Some of you may wonder at launching a blog about boys on IWD, but the two of us involved are feminists and want to declare that right from the start.
The way I see it, the way we as a society raise our boys has a great impact on how they treat the girls and women in their lives, somthing I have a vested interest in not only for myself and my daughter, but also for the girls and women around the world.
Wanting a sensitive, respectful son doesn’t mean he will be disadvantaged in this world. In fact, I think it will give him more fulfillment, joy, and love that he would have by following the straight and oh-so-narrow confines of the stereotypical male.
And to that end, I think it is only possible for him to reach his true potential for happiness is if he fully develops his emotional side and becomes a responsible and sensitve human being who will contribute to the well-being of those in his life.
When I discovered I was expecting a boy-child almost 7 years ago,my first thought was “what do I do with a boy?”
Happily – the infant that was to be, very quickly taught me almost everything I needed to learn about what to do with him. How to play with him, hold him, and arouse his curiosity about the world. I didn’t need to learn to love him – I did that from the moment he slid out of my body and my love for him has only grown.
Not to say there haven’t been challenges along the way but many of them have to do with helping him maintain his gentleness, empathy, and openness in the face of mainstream media’s formula of boy behaviour and in spite of well meaning relatives and strangers alike who profess that ‘boys will be boys’ when they act in those very expected, stereotypical ways.
Through this blog, I’d like to talk about why I think these stereotypes should be challenged and questioned. From firefighters to soldiers, sword and gun play to laser cannons, transormers to pokemon and more, this blog is a forum for discussion of these and other issues related to raising a boy from a feminist, pacifist persepctive.
I’d like to explore what I’ve observed and talk about some ideas my family has come up with to challenge what we consider a limit to his becoming a fully evolved human being. Things like slacking off on manners and etiquette even though some degree of that brings civility to our daily lives. Things like overlooking natural beauty or squelching emotions because that is somehow considered inappropriate behaviour for boys, despite studies that show that boys are sad, angry, and depressed because they are not given room to express these things.
I’m not saying I’m right about anything or that I have all the answers, but I hope to connect with others who want the same for their boys, to build on our understanding of the forces they are exposed to and to figure out ways to counter or co-exist with them.
Whether you are the parent of a son, a daughter, or a concerned
global citizen, we welcome thoughtful, constructive comments to the discussion
and hope you will join us.