I'll never forget reading this post by Renegade Mothering for the first time. My son was two when I found it, and I knew even then that my little boy was very sensitive. I've returned to it over and over. I read it every time I worry that life will be hard for a boy who is "soft." I read it and I cry, knowing it's profoundly true. It reminds me that it's not my job to change who my son is so his life will be easier. My job is to provide him a safe base to return to where he can always be himself. My other job is to attempt to change the narrative which says that if you're male, life is easier if you're tough.
What I'm Watching
The way we raise boys is critically important. Males are responsible for the vast majority of sexual violence, murder, mass shootings, and acts of terror. The way we raise our boys is not just a personal issue, it’s a matter which affects our entire culture, and given the way politicians have used their power to start needless wars, our entire world.
You can watch the trailer here.
“We need to redefine strength in men, not as the power over other people but as forces for justice, and justice means equality and fairness....that’s strength.” –Dr. Jackson Katz
“We put them on that trajectory through our...parenting styles...and through assumptions about ‘natural manhood and maleness’ that we pass along that are incredibly insulting and damaging.” –Dr. Caroline Heldman
A couple days ago my son and I were enjoying a continental breakfast at the motel where we'd stayed the night before. The room was crowded, and a woman and her young son asked to sit with my son and me. She asked if my son was a girl, and I told her he's a boy. Her response was not without judgement, "I assumed he's a girl because he's wearing nail polish." The messages we send aren't always intentional. They can be an insidious thread running through our beliefs, subtle yet destructive.
Watch this documentary. Watch it to better understand the toxicity of hyper-masculinity. Watch it for the sake of our boys and girls who deserve to be treasured just as they are.