On The Good Men Project I was reading an article titled ‘It’s Not Easy To Raise Your Son To Be a Feminist’:
The real challenge is for us – the parents of boys who could live their lives resting on the privilege and power bestowed upon them for being men –to go out of our way to raise our sons to be feminists, too.
What I get from this here sentiment, is that the author feels obligated to teach her son that he is going to be given things he doesn’t deserve because he’s male. And these things he doesn’t deserve, given to him because he’s male, are the source of all the problems in society.
Kids aren’t very abstract thinkers. Translated into kid-ese this is “your maleness is bad.”
Surely teaching a child something that makes them despise an inherent part of themselves is Not Good?
What happens if her son’s experience of his maleness is powerlessness?
Let’s start at the beginning. What if the author had her son’s genitals cut? This is illegal to do to a girl, and there’s no point getting into an argument about comparison, any genital cutting of a girl is illegal, even those forms that remove considerably less tissue and nerves then the average male circumcision in the West.
What if he’s the unfortunate victim of DV and finds there are no services for men or that he can’t get out of an abusive situation safely because the cops are trained to suspect the man? What if he’s a victim of a female rapist (around one percent of men will be in a year) and he has no one to turn to because all literature regarding rape, most victim services, all rape advocacy is toxically gendered? What if he tries to press charges against her and is laughed at by the police?
Worse, what happens if his wife abuses his child and he has no recourse to protect the child because courts are routinely more lenient towards red flags in mothers then fathers? What if he never gets to see his kids again? Men only get sole custody in a bare fraction of cases; joint physical custody: a few percentage points more. And if he’s given visitation he has a 40% chance of never seeing his kids again after five years.
What if her son isn’t one of the men who scores big in the crapshoot of male achievement and instead rolls snake eyes: he ends up in the ugly professions (all male dominated) where safety is lax, work is hard, and injuries and death are common? What if he ends up homeless? The majority of the homeless, particularly the unsheltered homeless are men. As a related note the vast majority of government spending on social programs goes to women while the majority of taxes paid to the government comes from men.
All of these things he’s at a greater risk of experiencing because of the very maleness the author thinks gives him a gold ticket to privilege and power.
What privilege and what power exactly?
Update: TGMP has run this powerful article on a related subject, the experience of a young man who was raised by an abusive feminist mother: Overcoming Abuse and Becoming a Good Man.