Hello from out here in Man Card America, where proving your masculinity to the dude-friends who are vigilantly looking to revoke your “Man Card” if you get caught engaging in unmanly activities like being scared, doing what your girlfriend wants to do sometimes, enjoying a song by a woman, or drinking the wrong kind of cheap light beer is an ongoing campaign. If you look at the advertisements of the past several years, you’d think that having your Man Card revoked was, like, a real thing that could actually happen. Keep reading »
I have a love-hate relationship with “What Would You Do?”, the so-called ‘reality’ show that hires actors to enact controversial situations in public to gauge the response of random people. I don’t actually watch the show, but every time I read about one of the show’s episodes online — What will happen when this neo-Nazi group sits down at IHOP? — I’m off to the races to watch the shit out of that thing.
It’s inevitable, really, that they would do a show about Halloween and little kids costumes. Get your little black hearts ready: an adorable boy is going to find out from some busybody ladies at a Halloween store why he can’t be a princess for Halloween. Keep reading »
There are many in Western society that seem to band together anytime the subject of sex-selective abortion in foreign countries comes up. It’s a tricky topic, especially for those of us who favor unfettered abortion access. Outrage and incomprehension over aborting female fetuses in favor of males is usually the default response, with many claiming the practice is misogynistic, and rightfully pointing out the negative impact it has on many countries, specifically in Asia.
But despite our alarm and discomfort surrounding sex-selective abortion, many in Western society have no issue doing all they can to conceive a specific sex. And while pregnancy screenings to rule out female fetuses abound outside the U.S., there has recently been a surge in the number of parents looking to do exactly the opposite within this country: going to great — and expensive — lengths to ensure that their newborn is a girl. Keep reading »
Stop brushing Molly’s hair, girls: there’s a new series in town. Valerie Tripp, who first released the American Girl series in 1986, is finally releasing a counterpart called American Boys — well, Boys Camp, actually. Like the American Girl series, Boys Camp will featuring a book apiece for each male character. But that’s where the similarities between the new series and long-standing doll empire end. Unlike American Girl, which focused on girls from different cultures and periods of history, Boys Camp is set in modern times and centers on a group of bunkmates at summer camp dealing with more true-to-life issues. One boy struggles with feeling shy and out of place, and another wonders if he should continue to play a sport he has played his entire life (Is that an issue?). It’s a nice idea, but I have a feeling the demographic won’t pick up — though I can definitely see these ending up as “brothers” for the American Girl gang. Better rethink that no-doll plan. [TIME] Keep reading »
Recently, I wrote a blog post about teaching our girls to be feminists. But I also think boys should be taught what it is to be a feminist. A couple of years ago, I recall a conversation I had with my 13-year-old nephew who is quite intelligent and a bit beyond his years. He was saying that he and his friends had had a discussion about who had it easier, men or women. They decided that women did for various reasons. A huge conversation ensued, as you can imagine, with my nephew, his mother, his grandmother and grandfather, and me. I think decidedly, by the end of the talk, we might have changed his mind! But it was a great moment to have an intelligent discussion about gender and what it means to be male or female in today’s world.
There seems to be a lot more research being done lately about boys and gender stereotyping. Undoubtedly, we need boys who will grow up understanding and appreciating what it means to be female in our society as well as the world-at-large because they will benefit from that awareness and so will everyone else. There are plenty of adult men out there who support women’s rights and work equally as hard to continue to make sure that girls and minorities are at the forefront of the discourse about equal rights. The question is, are we raising boys who are sensitive to inequity, critical thinkers, and culturally aware? Keep reading »