Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mars and Venus

I love my boy. He is such a content little guy and he seems to have such a good nature. But there's one thing that really threw me when I had him.

One day he will be a man.

I started thinking about the fact that he is a male, and the way the world will treat him, and it made me sad. And angry. I never really thought about it before. But the truth is, it's not a man's world anymore. It's a woman's world now.

Now before anyone comes after me with a torch and pitchfork, just listen. I know that in the past women have not been treated equally. I know that in many third world countries, gender equality still does not exist and often women are mistreated because of their gender. But generally, in first world countries, I worry that the pendulum may have swung too far the other way.

I think it first started for me when Charlie was just born, and the midwife who helped me with him on the first night, started chastising him gently for not feeding well. She kept on saying 'A big boy like you should know how to feed properly.' And I remember thinking, he's just a baby, they all need to learn how to feed. What difference did it make that he was a big boy?

All of a sudden, in our culture, it seems to be okay to put men down. It is deemed socially acceptable to run a man down, or make fun of him for his masculine qualities. But so many times, if a man even jokes about feminine weakness, he essentially puts a target on his head. It seems what's good for the gander is not what's good for the goose (I will however, make one concession here in regards to teasing men; Man-flu).

Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily hate feminism. I think that gender-equality is important. But I do not support anything that boosts itself by putting others down. I cannot approve of a feminism that promotes itself through the emasculation of men.

I don't agree with those who say women are better than men. In my opinion, men and women are equally valuable.  I don't need to prove my worth by showing that I can do everything a man can do, because I can't. I'm not a man. But I am a woman, who plays a vital role in this world, as a woman. Not as a woman trying to be as good as a man. I already am just as good as a man, just in a different way.

When the midwife said what she did about Charlie, I was conscious of a sense of wanting to protect him. I want to shield him from those who will seek to put him down because he is male. He will be my son, to love and train and teach. I want to help him understand that there is nothing wrong with being a man, and I want to help him become the best man he can be. And I really want to help him understand how important it is that everyone is treated equally.

Linking up with Jess, at Diary of a SAHM, for I blog on Tuesdays.


  1. Lovely post, Robyn. Very wise observations too. Gender identity issues are so prevalent. I don't have boys so didn't think about it these terms. I'm usually on the bandwagon about the gender stereotyping (pink-ifying) and sexualisation of young girls.

  2. And interesting thought..one I had never considered, having two girls myself.

    I think I was glad when we had girls because the times are more progressive for us as females and we do not have such a need to 'prove' ourselves anymore. However, I can totally see how and why you would feel that way for your precious little boy.

    I don't think it matters either way though, male or female, it is so scary looking at our child futures and what may or may not happen. But since we cannot predict it, we can only help to guide them the best we can and help stamp out all these equality issues.

  3. I think you're onto something here. I look at my little William and think "gosh I hope his future wife treats him better than his dad's wife treats him".;)

  4. The thought of raising boys into men is quite terrifying to me! Thank goodness I have an awesome hubby to help me.

    If you speak and model these values over him as he grows up, he'll take them with him forever. You're doing an awesome job!

  5. I love reading your blog! Your are an awesome writer and an awesome Mum! God will give you wisdom as you raise your little man, and my only advice is PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!!

  6. I feel the same way! You put it into words perfectly :)

  7. I agree with you 100%, and I'm not just saying that because I have two boys! There was actually something I read a while ago, though I can't remember if it was a novel or a magazine article or a blog post or what, but it pretty much made the same points that you're making. That while it's ok to stand up for your gender and demand equality, it is NOT ok to bring the other gender down with what is essentially bullying. And it's wrong that girls and boys today are being taught that this is ok and right. I am happy to let my boys be who they want to be so long as they respect everyone else to be themselves too, and that everyone is important and special and they all deserve to get treated with kindness and consideration. I feel that it's a very important lesson to instill in their minds.

  8. I know exactly what you mean Robyn. It always seems to be that we (society, or even individuals) can't correct one injustice without then swinging too far in the opposite direction - in this case to the emasculating of men.

    It is there in the education system - where boys are required to sit still, be quiet and learn in a way that is not necessarily natural for little boys who are full of energy and testosterone. It is in the subtle digs we make about our husbands. It is in the workplace hierarchies that employ managers on the basis of filling a gender quota, rather than just finding the right person for the job... etc, etc.

    Praying for our sons right now!

  9. I don't like how women can act as if men are somehow inferior because they act different. They are different, and we need both mean and women,

    I've never looked at it from this perspective, but you're right. I love my son so much. It's more intense than my girls, because he is my boy. He is a treasure, but then so is his dad. :)

  10. Very interesting post, food for thought indeed. I never really considered it, and I don't really have the same protective feelings towards my son (don't know why), but I do agree! Without even realising it I've done this. I was talking to a group of women the other day who said it's wrong to always point out how pretty a girl is, or how nice her hair is etc. etc. because it's putting emphasis on image from a young age - totally agree - but no one is flying the boys' flag!

  11. You make a great point. I have two boys and I see how they are regarded differently at school compared to the girls... which is ok because they ARE different - but not inferior. And that's important distinction to make.

  12. I've never really thought about it in terms of this, but have definitely noticed the difference in attitudes towards my boys than to my girl when they were babies.
    Even now, if the boys go shy they get called "sooks", or if they want a cuddle they are immediately "mummy's boys".
    If any of that happened with Roo it was: "oh, that's so sweet".
    Hmm, definitely food for thought here Robyn!


Thanks for stopping by, I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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