War Against Women, or War Against Men

boysYou have probably seen that campaign out there “Woman Against Feminism”. And it’s shocking, right? Shocking that a woman wouldn’t want equality. But you see that’s not what it’s about, at least not to me. Because you see I am against modern day feminism, but I’m not against feminism. I don’t want anyone telling me that I can’t do something just because I’m a woman and I most certainly don’t want my daughter’s being told that.

I’m 35 years old, going on 36. My mother (who might hate me for telling you all this) was born in the 50′s. And back then it was still mostly believed that girls didn’t belong in the boardroom unless maybe she was a secretary. Her father (my grandfather) felt that she was going to stay home and raise babies, so despite the fact that she was good in school and had the smarts, my grandfather said no when it was recommended that she take college prep courses. And that was the times. So my mom, as wonderful and smart as she is didn’t go to college. She took a few college courses when I was older, but that was it. She even helps my dad in his college courses.

I don’t know if my mother holds any resentment towards her father for that or not. I do know that she never ever let me think that I couldn’t be and do whatever I wanted to. College was more of an expectation for me growing up. So I had some amazing opportunities and while I didn’t finish college and I do stay home and take care of babies, I do know that the fact that I got to go to college was not only because my mother refused to let me believe that all I could ever amount to was a wife and mother, but because some great feminist women paved that road for me. They fought to be treated as equals.

And guess what, it worked! But the pendulum has swung too far. Here in America college classrooms are filled with more girls than boys. We are seeing more and more women in the boardroom running things. In my own work the majority of the people are women. We did it, we have the right to vote and we have the right to work or stay home. It’s very much accepted. And before you go telling me, but Monica there’s still a wage gap, we have to fix that. No, no there isn’t. Because the thing is if you look at what women do and what men do in a field it’s just not the same because at the end of the day we might be equal to men, but we’re not the same as men and our interests don’t lie in the same place as men do. So the work we might be doing in the same field as men is different. I made the choice to stay home. Truth be told I can and actually now do make more money than my husband. I wanted to be a stay at home mom all of these years, therefore making my husband the “bread winner”.

Boys And Girls Are Different

Men and women are different. It’s something that is so plainly obvious when you look at children. I am the mother of 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. My son is surrounded by girls and yet he’s absolutely nothing like us. He has been playing with Barbies and baby dolls since before he could talk or even walk for that matter. And he just plays with them different than his sisters. And from day one if you gave him the choice of a doll or a block, hands down he would pick the block. Cars and tools and mechanical stuff, that’s where it’s at for him. His sisters like cars, especially his little sister because she wants to be just like her big brother. They even like guns, but when it comes down to it if my girls had a choice between a doll and a matchbox car, they would choose the doll.

Not because I have forced these toys on them. I believe very much in there’s no such thing as “boy” toys and “girl” toys. Every child is going to have his/her preference, but it’s a fact, boys just gravitate more towards the building things and the mechanical things. Girls gravitate more towards the baby dolls and kitchen stuff. Does that mean they can’t or won’t ever play with the other more typical boy or girl toys for lack of a better term? No, of course not.

My youngest comes home with reports about what she did at school everyday. She’s 3 and in preschool. Almost everyday she has played in the kitchen. I ask her if she’ll try something else, one day she told me she’d go to the Lego station and she did. But when asked what she liked best, it was kitchen. She likes Legos. She likes them better with her brother I think.

Boys and girls are different. Men and women are different. This isn’t a bad thing, but we do need to recognize these differences and the place we need to most recognize these difference is in school.

I watched this brilliant video of a talk a woman by the name of Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers gave about the war against boys a few years ago at a law school event. I’ll share the video below so you can watch it too, and I really recommend you do because it was brilliant. Our sons are getting the shaft here people.

With all of these women’s action groups fighting about things we are now taking everything from our boys and giving it all to the girls. And it has become so bad that now we are seeing that more girls than boys are in the maths and science fields. And there’s a very large gap in achievement between boys and girls in reading and writing.

I see it with my own kids. My girls want to please the teacher, but my son he’s already losing interest. He’s 6 and in the 1st grade. And I can’t say that his teachers are failing him, because they most certainly are not. But society as a whole is failing my boy and every boy out there. There are more opportunities for girls. Classrooms are geared towards the girls. My son at 6 years old likes 3 things about school. Lunch, recess, and gym. I kid you not, on Wednesday and Thursday mornings I convince him to get up and get ready for school because it’s a gym day, the two days of the week he looks forward to at school.

I want him to stay interested and I am sure teachers are doing whatever they can within the curriculum to keep those boys interest and attention on task, but when the curriculum is geared towards girls, then there’s only so much one can do. There has to be balance. We can’t allow our boys to fall through the cracks because some feminists today think there’s still some war against women.

Equality

A man can’t put his hands on a woman because he’s stronger than her, but we’re equal. A man shouldn’t open a door for a woman because he’s stronger than her, but we’re equal. A man should provide for his family and pitch in with household chores, but we’re equal. How confusing is this for our sons?

And don’t get me wrong, no man should ever put his hands on a woman in anger, but no woman should put her hands on a man in anger either.

Men should open doors for women, not because women are weak, but out of respect and women should graciously accept this kind gesture and not assume that there is an implication of I’m better than you.

Men should provide for their children and help out, but that might mean women have to let go a little control and allow a man to do things his way without fear of being critiqued because it’s not the way we think it should be done.

Instead of assuming that every slightly negative thing that happens in a woman’s life is simply because she’s a woman, lets give boys and men the benefit of the doubt. They deserve an education just as much as girls do and they deserve to be treated with respect. We don’t need to train them to be like girls, we need to show them how to be gentlemen.

Lets understand that men and women, boys and girls are not the same and that’s okay. There are things women can do that men can’t and there are things men can do that women can’t.

The woman against feminism isn’t against the original premise of feminism, but we’re going to come full circle here at the rate we’re going. And that’s no better for us as a society.

I Want My Son…

…to grow up to be whatever he wants to be.

…to be a gentleman.

…to be loved and respected by a woman who sees value in everything he has to offer.

…to get an education.

…to be happy.

I want all of the same for my daughters. I hope they can get it.

Watch this video, then tell me do you think we are doing right by our boys?

Related posts:

Comments

  1. Thanks for this, Monica. There is nothing like having a son, and watching him evolve, to make us women realize just how little we know about the opposite sex and how they come to be the way they are. For those who are interested in challenging themselves further about the ideas that Sommers introduces in her video, I recommend http://www.genderratic.com/ and http://www.justfourguys.com/. Yes, these can be dismissed by feminists as Men’s Rights Movement sites, but I find them consistently thoughtful and heartfelt.

Speak Your Mind

*