Happy International Women’s Day

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.

Aside | This entry was posted in Child-rearing, Daughters, Happiness, Peace, Sons and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Happy International Women’s Day

  1. Belinda White says:

    Wow, that’s wonderful! I’m so excited we’re here!

  2. Anika says:

    Bring it on!

  3. Rainbow McBryan says:

    Could you blog about boys and guns. I am strictly opposed to them. The daycare has told me that they have no gun play allowed, but often times I am taking apart lego creations (that are pre-designed to have a gun) so that my son doesn’t get shot or protect is imaginary self wneh he arrives to daycare. My son likes our rule about no gun play because no one wants to get shot at no matter how fun it is to shoot and he is just turning 4 in May. He wants to be safe in his play. I am vigilant and it is one particular room that is a problem. I am afraid to get support from other parents because this is a hunting community and dads hunt game. I’m not sure if it matters if the play involves a little boy being shot at or an imaginary animal, it is still pretty degrading and reduces men to machines/animals, not the full humans they can be.

    • raisingaboy says:

      Hi Rainbow,

      Thanks for your comments and for bringing up the gun-play issue. I was planning my next post on that very thing – probably just the start of the conversation as that is a big one and leads directly into war-play in all its guises and the propsensity of games designed predominantly for boys to be conflict driven.

    • Aalia Kammeron says:

      Rainbow, I think it maybe very difficult to stop all guy play at his daycare.
      As seeing our kids are not with us 100% of the time I think we have to except that they will be exposed to and learn about things that go against our values and this will happen from daycare through high school.
      However, we as mothers are the most influential people in our kids lives right now can keep teaching them about kindness/non-violence, and that will make a difference in regards to the men they will turn out to be!

  4. Cynthia says:

    These should be some interesting discussions! As a mom of two boys, I find I’m actually surprised by how different boys are (speaking very generally) from girls, something I previously thought was more a construct of society than a biological reality. As a result, I find myself a bit uncertain now and in need of some healthy balancing perspective! I do still believe, however, that there is a significant amount of unhealthy gender-based stereotypes that do our boys a great disservice. I’m just feeling my way along, seeking that balance between celebrating the uniqueness of boys while discarding the forced, damaging stereotypes expected of them in our society.

  5. raisingaboy says:

    Thanks Lynn,

    I will take a look at the linnk you’ve sent. I do write more academically generally and am just working on making it more conversational.

  6. raisingaboy says:

    Yes, thank you very much Lynn fro sending this. I checked it out and will definitely find it useful.

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