Between the constant barrage of cleaning dishes, dog hair, endless kid toys and making palatable healthy meals for my family I want to understand boyhood.
Well more precisely…..
I don’t want my sons to be assholes. Yes it’s crass, but also conveys exactly what I mean. I have 3 sons and no daughters and a lot of questions as to how to raise a feminist son.
My former single, twenty-something self had a rule to never date a man without any sisters. Whether it was the wine or wishful thinking something led me and my girlfriends to believe men without sisters could not understand women. And that these sister-less males put women in a little pink box filled with cliché, like women need a lot of time to get ready, women like white wine not beer, all women love chivalry, and women would rather be home with kids etc.
A sister, in our minds, inoculated our suitors all these assumptions and from being chauvinistic idiots or worse.
Admittedly, this rule has a few flaws. Donald Trump has a sister. So how do I prevent my sweet little boys from becoming sexist, chauvinistic men?
I can’t imagine mothers of sexist, chauvinistic men raised them that way?
I can’t imagine sisters not calling out their brothers when they see hem behaving this way? But sexist and chauvinistic men come from families usually comprised of both genders. So what the hell happened?
I’m obsessed with blogs about raising empowered girls. I’ve read literally hundreds of articles about girls in STEM, raising confident girls, girls who lead, women who lean in.
Unfortunately even with all this dialogue and emphasis placed on gender equality a recent study at University of Washington continues to show the disparity between men and women in the classroom. This study is fascinating because it involves 18-20 year-old millennials who you assume have been raised in the new girl-empowered era.
This made me think that maybe we’re only having half the conversation? It’s not enough to raise our daughters to be empowered go-getters. We must also raise our sons with the awareness to recognize and reject sexism.
It’s a powerful vision to have women and men leaning in or leaning back together.
What are the best practices for raising boys? Like I said, I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of articles on raising girls. How societal norms impact a girls confidence. How girls tend to believe talent is innate and boys view talent as acquired with hard work. But what about boys?
Do boys need something different than girls to be their best authentic self?
How do I encourage my sons to become the kind of men who desire equality, recognize sexism, and are confident that their value to family is not defined by being the breadwinner?
I plan to explore all these questions, share funny stories that happen around here, and try to figure out this boy mom thing.