Never before have I been more aware of the war on boys that is being waged by our western, feminist society. I am sure that my previous sentence has already garnered many protests, but I hold firmly to my stated sentiment. It is true that females are continuing to be objectified in our culture, but at the very same time our males are either being emasculated or dehumanized. The same propaganda that turns women into sex objects on the one hand is portraying men as violent, sex-crazed beasts on the other. It’s either that or they are being told to stop playing soldiers on the playground.
The focus on strengthening girls has certainly amped up, and necessarily so. I do not condone cultivating a sense of inferiority within girls that is prevalent in the Islamic cultures. Women have a vital role to play in society and in order to do so they must be strengthened and encouraged. There is no shame in fighting, playing, or working “like a girl,” as the video being promoted on Facebook states. Yet after a moment of careful consideration one can hear the subtle message within the message – that boys are not as good as girls. This message carries through in stores, in classrooms, in movies, and in games. Boys are expected to embrace extreme violence in their hobbies and free time and then are expected to play nice, sit still, and color in the classroom.
The same is true about men. Most of the weekly sitcoms portray men as dense, stupid, idiotic. Movies often show them as ridiculously violent or absolutely clueless about reality. It’s true that men often don’t understand the intricacies of the female psyche, but does that make them useless or ridiculous? My husband and I attended our first birthing class last night, and the only complaint I had about it was how the instructor referenced men. Her examples of how the men should support the laboring mother gave the impression that she presumed these new fathers would say and do the most insensitive things. While her husband did do a lot of those very things, but he is just one man. Simply because men and women are different does not mean either sex is superior to the other.
Granted, a quick glance around the world and sneak peeks into random homes will show us great travesties being committed against helpless women and children by ruthless men. True, women have been and still are being promoted as sex objects, toys for men without scruples. Yes, the majority of violent crimes are probably perpetrated by males and yes, boys do like to fight, wrestle, and play with imaginary guns. It is also true that women are not the innocent strengths that they would like to say there. A quick glance around the world and sneak peeks into random homes will reveal women enforcing brutal traditions on young girls or being anything but the peacemaker in their households. Women often promote themselves as sex objects by what they wear, how they speak, and where they spend their free time. Girls can be vicious in the classroom, on the playground, and through social media- destroying with their tongues much more than boys can with their fists.
My point is that before we all get on the bandwagon to promote women’s rights and self-esteem we should stop and consider what that means. Are we truly improving things or are we throwing our men under the bus in our efforts to place women on a pedestal? Perhaps the only way to make the world a better place for women and girls is to protect the integrity of men and boys. Encourage the boys to fight for what’s right, to honor what is beautiful, and to celebrate the differences between the two sexes. Then turn to the girls: encourage them to thank boys for their assistance, to cultivate beauty of character, and to celebrate the differences between the two sexes. It would make the world a better place for all of us.