Saturday, December 13, 2014

Raising Brilliant Boys - Equalizing the Sexes

We have spent so much energy, effort, time, and emotion into equalizing women in society. We have lobbied for women to have equal jobs, equal pay, equal credit, equal voice........

This is fabulous! However, seeing how our society is progressing down a path of violence and indifference, a path of people tied to technology, a path of abuse and tolerance for inappropriate behavior, I would like to raise a call to bring men and boys equal to women.

What do I mean by equal here? Equal in their ability to choose. When I think of men's ability to choose, I look for where they may be oppressed. Women have been oppressed in their rights to economical opportunities, like equal pay and career options. Men are being oppressed in their right to show emotion and live virtuously. But, men too can be caring, compassionate, noble, religious, and virtuous.

My husband is a sociology professor. He is surrounded by the ideas of femininity and masculinity. Maybe because he has been so schooled in seeing the differences between males and females and the pressures and opportunities society has given males and females, we see the world in a different way that some people.

I want to raise a call equal to that of women. Men should be equal. Men should be equal to cry when their hearts are broken. Men should be equal to love pink as their favorite color. Men should be equal to be terrified in scary moments, equal to cry when it hurts, equal to be gentle when someone needs compassion, equal to be depressed and get help when it's need to be equal.

God has sent us to earth as men and women. We are different. Equal does not necessarily mean that everything is divided exactly down the middle. Equal means that both parties feel that their share of the workload is sufficient. It's the same in marriage. Sometimes one individual does more of one task at one time. This does not equate with inequality necessarily. Equal doesn't have to be a division. Equal is a meeting point. Men need to be equal in their right and ability to feel and show their emotions. In this way, they will be better prepared to share in a physical relationship. Love is an emotion, after all, and sex is a display of that love.

When your little boy falls down and gets hurt....don't say, "suck it up," "deal with it," "big boys don't cry."
When your little boy has his feelings hurt............don't say, "it's not a big deal," "you're too good for them anyway," "big boys don't cry."
When your little boy is terrified to give his first recital/talk/test...........don't say, "it's not a big deal," "suck it up," "there's nothing to be scared of," "big boys don't get scared."
When your little boy is experiencing the pain and hurt of life...............don't tell him that he shouldn't feel. He needs to feel. Christ did. Isn't that who your little boy is growing up to be like?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Continuing the Conversation

Recently, our almost 9-year-old turned to me and said, "Mom, will I grow facial hair like dad?"

We have recently had a refresher course on sex and he asked if his body would be able to produce children. Since this conversation was fairly recent, I was able to answer using what we had already talked about. Here's our conversation:

K: "Mom, will I grow facial hair like dad?"

M: Instead of just saying yes and leaving him to wonder how that all happens, I was able to give him a little more. "Do you remember when we talked about sex and how your body will start changing in a few years?"

K: "Oh yeah!"

M: "Well, when your body starts changing, one of the things that will happen is growing facial hair."

K: "Wow."

He was genuinely interested in my answer and I could tell he understood my explanation. It wasn't a huge discussion about everything that is going to happen to his body, but he is understanding that his body will change. He will be more prepared for a detailed explanation about puberty when we get there because he is already starting to think about it. He is already noticing differences between him and his dad, not out of curiosity because of differences, but connecting that to his own growth and maturing. There's a lot to cover when we hit puberty, so I'm grateful we're covering little pieces now. There won't be so much new information to discuss when it's time for pubertal details.