned. However the debate can only go so far when it’s just us vs. us.
I had a rare adult conversation with DH (I’m actually getting tired of referring to him as DH so we’ll call him C from now on) last night. A little background: we have a nephew and C has been like a father to him since birth because his biological dad lives out of state and doesn’t visit often. When C still lived at home our nephew never left his side. It was actually pretty annoying at times, but I digress. C wanted to have the same kind of great relationship with him as he did with his own dad. Playing sports, watching scary movies, and other various “guy things”. C grew up as the stereotypical good ‘ol American boy. Adventurous with the scars to show it. When he fell off his bike and got hurt he’d shake it off and get right back on again. He was a multi skilled athlete, and played basketball, football, soccer, and last but not least tournament baseball, which allowed him to travel all over the country and play against other talented boys his age. His baseball skills landed him a scholarship to an all-boys Catholic high school which was and still is famous for their sports program.
Fast forward to when our nephew (we’ll call him D) starts going to school and the environment changes. At this point C and I are living together on our own and we only see him maybe 2 or 3 times a week. School is not the same as when we were kids. D has never heard of dodgeball because it’s outlawed in our state for being too violent and singling others out and hurting their self esteem <extreme eye rolling>. There are girls on his T-ball and soccer teams. He is required to wear more protective equipment than an astronaut. He and the other boys in his class listen to the same bubblegum pop music as the girls, and aren’t teased for it. And when he gets hurt (not life threatening of course) he feels totally comfortable with crying.
Why is any of this relevant to feminism? It’s because the ideals of feminism (equality between the sexes) and gender neutrality hate the phrase “take it like a man!”
Oh, such a dirty and offensive phrase that is. It’s 2013. Men have no obligation to be strong, to be brave, to be the protector. Their biological tendency to be physically bigger and stronger than females need not be taken into consideration. Women can just as easily be lumberjacks and football players. After all, we’re equal.
Anyway, C is concerned that society is encouraging boys like D to become feminized. What would once have earned him a slap upside the head from his own father, is now being instilled into D by society. To be openly emotional and vulnerable. He perceives that this generation of boys is being “wussified” (actually he used a P instead of a W but I don’t like that word). He can’t relate to him the way he would have liked and I think deep down inside he’s a little disappointed and even embarrassed.
Before I go on I have to point out that C is not even remotely a chauvinist. He respects everyone equally. When he has a question about something the first person he goes to for advice is my mother, because she knows everything about everything! His mother has always been the bread winner of the family. He believes very strongly in equal rights and pay for women.
He also believes that as “Girl Power” rises, men are devalued. They have nothing better to live up to and are useless in today’s world.