My Facebook feed is too often a source of frustration and anxiety.
A few weeks ago, one of my “friends” posted a link titled “I Am A Mother Of Two Children And I Cannot (And Will Not) Support Feminism.” The title surprised me, and so I clicked.
I don’t want to be consumed by the misguided worries of strangers on the Internet. It’s a circular time suck that only seems to result in caps locks insults and getting banned from commenting boards.
But in the same token, I have not been able to put my feelings about what this writer said to bed.
I want to tell the author that her sons are not threatened by feminism.
I want to tell her that chivalry is, of course, a great thing to teach her sons, because it goes hand-in-hand with kindness and respect.
I want to tell her that chivalry involves not just opening physical doors, but metaphorical ones as well. That welcoming a woman into a space dominated by men and validating her presence there is more important than offering to take her coat.
I want to tell her that it is okay for her sons to tell a woman they care about that she looks beautiful, but she would be better served if they told her that she is smart, kind, strong, or talented.
I want her to know that it’s alright for her sons talk with a woman they don’t know on the street, but that this is different from indiscriminately calling “hey beautiful” to any woman who walks past.
I want her to know that just because 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted, doesn’t mean that all men are rapists, but that it is still very important to talk to her sons about consent.
I want her to understand that women’s issues are men’s issues too, because we all need to do better.
I want her to know that if she fails to teach her sons how to support women’s issues, that she is doing them a great disservice. Pretending they will always know to treat everyone equally and won’t pick up on societal attitudes about gender, race, and religion is ignoring the problem.
I want the author to believe that her sons are not threatened by feminism. Because manliness, strength, valor, and chivalry should be valued equally as femininity, tenderness, sympathy, and respect.