Thursday, April 4, 2013

Of mothers and sons

I have an issue with the sentiment that "it takes a man to raise a man". What exactly makes a man, a man? What are these magical qualities that turn boys into men that women apparently know nothing about?

If i should make babies, i personally strive to raise decent, upstanding human beings. To be frank, i honestly have no idea what type of life lessons i would need to teach my son that I wouldn't also, even if it needs to be tweeked a little, need to educate my daughter about. And vice versa.

Of all the things i've heard men say, both jokingly as well as seriously, about raising their sons, most of it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Majority of it falls along the lines of the same old patriarchal, misogynistic bullshit that has pervaded our society thus far. 

While i have absolutely no desire to raise any child, male or female, by my lonesome...i'm struggling to understand what the male presence does that i, as a woman, cannot. 

So if anyone has answers, please feel free to voice them. Cuz this is a legit question.

Disclaimer: I am in no way downplaying the role a good father (or a good two parent home) can have on the upbringing of a child. I seriously just want to know the justification for this ideology that a woman is incapable of raising a man.

Subdisclaimer: in the interest of clarity, i'm not talking about lessons in regards to things that are biological/fundamental. i'm talking about life lessons that would make your son a good/better man, father, husband, human being.

9 comments:

  1. Just like menstruation talk between moms and daughters, there are certain life lessons boys can only learn from men that's why it is important to have a father figure in a boy's life

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    1. Um...menstruation is a biological process that anyone who takes a biology class can teach someone about. And menstruation talk isn't a life lesson. Learning about one's period doesn't change who you are or will grow up to be.

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    2. So are you saying that men can tell their daughter's about the cramps, headaches and backaches and all those other PMS stuff that come with menstruating since they have been to a biology class or they can also tell them about the pain of childbirth and breastfeeding because they have watched birthing videos? Just like daughters need their moms for certain things so do boys need fathers/father figures for certain life lessons. A mother cannot teach her son how to handle life from a man's perspective it takes a man who has been through life's challenges to teach his son/nephew etc about the road ahead. I think you are reading way too much into that statement even the most feminine of feminists will still tell you that boys need grown responsible men in their lives to show them the ropes

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    3. I do know for a fact that the conversations my brothers have with my Dad are way different to the ones they have with my mother. My little nephew he is 6, got into a fight with another boy one time at school and later in the evening when his mom wanted to talk to him about it and he said no "I want daddy". Where I am from in Africa most boys are circumcised later in life when they are 12 or 13 it is their fathers who take them to the hospital and explain why they are going through the process and what it signifies to them not their mothers. Same way a single father enlists the help of his mom, sister or female friends to help raise his daughter. Biology class cannot teach a girl all she needs to know about menstruation it takes a female she is close to who has been through the same process to understand what she is going through.

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    4. Actually the entire premise of the post is asking what are these things that a woman is incapable of teaching, which you've yet to answer. And my point in responding to you is that menstruation is not a life lesson, its a biological process. I am not asking about biological processes because while they were be more personal coming from someone who has physically experienced the same thing, its not impossible to learn from the opposite sex. There are male OB/GYNs afterall so clearly, a man is quite capable of teaching a woman about her period, child birth, breast feeding and the like from taking a bio (and other medical) classes. Not to mention, that everyone's body is different, so even speaking about things from your own experience in no way means that you are an authority on what your child's body will or won't go through.

      I also stated quite clearly that i am not saying boys don't benefit from male guidance. I just want to know why a woman is rendered incapable of teaching boys certain things and what those things are.

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    5. Those conversations you say your brothers had with your dad and the fact that they differ from the conversations they had with your mom are kinda the essence of what i'm trying to get at with this post.

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  2. Girl, I LOVE your blog more each time I read it. Seriously. You know how to voice opinions with such clarity and efficiency. And you're right. There isn't anything a man can teach a son that his mother can't. Life lessons come from a person, not a gender. Respect, humility, integrity, compassion... Hell, I can teach allathat. And besides, the ONLY men I ever hear say shit like that (it takes a man to raise a man), are misogynistic and sexist, and will raise the same.

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    1. Awww, thanks hun! And yes, these are my thoughts exactly! I don't doubt that there are certain experiences that it would probably be easier hearing from a man who has experienced it themselves. But just because a child prefers to hear it from a father, doesn't mean that its impossible to learn your mother.

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  3. Good questions Lady Ngo. Now i wish real honest men will come answer the question :)

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