Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Boys Are Not "Behind"

I read this the other day. And to be honest, it made the adult college student/minority/communications major/psych minor in me a little angry. Because what I see here is a complete lack of desire to understand what we, as a society, have created and perpetuate. So I wrote this in response:

"This is a game of leapfrog and leans heavily on gender stereotypes, expectations and norms. Girls are "caught up" only because they have been encouraged. They have had to step it up every year. As we see mothers, sisters, daughters doing it, it inspires the rest of the female community. We already have to work harder to be taken seriously while many (not all) men have relied on coasting on their archaic status. The current laws that conservatives across the nation are attempting to enact against women show the fear of women overtaking men in so many arenas is being construed as a threat, rather than a constructive challenge.

If you truly want boys to step up their game, you have to change society itself. The gender norm for boys in our patriarchal culture is one where physical aggressiveness and an inherent sense of self-righteousness are too common; encouraged and replicated, passed down from father to son.

“Boys will be boys” can no longer be used as a shield and excuse from being involved and taking part in your children’s lives.

If you want boys to be better, strong and intelligent women and men must be accepted role models for both boys AND girls. Gender must become merely a part of the person, not their definition. Aggressiveness should be directed toward ambition and a desire for change, not violence. Men, your boys learn from you. If you treat your child’s mother as a true equal, they not only learn that but that women and feminine attributes are worthy of emulation as well.

The social construct of what it means to be a “man” must change. The idea that a boy should be given respect simply because of his sex is outdated. Respect should be given to all humans on the basic level & earned on the social level.

If you want your boys to be stronger, raise them under the feminist principle that men and women have equal value and can all accomplish great things. Let them be the voice that changes the world for true equality. Just as women are calling for an end to the suppression of decades of gender stereotyping, let men call for an end to the stereotyping of men.

Be what you want to be, not what society dictates."

What do you think?

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