01 December 2005

the soapbox: feminist boys?

So, it's becoming pretty obvious that I'm terrible at posting regularly. I've been thinking of a lot of things to write about, but I'm not sure if I want to post them in this blog. I mean, I know it's my blog and I can write whatever I want to, but I'm really hesitant to get up on my soapbox and start spouting my views to the world. Because, first, does it even matter? I'm just one person, on one pathetic blog. And second, most of the people reading this already know how I feel about most things anyway.

But on the other hand, it's my blog, and isn't that what blogs are for? Vanity. Egoism. An inflated sense of self-importance. Spouting one's views via soapbox.

To be brief, I guess I'll just say that I've been reading and thinking a lot about feminism lately. What occupies my mind the most is the question of how to raise my boys to be sympathetic to women's issues, to view women's issues as basic human issues, to be aware of the privilege they have simply by virtue of being male. They obviously have a wonderful example from their father, which will be worth a lot. He's not what I'd call a feminist man by any means, but he does listen to me ramble about feminism and women's issues (and even tends to agree with me most of the time). He has supported me in my endeavors both to try to work and to stay home with the boys; he does housework; he does childcare; he treats me -- and the other women in our lives -- wonderfully, with respect. But I worry that a good example might not be enough. I worry that perhaps I won't even figure out just what is enough.

I've been known to complain to Greg about not having any daughters to raise as little feminists. I'm kidding, a little. I do think it would be a challenge to raise feminist girls in this day and age, where things are equal enough that they're rarely questioned by most people, and where many young girls don't fully appreciate the struggles of their predecessors. But I'm beginning to think that it might be even more useful to raise boys to appreciate feminism -- women have been advocating for themselves for years and have made a lot of progress, but I think real cultural change won't occur until people of both genders are demanding equal rights and responsibilities for all adults.

So how do I accmplish this, raising boys to be men who are in favor of gender equality? Who even recognize that there is still inequality that needs to be dealt with? These are the questions I'm pondering lately. And now that I've decided in favor of the soapbox, you can expect to hear more about gender issues in the near future.

1 comment:

kim said...

I thought of you when I read this book review the other week: http://www.halfchangedworld.com/2005/11/its_a_boy.html