Father & Child Magazine Issue #35
Forgiveness, Struggling For Parenthood, Blended, My Sons Got A Girl Pregnant, Seperated What Now, An Ordinary Dad, Good Men Good Sons
I admit I’m a bit confused as to what constitutes sexism.
When our local soccer club sent the enrolment documents for the upcoming season, there was an option to tick for girls who wanted to play in an all-girls team. Boys weren’t given an option.
When I mentioned to a friend that I thought boys should be able to choose to play in an all-boys team as well she was aghast.
‘That would be sexism!’
It’s not a do-or-die issue for me—both my children are girls and therefore get the options— but it certainly is not equal treatment.
This sort of thing happens a lot. My wife got herself some information about an upcoming women’s outdoor festival. Heaps of mother-daughter outdoor activities in there, fantastic stuff.
But why are there no equivalents for men? In fact, when that all-male English cricket association once again declined to admit female members a few years ago, that was news that went around the world—the last old male bastion refusing to fall, chauvinism at its worst.
So what makes it okay for women to organise themselves in male-free clubs or events, but not for men? More importantly, what does that suggest to our boys and girls, if girls have the choice to be without boys, but not vice versa?
My daughters keep saying that boys are not allowed to hit girls. The other day I replied that girls are also not allowed to hit boys. My younger daughter’s reaction to that was ‘Oh Dad, you know what I mean’.
I wish I did. In my opinion noone is allowed to hit anyone. How come that an 11-year old girl believes there are more restrictions on what boys are allowed to do than on girls?
Part of me, though, thinks that’s alright. Ironically it’s the chauvinist part: the part that thinks females are worthy of special protection from males, and males have to be gentlemen and not exclude women from anything they want.
You really have to dig quite deep into the box of stereotypes to justify different treatment of boys and girls, men and women, on the sole basis of gender. Meanwhile it worries me that our kids somehow get the impression that girls are the privileged sex.
If boys, somehow deep down, feel they are the underdogs, that can’t be good for relationships.
Personally I think both boys and girls (and men and women) should have opportunities (but not obligations) to do stuff together without the other sex there.
But having said that, there were times in my life when I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having to do something with only other boys…
Certainly, if we want equality of opportunities for both sexes, we have to start looking both ways.