I took my daughter to see 'Brave' this past week. As beautiful as the animation was, I was horrified by the defiant feminist message and the way my daughter understood what the movie meant. (Read review: 'Brave' Proves It's Anti-Princess By Being Anti-Boy) In the movie the men were either really silly or really cruel. Girls are better than boys because they are smarter and better at fighting, and they don't need to get married. They also don't need to listen to a mother who is trying to help them become a woman. I agree with the message that people should marry for love, but I also think they should be taught that great sacrifices made in marriage bring about the best kind of love - not selfishly doing whatever you want and hurting whoever gets in your way.
The bottom line is that men and women are both wonderful and necessary to a child's growth and development, and they can strike a wonderful balance in family life. Our entire nation's stability rests on strong families. I married a man who isn't an idiot, nor is he cruel. He has a deep need to provide, protect, and guide, just like I have a need to nurture and to be loved passionately and with commitment. Women have biological clocks, but I believe that men have something like that as well. Men need to take care of women and children. They need to build, and protect, or they go nuts. If that need is taken from them or belittled they check out (video games anyone?).
The best thing we can do for the men we love and the little boys we raise is to help them fulfill their needs as well as our own. If that means acts of chivalry to help them respect and take care of women, so be it. Raising three sons and a daughter is amazing. They are all so different, but my boys are really boys. Kids aren't unisex, no matter how badly society wants them to be. My boys always want to fix things and protect things. It is ingrained. The more I give them responsibility and ask them to help me out, the happier they are. They still love to play video games, but more than anything, they love to take care of their mom and help out a damsel in distress. The best thing we can do for our men and boys is to ask them for help, not because we need it (I actually do a lot of the time) but because they need it to become men.
Women complain about men not understanding their needs and I think that when we began opening our own doors the men stopped being trained to look for needs to fill. It's time to ask for help and train them to watch out for doors to open and ways to help.