Friday, July 19, 2013

Boy Culture

Since the day I first held my little bambinos in my arms, I knew I had a very important roll in their lives.

Of course it was up to me to feed them and cuddle them and make sure they were diapered and happy. But I knew that as they grew, I wanted to try and break a cycle in which so many boys/men seem to be crippled. 

In a time when it seems like a lot of my guy friends have commitment issues, they do things because "that's what men do" and they're afraid to be a little emotional, I want to teach my boys that it's okay to love and be loved, it's okay to show emotion and it's a sign of strength and compassion rather than weakness.

I wasn't planning on writing a post today, but then I saw this post by Rebecca Wolf and was reminded about how so much  work is being done on women and little girls: Barbie is being re-imagined, Dove has the Campaign for Real Beauty, countless articles have been written about Princess Culture. Who is standing up for our boys? 

Who is teaching them that it's okay to love someone with all your heart? 

Who is teaching them that letting someone love them is a gift?

Who is teaching them that showing emotion and maybe even crying in public is not a sign of weakness but it's a sign of humanity and compassion. Emotion means you're alive. It means you feel deeply about something. It means you're human. 

I don't want my boys to think they have to be a "player" or "sow their oats" before they settle down. I want them to date, sure, but I want them to do it the "right" way taking into account the feelings of everyone involved and not just their own.

I don't want them to push someone away because they're afraid of the deep feelings they have for this person. I want them to take it slow and explore these feelings.

I don't want them to think they have to wipe away their tears or hide that they're hurt. 

When Peanut's trying to hold in his cries, I always hug him and tell him, "It's ok to cry, let it out." We've never told them they can't cry; where are they learning it from? Is it so ingrained in our boys' DNA that they somehow know they shouldn't show emotion even at 2. 5 years old? (And by 'our' boys I mean everyone's boys as this is not a singular problem.)

I want to break that cycle. I've made it my job. To some extent, their dad helps but as he's one of the men that is somewhat part of the cycle, he can only contribute so much.

I want my boys to grow up and be strong and masculine. 



mas·cu·line
[mas-kyuh-lin]  adjective
1.pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men: masculine attire
2.
having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.   

To me, strength lies not only in the physical but also in the emotional. 

What do you think? Am I totally missing the mark? Is this not as wide-spread of a problem as I think? Please share!



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