Here, I published some prayers that I pray for my own children. It was a sweet little post, devoid of any political meaning whatsoever. I cribbed the prayers from this very sweet post here. The lady’s post, from which I cadged the thoughts, has nothing of the political whatsoever in it. It’s just a collection of the tender wishes of a mother for her young son, as he goes off for his first day of school.
However, you know me. I see things (no, not dead people).
I just see things that others might not. So, I saw the deeper political meaning in the original post as well. Or, more to the point, I saw the deeper societal context in which her irenic post resides.
Interestingly, the prayers I unashamedly cribbed came from a mother of at least two boys. I think she has just two boys. However, the mother, any mother, of young sons in America is, by definition, an extremely interesting person! She has been steeped, whether she likes it or not, in the feminist culture that rules America today with an iron fist. America tells her every day that her sons will grow up to be exploiters and oppressors of women, and she recoils at this thought. These are sweet little boys!
I know this; I have a son of my own, and he’s now fourteen-years old. He’s a smiling, sweet, gentle, strapping lad of 6’4,” of beanpole, slim, sheer male power. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, much less a girl … or anyone else for that matter. One of the first lessons I ever told him was: “Son — you’re going to be a big man. You need to learn to be a gentleman and a gentle man.” It’s the same lesson my father taught me.
Yet, society tells him every day that simply because he’s a boy he’s an oppressor. A snarling, unthinking, unfeeling, cruel, cold, caged rapist, waiting only for the disappearance of restraint to victimize some unfortunate girl. I’ve taught him to say — nicely, gently and respectfully — “Hogwash!” to anyone who tries to tell him that.
But he still hears it, and it still hurts him. He hears it in the innumerable feminist-driven classes governed by the feminist-dominated curriculum that rules American academia, and that is, largely, hogwash.
So, he and I do our best to laugh about it, and I don’t let him get down about the fact that society will hold him to a much higher standard than that to which they hold his older sister, who, in any disagreement with a man, will be adjudged automatically right, even if she’s not. He knows that the reverse will be true for him, and he’s wondered aloud to me what he did to deserve it. He wonders also whether he needs always to be on his guard around women. I haven’t been able to tell him otherwise; only that the woman he chooses to wed should make him confident enough just to be himself. Because he’s a really wonderful kid, and he’ll grow into a really wonderful young man.
I’m a very lucky daddy. I have a daughter and a son. And I know the difficulties that face each one automatically, merely because of the accident of their birth.
My daughter will be told — has been told! — that, no matter what, she is something more than what she is; that she’s more capable than she might really be; that she’s more noble, intelligent, intuitive than she might actually be; and all simply because she’s a woman. She’s also heard that she’s a victim, and that men want nothing more than to exploit her and to use and take advantage of her. Just because she is a woman. And heaven help anyone (read: any man) who might suggest to her anything other than that … all because she is some mythically great creature, merely because she is a woman.
She has said to me, “Why can’t people just be honest with me?” It’s a good question. I’ve taught her to reject the opinions and thoughts of the uninformed, who would force her to be their image of “a woman,” and just to be herself. But it’s difficult for her. She wants and likes to be liked, but she utterly rejects society’s demands that she be their vision of a woman.
My son will be told, merely by the accident of his birth, that he’s a rapist-in-waiting, that he’ll abuse, oppress and harm women, merely because he’s a man, and can’t help himself. He’ll be told that without vast, humiliating, mind-numbing “training” he’ll spend all his days being stupid, retrograde, backward, primitive, and a slave to his basest urges, merely because he’s a man.
Both narratives are lies. Neither is helpful, or healthful, for either one.
For my daughter, how will she live up to the image of the colossally powerful super-woman figure that society says she is? Because she’ll know…she’s only who she is. Oh, that’s nothing to sneeze at, but she’s not Rhonda Rousey, or Kara Wolters, or Mother Teresa, or Clara Barton, or Florence Nightingale, or Phyllis Schlafly, or Mia Love, or Helen Alvare, or the great Ann Coulter, and she has no desire to be any of these other legendary women… she’s just who she is, and that’s way more than enough.
I’m her daddy, and I can’t think of a more spectacular young lady in the world, but we do her no favors in pretending that she’s automatically anything at all. She’s just who she is, and I let her be who she is. Period.
For my son, how will he react to being told that he’s the barely-controlled violent predator that society says he is, merely because of the accident of his birth? He looks into his own heart, and understands that he wants only good for everyone, yet he’s being told he’s at best a jerk, and at worst a beast. Just because he’s a man (in a few years). How should he deal with that garbage? Easy, I guess: Understand that it’s hogwash.
Maybe not quite that easy. My son likes to be liked too. All fourteen-year old boys do. He’s a particularly handsome young man, and has had no end of young ladies pursuing him. I’ve told him that he can’t date for two more years; until he turns 16. I’ve told him that he gets only one shot at being a kid, and that he doesn’t really want to waste it in trying to be a grown-up, and he understands that. Still, some of the girls he’s gently rebuffed (I heard him, when he allowed me to listen in on a conversation he had with one of them) have been unbelievably immature and manipulative. One threatened to harm herself if he didn’t “date her.” Even as he told her directly that I wouldn’t allow him to date yet.
Back to the topic of this post. The author of this post here is the mother of two boys, and I suspect she has already felt the contradiction between her overwhelming love for her sweet young sons, and what society tells her they are going to become. Every mother of sons is aware of this terrible contradiction. Just ask, for example, Christina Hoff Sommers.
Sommers is a feminist and the mother of a son. It didn’t take her long to realize that the two things are incompatible, and that one has to go. Sommers chose her son and his happiness, over the horrid, cold emptiness of feminism, with its hatred of men and, by extension, of her son.
Possibly the greatest threat to the grotesquerie that is today’s feminism is the mother of sons.
The writer of this beautiful post faces that same struggle, and I wish her and her sons all the very best, while praying the same prayers for her, that she prays for her beautiful sons.(1)
(1) – One more quick note. The author of the post from which I copied the prayers for my children is an outstanding photographer! Go here to see some breathtakingly beautiful vacation pictures.