Oh Boy!

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.

Come again?

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.

Posted on August 20, 2009, in New mommyhood, Raising a boy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m really with you on this post. It’s so difficult, now that my eldest son is 4, on the playground dealing with other boys. You don’t want him to get teased or for other kids to play him. Like if they hit him and he comes running to tell me. I feel like I have to tell him to stand his ground and push back if he gets pushed. Because so many of the boys are being raised to be aggressive. And hide their emotions. There’s a great book I read called Raising Cain and it offered a lot of good insight and advice.

    I’m doing my best to raise a good man too, sis. and I’m holding on tight!

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