Here’s a note I received from one terrific mom, who, like many of us, is a bit concerned about societal trends to emasculate men and thrust the girls in the driver’s seat for just about everything. This one is a can of worms for sure … but worth discussing. Feel free to express your opinion. Our parent panel (see MySagePage) addressed this issue, but many comments since have revealed we would like more information. I guess we all need help on this one.
Thanks for our Conerned mom,
… and thanks for walking the road with me.
Recently, I read an interview of author Kay Hymowitz about her new book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women has turned Men into Boys. In it, she points out that in the Y Generation (the twenty-to-thirty-something) females out number their male counterparts in every area that counts! She finds that for the first time in our culture, women are more educated. Single, childless women are earning more. And, young women are, by all counts, more ambitious than the men who were their peers. Where does that leave the males? Ms. Hymowitz says that current sitcoms imitate life, where the men are depicted as eternal teenagers who only want to sit in front of their game consoles with their buddies drinking beer.
She attributes some the changes to an economy that favors more “intellectual” careers geared toward women, the break down of the family, and schools that are filled with female teachers promoting curriculums that favor females. This all comes at a time when I as a mom have heard from authors both christian and secular who have pointed out similar observations. Why should this concern us as mothers and fathers? Have you seen the news recently?
Having grown up in a third-world country and mothering 3 boys, I have been convicted for a long time now that we need to be raising tougher, more resilient, capable boys.
Hymowitz points out that children in the United States are achieving major milestones later in life. Are they less capable that their predecessors? I do not think so. I also agree that the schools and our culture are partly to blame. Who could forget Dan Quales’ plea 20 years ago to forgo characters like Murphy Brown and strengthen family values–after all the ridiculed he endured, who knew that he was just ahead of his time?!! The author points out that the number of “choice mother” (the new term for the Murphy Browns for this world–mothers who chose to have or raise a child on their own) is rapidly rising.
Even a recently-released Disney Movie depicts a world (planet Mars) where men are disposed off and sent to the sewer world below while females are trained my Nannie Bots who have been trained by the memories of carefully-searched-for capable mothers from earth! Females have taken over. Is that where we are headed? I think not.
I think we as mothers need to step up and realize that maybe we are doing too good a job as we view our kids as projects we will be graded on. So, our kids need to have the best clothes, make the best grades, are well packed when invited to spend the night at a friend”s house, have the food they like when they want it, and have everything they need at their finger tips when they need. We maybe be getting an “A” at being good assistants (read codependents servants or worse yet enablers) to our kids but we are not doing them any favors.
Dads for their part are either disconnected or treat their boys like buddies not giving then any disciple or leadership but that is a topic for another day.
John Rosemond says that a major problem in our society today is that our children are being raised by servants and buddies. Yikes! that is not a pretty picture.
As hard as it is for us to do, we need to fail our kids a bit more. By that I mean, we should let them experience failure when they forget their homework at home by not bringing it to them. We should let them have that least-favored teacher for 7th grade English instead of getting them switch to a”nicer” teacher. We should let them do chores at home even if we have housekeepers helping us. We should let them pack when they go away for the weekend and run the risk they’ll forget their underwear! You get my point.
I think, the best way for us to help our boys grow up when they should, and not 10 years later, is by letting them experience failure, doing hard work, serving others, persevering through a tough situation, etc. We need to help them become contributors at a much earlier age and stop entertaining them into adulthood. We need to stop trying to make life perfect or easier for them. That is not reality.
Jennifer (a concerned MOAT)