and the teeth…and tiny waist/long legs/big boobs. The airbrushed image of unachievable, to-die for (literally) female perfection (well – its still THIS century’s fad. Who knows what hoops we will be expected to jump through in 2050?)
A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Called ‘One Day I May Choose To Have Children And They Will Turn Out To Be Marvellous And Pro-Women’….I really, truly believed that it was all about Nurture. I really bought into the idea that if I *had* a boy, he would be a lovely, cuddly, respecter of women and their rights.
First kid was a girl. Strong minded. Opinionated. Unusual. But will believe whatever I tell her. I could brainwash her with any old set of political or religious beliefs. She would buy into it. That’s the great fun of having kids. You can really mess with their heads. (And as per post below, please don’t report me to social services – I am merely trying to make a point here.)
And then came second kid. A boy. A boy who actually happened to be born on International Women’s Day. Pretty Cool, thought both me and small bambino’s father. But a boy who, from the word go, hated anything that he deemed to be ‘girly’ or ‘unmanly’ or that won’t ‘blow the entire world up and rip everyone’s heads off!’
Of course, a psychologist would have a field day with this one. Little boy reacting to an overbearing feminist mother and a wimpy new man of a dad. But then the psychologist would meet aforementioned parents and twig that we ain’t anything like that in this here house…
So what do you do? What do you do when your 5 year old says ‘Mummy I hate all women and girls and ladies apart from you?’ What do you do when all the kid does really stupid, inane stuff like trying to jump out of classroom windows in order to ‘make all the other boys think I’m really a real superhero!’
I reckon that this is where nurture comes in. You do the writer-thing (Show Don’t Tell.) You lead by example and demonstrate to Testosterone Tot that women are actually pretty damned good as fellow human beings. Of course, there will be times when you need to be a little bit more direct (“If you are ever rude to random old ladies in the street again I am dumping you at the nearest orphanage, you little git!”) But in the main, you try and educate the child. Encourage the manliness (or whatever the hell you want to call – ahem – The Great Explorer chromosome) but develop it to move away from the animal brain and to become more focussed on the frontal cortex. Educate!
Which left me thinking. (Psychologist’s head on here.) The mothers of all of those blokes in charge of the media – the ones who so despite the No More Page Three campaign, who believe that society is a better place because we get to see a Bare Breasted Bird over Brekkie….what was their relationship like with their mothers? I’m banking that mother either encouraged their little testosterone-driven excesses. Or was an opinionate bugger whom little Charlie harboured a secret fear or even desire for. And so, Boy Offspring Uncultivated went wild and wanted to carve his own way in the world by proving his Power and Domination over Lovely Ladies Everywhere. Get Yer Tits Out! Give Us a Smile!
Not saying I have got this mothering of a boy thing right. He is out there right now trying to force his sister to drink paddling pool water (which he has apparently peed into according to Older Sib…) But recent evidence leads me to believe that between myself and his dad, we must be getting something right. Look what he did to a recent toy of his sisters. I found it shoved down the side of a radiator. Yes, that’s a scorched face.
Was the kid making a protest that no good will come for women who are trying to live up to some crazy ideal, which men don’t actually want anyway? Or was this a blatant act of minor-driven misogyny?
Either way, his sister has the right approach ‘Never liked the stupid doll anyway. Looks well cool with its face like that!”