Raising a feminist son

The Femfax Media E-Zine DailyLife seems to be favored territory for many feminist ideologues to promote their biased views under the guise of journalism.  Readers of AVFM will be familiar with the deceitful bleatings of Clementine Ford. [1]

Let me now introduce you to Kasey Edwards, a “best-selling author of four books” who would like to educate the presumably uninformed consumers of DailyLife about “Raising Sons that Respect Women.”[2]

The title immediately raises two questions in my mind. First, Edwards seems to be suggesting women deserve respect simply because of their biological sex, as distinct from respect for persons based on their humanity. Why not “Raising Children to Respect Others?”

Second, is she is implying that son’s need to be raised differently from daughters?  Does not the feminist social constructionist view maintain that androgynous parenting ignoring biological differences is the path to equality of the sexes? Oh, I forgot, that only applies when it suits; apparently a little affirmative action is needed here.

Setting the scene Edwards pays homage to the usual core feminist myths; presumably to establish the false victimhood that in the contorted feminist psyche makes women more deserving of respect:

The disappointing progress for pay equality, female representation in leadership, childcare, domestic violence (need I go on?) tells us that men are unlikely to change their behaviours and attitudes simply because we ask nicely, or even if we’re not nice about it.

Notice how the perceived causation of these complex and multifactorial myths are reduced by Edwards to the simplistic “behaviours and attitudes” of men, otherwise more commonly referred to as patriarchy. She continues;

Men will stop obstructing the path to equality when they understand that it is in their best interest to do so.

You, Ms Edwards are, I’m afraid, mistaken. Western men are crying out for true sexual equality. It is feminism that obstructs that goal with a continued gynocentric focus aimed at retaining female privilege while advocating for legislation to strengthen female advantage.

What is, however, in men’s and societies best interest is to highlight the ideologically corrupt double standards and sexism at the core of feminism and to work toward true equalitarianism, were the interests of both sexes are always considered and balanced.

As is often the way, Edwards reduces her advice to a handful of simple items that will fix the problems with our boy children, her “six-step guide to raising a feminist son and why your son will thank you for it.

1. Watching www.sexy-sluts-horny-pussy-make-me-your-whore-bitch.com is not sex education

Please, Ms. Edwards, tell me who is suggesting that it is? Personally I know of no one, man or woman, who would even contemplate visiting porn sites as a substitute for parental relationship and sex education. Perhaps you do or know of some research that suggests it is so?

But it’s not really about sex and relationship education is it! It’s your way of maligning male sexuality, and boy’s healthy interest in sex and the female body. Yes, boys look at porn; their first introduction to it, though, is not the Internet but the daily parade of scantly clad or unclad women provocatively taunting them via every form of media to which they are exposed.

The sexualization of our children begins long before they are capable of accessing the Internet, and the women who sell their body imagery for commercial gain, be it in mainstream advertising or via the music or porn industries, are just as accountable for the modern addiction to appearance and superficiality of relationships as anyone.  When young men’s natural but continually demeaned sexual interest meets that of the empowered, me focused, sexually liberated grrl’s who revel in dressing as sluts it hardly a recipe for success, is it?

I have raised two sons and a daughter; my focus for sex education was on respectful relationships in both the boy-girl and girl-boy directions, with acknowledgement of the intrinsic differences between the sexes.  Both face very real dangers in their interaction with the opposite sex. The dangers for girls are well know but less so for boys for whose lack of choice in reproduction, the risk of false allegations and the risk of physical and emotional abuse remain ever present.

2. How to use a vacuum cleaner 101

Feminist misrepresentation and research bias on division of domestic labour is well known. Typically they include only childcare (which is attributed to the mother at times when both parents are present) and traditionally female oriented chores in their analyses and neglect the more male orientated domestic and yard chores.  Further they repeatedly fail to note that division of labor is generally agreed upon between couples who are largely happy with the split regardless of whether it is along traditionally masculine and feminine lines. [3]

No one doubt we should bring up our children to be self reliant and capable of looking after themselves domestically.

Edwards laments:


Raising a son who needs a woman to look after him is creating a rod for another woman’s back in about 25 years time.

Yet it seems to me that it is over indulgence by mothers (and the lack of fatherly discipline in single mother households) that is most to blame for boys (and girls) lack of skills in these areas. It is women who create the rod for other women.

Edwards’s most perverse contention however, suggests that boys should learn these skills because their partners will more likely “be in the mood” and they will “get more sex” if they do, and that speaks more to Pavlovian abuse of female sexual power than respect in relationships.

3. “You are not what you eat (or your thigh or stomach circumference either) Ban any fat chat or discussions that reduces a woman’s worth to her beauty or physical appearance.”

Edwards can’t seem to overcome her ambivalence on this issue, initially admitting that women themselves are appearance and weight obsessed and their “self-talk” is detrimental to children but soon passing the blame to men for appreciating beauty in women. She incorrectly attributes pointing out Julia Gillard’s “fat arse” to “daddy” when the most notable example of this was by Australian feminist icon Germaine Greer.[4]

Suffice to say as parents we should encourage in our children a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and an acceptance of the diversity of body shapes and sizes that comprise reality.  We should not accept unhealthy weight or obesity and discuss these openly with our children as we would any other health risk.

The real concern for our kids comes from the women driven, thinness obsessed fashion and beauty industries. Protecting our kids from the influence of this multibillion-dollar disgrace is in my view far more important than dad’s attraction to, or compliments afforded, a beautiful woman.

4. Girl isn’t a dirty word

Perhaps Edwards needs a refresher on the stages of human development, otherwise she would know that for a period in pre-pubescence, both “boy” and “girl” are dirty words to the opposite sex.

Nonetheless I agree with her we should challenge gender stereotypes but only while acknowledging innate and biological differences in abilities and interests that exist to varying degrees in our children.  We should encourage our children to fulfil their own unique potential, neither forcing them to conform to or go against traditional gender roles; let them find their own balance of masculine and feminine traits that suit their personality.  We should also be wary of institutions such as the feminized education system that would impose a gynocentric or androgynous schema onto our children.

Meanwhile one expects that Edwards daughter will graduate from home, skilled at changing car tires, unblocking drains, lifting and moving furniture, heavy garden digging, dealing with snakes and spiders and investigating suspicious noises in the night to name a few of the male oriented tasks strong independent women should be capable of, right?

5. Real men do cry

Given there is no such thing as a “real man,” just men who more or less fit someone else’s conception of what manhood is or should be, this statement has no meaning.  There is however no doubt, that men do cry and always have.

The comparison of the presumed validity of the occasions on which men in general shed their tears as compared with women is another matter. One might argue that the balance point is somewhere between overly stoic and overly emotional. Some men could benefit from crying a bit more easily as some women might benefit from not crying as much in trivial circumstances. Encouraging our sons to express their emotions goes hand in hand with encouraging our daughters not to be overly emotional.

Edwards seems to think RUOK (are you ok) day is directed solely at men. She is wrong. It is a non-gendered campaign about mental health and suicide awareness in general http://www.ruokday.com/

“dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?”

While men remain truly over represented in suicide statistics, outnumbering women by 3-4 times in most western nations, would it not be gratifying to see women attempting to understand the complex social and emotional determinants of this plague of modern men, and offer not tears but some real compassion toward correcting the root causes?

6. Fathers have a role to play

They most certainly do, and thank you Kasey from breaking from the feminist mantra to say so. The first obstacle to overcome of course is to allow men the opportunity to be involved in their children’s lives.  Women are reluctant to allow men into their traditional turf of childcare and women rarely desire men who may desire such involvement.

Currently, thanks to feminism, fathers are viewed as either obsolete (see White Ribbons opinion here) or optional.  Single motherhood is encouraged and supported via legislated payments, removal of fathers from families and alienation of their children via the corrupt family court system is rife. All this has led to an epidemic of fatherlessness and a generation of lost, undisciplined boys.

It has been the traditional role of fathers to enforce respect for women onto their male offspring: the “don’t speak that way to your mother” and “never hit a girl” sort of idioms my generation grew up with.   I am happy as a parent to have encouraged my children to have initial respect for all individuals and continuing respect where respect is due.  Just as status and authority are no guarantee the person holding them deserves respect, nor is an individuals sex.  Respect must be earned and indoctrinating our son’s into feminism will not achieve it for women or themselves. The way forward is equalitarianism. Tim Goldich puts it “loving men and respecting women,” concepts modern feminism, with it’s focus male hatred and female victimhood, knows little if anything about. [5]

[1] http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/clementine-ford-calling-fellow-feminists-stupid/

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