Raising feminist boys
For those who haven't read it, I really enjoyed Trish's post on feminists raising boys and how that doesn't have the desired ill effects that anti-feminists hope for.
Mine is the first generation where a good number of men were raised by feminists. Those men I know who weren't are actually a bit bitter about it and feel that they had to relearn everything about men and women since their own parents were not good role models. Those I know raised by feminists do just fine, better than most men.
My mother and I had a lot of conversations about the differences between her generation and mine after she divorced by piggy stepfather. My mother wondered if it really made a difference and I optimistically said that it did. And I think that it really did, even for men whose mothers were not feminist, because they still grew up in a feminist culture. I thought about all the things that my father and especially my stepfather expected of my mother that are not expected of me and I'm much relieved:
- If I marry, I won't change my name. This will not cause a problem, and if any man I married had the nerve to raise a fuss, our friends would shame him.
- Today, I started vaccuming the carpet and my boyfriend vaccumed the kitchen floor without question. The men of my fathers' generation wouldn't think of it.
- I have a lot of male friends who immediately think of me when certain subjects come up and they call me to ask my opinion.
- If I got married, I could expect that my husband would wear a ring like I have to, no questions asked.
- I don't have to get married.
- I don't have to have children.
- If I'm looking to get a raise, my boyfriend not only applauds that, he gets all righteous and stuff if it doesn't happen. If I made more than him, he'd be happy as a clam. He makes more, but he knows that isn't some indicator that he's more deserving or something like that.
- I do most of the driving. My boyfriend offers once in awhile, but only to relieve me. He doesn't think that other people laugh at him for this, because they don't.
I could go on, but you get the point. We have miles to go, but it's nice to take a moment to appreciate what our foremothers did before us.