Yet, I know it’s not true. I know that there are good men out there. I know there are men who, like me, are disgusted by what has been uncovered in our media. Men who are sick to their stomach by the vile abuses committed by others who happen to share their gender. These men are a silent majority. But “silence” is the word I keep coming back to.
When Dads demonstrate the belief that they offer value to the world — by letting life live through them, by acknowledging their weaknesses but not allowing the difficulty to impede the expansion of their being, by not staying stuck in a victim mindset — they offer their daughters a model of what it means to value one’s self.
I will never know in a firsthand way the visceral response a woman feels when a sexual assault occurs. But I can direct my daughter to the people who do, the people who have written and spoken with eloquence and rage during this moment in time. The women who have stood bravely against social media trolls and men who intentionally subvert “believe women” into “believe all women, no matter what.”
Between ¨gender neutral parenting¨ and ¨the Google manifesto¨, there’s a recent ongoing conversation about defying traditional gender roles we can’t ignore. With powerful influencers as role models, such as Malala and Emma Watson, who are constantly inviting us to challenge our perceived notions about gender, women and equality. And, inspiring men, such as Justin Baldoni and John Legend, who are redefining what masculinity looks like — the fight towards gender equality is slowly, but surely, becoming an intersectional affair.
"I hear the statement “Boys will be boys” far too often. When my son is misbehaving and I’m trying to help him understand why his behavior is not acceptable, another parent might chime in with the statement. As a feminist and an attachment parent, I find the statement and its partner (“You know how boys are.”) to be among the worst things we can say to or about a boy. It’s fatalistic. It implies that boys are inherently problematic. Sometimes it’s said about something minor and silly; sometimes it’s said about something major. But it’s always said to casually dismiss inappropriate behavior."
Gretchen Edwards-Bodmer / Good Men Project