How does an anti-male feminist raise a boy?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Mommy Wars

Debra J. Dickerson, a self-proclaimed feminist who didn't "much like those of the male gender," has an interesting article on Salon.com today. In it, she explores how to raise her son without either "castrating" him or becoming an "ovo-hypocrite" -- a feminist who balks at passing her ideologies onto her male child.

These concerns are intertwined with and amplified by Dickerson's race. As a member of the black community, she battles the question whether to embark on "the holy calling of raising a black man," or to simply raise a man, period, and let the "blackness" take care of itself. As stated by Dickerson, "it is often noted that black mothers raise their daughters but merely love their sons." How then, will she raise both her children to be self-empowered and successful?

In the end, she concludes that it's up to her not to read gender into her children's behavior, but instead to instill values that that transcend "gender-based unfairness."

I'm sure many parents, including myself, can empathize with Dickerson. Gender, especially in a society where gender-based inequality is still pervasive, is difficult to address. I want my daughter to embrace and explore being a girl, and, eventually, a woman -- but without feeling trapped by any stereotypes she doesn't believe in.

How do you deal with the issue when it comes to your kids? Are there any other values that you've had a difficult time incorporating into your parenting?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.