Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Promise Of Equality stalled...

A friend recently posted about her frustration at the lack of progress in our society on the treatment of women. Well, I have been thinking about this my whole life it seems... and as someone that often gets dismissed at the heated man bashing marathons with a wave and a curt "oh, we don't mean YOU!" I figured I was allowed to offer advice.

Perhaps we have not moved further on the problem because we have been largely ignoring one half of it. We have been talking for many decades about how to help girls and women, but little thought has been put into how to help boys become the men we expect them to be. Yes the pink aisle is a travesty but no one ever talks about the black flaming death aisle. My son told me the other day that boys are "not cute" I quizzed him a bit and found out that it was something one of his teachers had said... we teach little kids that girls are precious and dainty and boys are gross and tough... what bullshit! Wanna know one reason I think things have not completely changed? Fear that little boys may "turn" gay. Most people are not ready to embrace the steps it will take to fundamentally change our society. Boys have their whole self worth pinned to whether or not they can throw a damned ball, or fight, or risk their life. Few people talk about it as a problem... but boys are greatly judged on their size from birth. I would feel so bad for the boys clearly being compared in to our gigantic infant/toddler. Men never ask me if I would try to get our son into sports, but I heard it constantly from women. I finally got fed up with them putting this propaganda in his ear that I started whispering to them that I was giving him coffee to stunt his growth in hopes he would be an artist. Are you a small dude? You are screwed. You will see it in your parents eyes. Boys get abused, and yes, boys get raped, worst of all boys get ignored. And I would say its not only the men in the lives of boys that are messing them up every single day, Women contribute greatly. Back when we were 14, my friends mother constantly railed about the evils of men in front of both her sons (and me). Next time I see two toddler boys beating the hell out of each other and hear the young mothers who have their little girls dressed like princess say "oh well... Boys will be boys!" maybe I should call child protective services. Then there is how fathers are portrayed by the media... Boys grow up seeing fatherhood constantly portrayed as a "joke" or worse, fathers are domineering killjoys, even often the villain. Hardly ever are they cast as loving co-parents who nurture and adore the children. Boys and young men are getting sent the massage that they are "bad" and there is little escape.

We are two halves of a whole... you will never fix a flat by patching a leak in one side of the tire and saying... "Screw the other side! It has 20% less wear over the last decade so it can patch itself!

If we want better equality, we should start by doing these impossible things...
Teach ALL young people respect for the full spectrum of human sexuality.
Teach young people not to use any size and strength advantage to dominate others.
Teach young people not to use sexuality to dominate others.
Be honest about the differences between the sexes and explain why that can be an advantage.
Fundamentally change sports at all levels and remove the gladiatorial element, privilege and worship of athletes.
Fundamentally change the fashion industry... (this is often talked about, but I add it for balance)
Stop treating 16-25 year olds like children; expect more "responsible adult behavior" from young adults. 16-25 year olds are not "KIDS." Treating them like they have no responsibility is robbing them of the time of their life when many important lessons should be naturally learned, Hopefully with some guidance.
Stop worshiping youth culture and acting like 16-25 year olds have the answers... they rarely do.
Fundamentally change or eliminate major religions. (I am encouraged by some recent papal talk)

Mix all that together and wait about 50-100 years for all the remaining assholes (of both genders) to die and things may be noticeably better.