After all of the ainshyt and slausy things I have been guilty of during my life, and trust me.. there are plenty, I have been blessed with the awesomeness of having two sons.
During the beginning when my eldest was very young, he would often cry and become very emotional about things as a young child would at the age. As a child should even. Now rather than talk to my son and cheer him up or simply… communicate properly as a father should in those instances, I immediately went for the timeless tried and true insult which has been used to reign in the emotions of all boys to men since the beginning of time:
“Stop acting like a little girl.”
” Stop crying like a little girl.”
” You’re acting like a little girl.”
Each time I said these little insults to my young son in the beginning, My wife being the proud woman that she is would pull me to the side and tell me how she did not at all care for how I would tell our son to stop doing xyz ” Like a girl” as if being a girl was anything undesirable. As if being female was something that should be equated to being negative. Of course.. I wasn’t hearing it. I’m a large Alpha male and the word of the Alpha Male is law. I am a man and my job was/is to raise strong and able men at all cost and I wasn’t trying to hear any limp wristed namby pampby new-aged bullshyt that women talk about when it comes to raising kids because hey… what do women know about what it takes to be a man or how to raise them properly. Therefore i ignored her.
But then I said it one time too many and the Lioness within my wife made her appearance.
This time my wife caught me not in a discussion of emotions but one of facts and examples which I wasn’t able to justify why: ” Like a girl” wasn’t a big deal or a real insult.
She asked me frankly: What is it that is so awful about being a girl. As a woman, how am I supposed to feel when you frame a discussion as if being like me is bad?
…if we had a daughter, what would you tell her? What is she supposed to NOT act like? And if we had a daughter, how should she feel listening to you tell her brothers not to be anything like what she is? If your boys are doing something you don’t like, how should she feel when you say:”stop acting like a girl…”
I thought about it. What WOULD i tell her? How SHOULD she feel when I tell someone not to be like what she is? How would she supposed to feel about framing what she is as an insult?
I was wrong. What I was doing was wrong.
I never used: “like a girl…” in any negative fashion when speaking to my sons after that because not only do words have power but we have created a little system in this world that relentlessly seeks to demean anything associated with being female.
” stop being a pussy.” Last time i checked, the Vagina was a resilient piece of awesomeness. That shyt allows LIFE through it. Kick someone in the balls and the fight is OVER. No continues left.
” You’re acting like a real bitch right now…”
” Man you sound like a lil girl…”
Now i’m not here to preach to you or try to convince you that there is anything wrong about telling boys to not “act like a little girl” or stop doing xyz action”like a little girl”.
Not going to tell you to do anything differently than what you’re doing. Not going to tell you what you’re doing is wrong.
but what’s right about it……..