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.