How To Raise a Feminist Son
Reading this book by Sonora Jha has been so very helpful in making me reflect on my thoughts and feeling that were until now so very reticent. It has also profoundly made me think deeply about so many normative aspects of our society, many that which we should question.
When I look back, I know I grew up without much-guided values regarding feminism and I think with a lot of toxic masculinity. There are many things I regret doing as a boy and most of them qualify as sexual assaults by me on my female playmates. I look back and feel ashamed of the things that I did.
I also think about the conversations I have had with my sons and have come to reflect that I could have been a better father, a better adult. There are many small things I overlooked, such as when I said, "Are you a girl?" when my son cried because he was afraid of needles in the hospital. But now I can say, "Boys and men also cry". I can become a better father, thank you, Sonora Jha!
Reading the book has opened my eyes to my own past and has made me cringe at the wrongdoings even later in college. How some of my friends would brazenly talk bout their sexual exploits and I simply admired them. I was so very wrong. I was so very wrong in objectifying girls and women as sexual things.
Even later as a husband, I was on many accounts mansplaining my wife. I was mansplaining the woman I considered the love of my life. How could I do that? I feel sad and ashamed as a husband, I was only ostentatious in my love if I could not respect her views and opinions. I can be a better husband, thank you, Sonora!
I will now not let this happen to my children and every child I connect with as a teacher. I want to be more assertive as I guide them, I want to mindfully converse with them and I want them to internlise respect for girls and women. I am so very grateful that I met Sonora!
A community where men and boys respect girls and women is a harmonious space. And as a man, a father, and a teacher, I need to constantly be aware of the choices I make when conversing with the young and the way I treat the mother of my children and other women.
I liked to think that I was a feminist but I wasn't in many ways. There are so many strands of my thoughts and actions that I need to rethink as a father and especially as a man. I need to talk to my children about sexuality, I need to make better choices with the digital media that I and my children consume. I need to rebuild my thoughts and understanding of feminism. I can't say enough, I would rather you read the book.
Thank you, Sonora Jha!