Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Fear I'm Raising Savages


Read this article and tell me what you think. My kneejerk reaction is one of puzzlement.

Why would parents—mothers, in particular—try to prune the "boy" out of their boys? What is wrong with a tough, rough and tumble boy? Why can't boys run and play and yell and crash their toy cars and shoot their play guns without their parents being accused of promoting gender stereotypes? Is allowing little boys the freedom to express their testosterone-fueled tendencies fundamentally worse than stifling their energy and encouraging them to wear pink, play with Barbies, and use their inside voices? Everyone seems so concerned about the few "who do not fit into gender norms" that our society is vilifying the majority who do. 

I'm a rube from the wilds of Alaska, but I appreciate a strong, hard-working man who doesn't cry when his feelings get hurt, and I'm secretly hoping my daughters will grow up to marry men who haven't been shamed as boys to be quiet, sit still, and paint pastoral landscapes like good little gender-neutral citizens.

To all you moms out there who are letting your boys "just be boys" . . . good on ya.



Dinner last night: tuna noodle casserole, watermelon

Exactly one year ago:


Exactly two years ago:


11 comments:

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates said...

I agree with the sentiment, but where I draw the line is when they come to school and think "it is funny" to intimidate and bully girls (and other boys) to the point where they don't want to go to school anymore. So, understand you want to express yourself but not at the expense of others!

Kim said...

You are absolutely right—good manners are important, especially from rambunctious little boys!

AlaskaMom said...

I've seen the story and to be honest, I'm shocked that people are so wound up by it. I don't think this child is going to end up damaged over this. He/she gets to choose what wants based on whatever fuels him/her at the moment and I just don't think it's going to end up being a big deal. I love the idea that this child is being given the freedom to choose a Tonka truck to smash today and/or tutus and pearls for tea tomorrow. I love a man's man but I also love men that are sensitive, and in better touch with their feminine side too! I love girly girls AND really strong girls/women that can 'keep up with the boys'. For me this whole thing is much ado about nothing.

Grams said...

I was outraged by this story when I saw it on The View. To make him/her gender neutral is a disservice to the child. We are male and female. We are not ambiguously neutral. Ridiculous and unfair to the child.

My son played with dolls and my daughter played with trucks. But they knew their gender.

Traci said...

I don't think the child is being hurt in anyway and most likely if it is a boy he would've never been a hunter or football player anyway so what stretch would it be? But I do think the parents are using their child to promote their views. I also think they wouldn't want society to force their kid to do boy/girl things, they shouldn't try to act as if everyone else is wrong because they are not parenting their way.

Kim said...

As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short . . . I guess this story has been circulating for awhile and has already been discussed to death. Way to stay ahead of the curve, Kim!

Traci said...

If it makes you feel better, I didn't pay attention until you brought it up. 8-D

lilmansworld said...

I just want to raise a nice boy. One day when someone comments on how nice he is, then I'll know I did my job right :) He's a mama's boy but not a pansy! hahha Bring on the buggers and dirt under the finger nails I say

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

Don't you feel bad, Kim. I'll raise my guys to be straight up MEN-- jumping, wrestling bears, fishing, shooting guns, getting muddy and the like. When they calm down, maybe they can marry your gals, unless they head to the priesthood!

Katherine said...

I just heard about this story a few days ago. I'm with you. My boys are through and through boys. Although, I do insist on good table manners and being courteous. We talk about chivalry and nurturing, as well. But believe me, there are blocks and sticks and mud and trunks galore in our house. After all, is there any advantage to raising a gender neutral child? Are they going to be more successful and happy with their life? Because, in the end, isn't that what we want as parents?

Karen Peterson said...

I think those parents are ridiculous and they're setting their kid up for a whole host of other issues than the one they're trying to protect him/her from.

Boys will be boys and girls will be girls. I truly believe there is very little to gender identity that is actually decided by social norms.