Just had the comment below deleted from this
I don't feel that the deletion was merited.
I know it's hard being a woman in a patriarchal world, but it was pretty damn hard being a man in a patriarchal world, too. There's not a lot of male solidarity, and where it does exist it is very often quite dark and misogynistic. I'm pretty happy to work with mostly women, to be married to a woman, and to teach mostly women.
When I think about having a son, it freaks me out to try to consider the ways in which a son will have to navigate confidence, friendships, sex and romance. How do you explain the difference between chauvinism and gentle-manliness to a teenager? How do you hope for your career son's success while also wishing for more women in his field? How do you discourage his tendency to mansplain while encouraging his confidence?
What if he's not nice to his girlfriend? What if he's a jock? In other words, what if he's an asshole? A lot of men are assholes, after all. Especially white men like me and my hypothetical son.
In contrast, with a daughter I can navigate all those issues without anxiety: I can hate her asshole boyfriend. I can support her confidence. I can hope for her to be president. It just seems simpler. But of course, simple is usually bad and unreflective, so I guess I've got some more work to do.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:00 AM on September 26
It must be really hard to be a man if your father is a living, breathing apology for it who thinks that, because you happen to be male, your personality will inevitably threaten his egalitarian vision, which he values more highly than your success as an individual, and who thinks that your confidence would be something to feel guilty about and who wouldn't hope for you to be president. Maybe people who load that much baggage and negativity onto the sex of an innocent child shouldn't have a son, or a daughter either.