When it comes to Baby E, C gets congratulated on two main things – 1. That Baby E is so adorable (of course!) and 2. That Baby E is a boy.
Apparently girls are harder to raise than boys, what with all the worrying about preserving their chastity and all [insert massive eyeroll].
Honestly, raising a boy scares me. It would be so easy to sigh and say “boys will be boys” as he grows up but my feminist ideals won’t allow that. I believe that in order achieve true gender equality, our sons need to be raised to be true participants in the process.
So how do I successfully raise this boy to
- respect nonviolence when he will be encouraged to display aggression?
- respect women as having inherent rights that don’t require male approval when he’ll be told that paternalism is for the female good?
- not be afraid of his emotions when it’s only acceptable for him to be angry or show aggressive excitement?
- be aware of his male privilege when living with that privilege is akin to breathing air?
I worry that despite my best intentions and best efforts I won’t be able to avoid those negative societal forces influencing my son in some unwelcome way. Yet, I know I can’t squirrel him away to some uninhabited place until he’s grown up. I know that there’ll come a time when I won’t be the biggest influence in his life. I also know that at some point he’ll be responsible for his own decisions.
Yeah, this parenting thing is hard. I haven’t even gotten into what it’ll mean to be raising a little black boy in America.
In the meantime I will do my best to raise a “good man” and hold on to him until I can’t hold on to him anymore.