NASA says these are the best plants for purifying the air in your home
But boy, don’t they?
In fact, if I showed you a list of my boys’ collective interests and you had to guess their gender, you would hesitate a little, but then pick a girl.
Baking, reading, drawing, vacations, movies, volleyball, cute mammals, video games, babies and toddlers, reading, traveling, letter writing.
I imagine many of you are thinking at this point: It’s great that your kids are interested in these things!
there is more. One loves comic books and graphic novels but is drawn to stories with strong heroines, such as Ms. Marvel and the unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
amazing! I love him.
And sports. They are very bored with team sports. They don’t play with it. They won’t watch them. They’ll scroll up or down through any number of sporting events on TV to get to a dance competition or watch competitive baking.
So? There’s nothing wrong with that.
These are the things all my progressive friends say.
But it’s often not the message my own children hear from the other adults in their lives, their classmates, and the media.
For example, the first dating question they’re inevitably asked by well-meaning adults is: “Do you exercise?” When they say, “No, not really,” the adult usually continues cheerfully, “Oh, so what do you like to do then?”
No one explicitly says that it is bad for a boy not to play sports. But when it’s always the first question, the implication is clear: exercise is normal; Therefore, do not play it is not.
The fact is that someone is exercising. He snowboards, as does my daughter. When people find out she’s skating, they smile at her, as if she suddenly has some rays of Olympic glory. In the days before my son stopped telling people he skated, most hesitated and then said, “Oh, so you’re planning on playing hockey?”
But it’s not just what people say. It’s all those annoying, unwritten rules. When my youngest son was in second grade, he loved the Nancy Drew and Clue Crew series. But he refused to check anything from the school library. He explained, “Girls can read boys’ books, but boys can’t read girls’ books. Girls can wear boys’ colors or girls’ colors, but boys can only wear boy’s colors. Why is that, mom?”
I didn’t have an answer.
The obvious starting point—and the one we have the most control over—is to change the way we talk to the boys in our lives.
As Andrew Rayner suggests in a straightforward article, we should engage boys in analytical, emotion-focused conversations, just as we do with girls. In How to Talk to Little Girls, Lisa Bloom offers alternatives to the appearance-focused comments often directed at little girls: asking the girl what she’s reading, about current events, or what she’d like to see changed in the world. I could copy and paste Bloom’s list and put a different title on it: “How to Ask Kids About Something Other Than Sports.”
With some additional nudges, we may be able to expand the narrow world of childhood more quickly. Scouts can offer badges to develop skills in childcare, teamwork and journaling. Girls-dominated activities such as art, dance, gymnastics and figure skating can be made more welcoming to boys, with increased outreach and retention efforts. My son could write his own essay about trying to fit in in the almost all-girls world of figure skating, including the times he had to change in a toilet stall at skating events because there were no locker rooms available for boys.
I used to think that the concept of gender – “girl things” and “boy things” – was what held us back.
Now I see it differently.
The interconnected yin and yang of the genders is an essential part of our identity, individually and collectively. We need people who like to fix cars and people who like to fix dinner. We need people who are willing and able to fight if necessary, and people who adapt wonderfully to the child’s needs. But for thousands of years, we have forced these traits to conform to biological sex, causing countless individuals to become dissatisfied and diminished. For the most part, we’ve realized this with girls. But we have a long way to go when it comes to boys. As Gloria Steinem observed, “We set out to raise our daughters like sons…but few have the courage to raise our sons like our daughters.”
I acknowledge that young boys feeling pressured to be sports fans is not the biggest problem our country faces regarding gender.
Transgender individuals continue to face discrimination and violence. The #MeToo movement has revealed to anyone who doesn’t already know it that girls and women cannot go about their daily lives without being subjected to male sexual assault.
But if our culture shifts to wholeheartedly embracing the full range of unchildish behavior, it might play a small role in addressing these other issues as well. Masculine culture will be redefined, enriched and expanded, weakening the toxic masculinity that is the root cause of most of our sex-related problems.
Boys and girls alike will be able to decide whether they prefer it to consist of scraps and snails, sugar and spice, or a custom blend. And my future grandchildren, unlike my sons, will not think twice about wearing pink or reading about a girl detective in school.
This story originally appeared on the Motherwell website and is reprinted here with permission.
This article originally appeared on 06/20/18
(Tags for translation)Houseplants natural air filters