Raising Boys with Historical Context
January 13, 2017 — On the way to school a few weeks back, my commute with my 12-year old son once again turned into a civics lesson. One met mostly with eye rolling silence. He cut me off then, saying “we already learned all of this in Sex Ed last week.” Excited, I turned to ask him how that went. But of course, he wouldn’t share any of what they learned with me. Still, I told him that we needed to have these difficult conversations, even if they make us uncomfortable. That they're important.
It may be easier for women and girls to think of themselves as feminists than it is for men or boys, but it is no less important that we bring sensitive, aware and educated boys into the world who aren’t afraid to include the word “feminism” in their lexicon.
I'm doing the best I can to raise my son's awareness about matters of social justice; both close to home, and abroad. In the media, and elsewhere. Alongside our discussions about feminism, we also talk about the gender spectrum, LGBTQ rights, and about dignity and equality for people of color. It matters for white boys coming up in America in 2017 to know that these issues intersect, and that as members of the privileged class, they bear a special kind of responsibility.
I see it as my job as a parent to make sure that the history of the women's struggle in this country is spelled out for my kids, in order to counter the narrative that they hear and see all around them. It is feminism that drives me toward fairness for all people. And raising feminist boys is an important aspect of what feminism mean to me.