Saturday, March 1, 2014

Man Bashing Culture

I've never been that great at math (or really any subject except music), but here's my equation for the day:

I'm not a feminist in the modern sense. I don't believe that men and women are the same. I think it's fine to let girls play with dolls and boys play with blocks. I love wearing makeup and dresses and jewelry. I enjoy making dinner for my family every day. More than anything else I do, being a wife and mother are the most important jobs in my life. And unfortunately, many women today think this view is shameful and degrading to women. 

This is because people automatically think that the statement "Men and women are not equal" means the same thing as this:


It doesn't. It simply means they are not the same. They are different. Just like an apple and an orange are different. And that's a GOOD THING! God made us this way. 

Those of you who knew me as a younger girl might be saying: "Hey. Wait a sec. You were the one who was always playing with bugs, wearing overalls with t-shirts, rolling in the mud, wrestling with other neighbors, and carrying around your older brother's alien action figures." Yes, I know. I used to be a tomboy. I would not have been caught dead in a dress. My mother had to force me to make myself look presentable (as in, not looking like I had just crawled out of a garbage dump). 

So I understand better than most that some people are naturally more "feminine" or "masculine" than others. But regardless of how much a woman enjoys her pearls, the fact of the matter is that women and men are not, and never will be, the same. Should they be shown equal love and respect? Of course. But are they able to do absolutely anything just as well as the opposite sex can? Not so much.

In particular, the role of a mother and a father are two completely different and vital roles that help shape a child. A mother simply cannot give her child the same values and lessons that a father can. Similarly, a father cannot help his child grow and learn in the same way that a mother does. This is why it is always a sad situation when families grow up without a mother or a father figure. Single parents, or families where either the mother or father are not emotionally or physically present (i.e., alcoholic, deployed, health issues, etc)  have the toughest job in the world because they are expected to do a job that is virtually impossible: be two people at once.

Society completely disregards these important roles in a family and thinks they can be filled by anyone. What really sparked my interest in this was the Olympic "Thanks Mom" commercials. My immediate thoughts after seeing these commercials were this:

1) Wow, that's awesome that they are showing so much appreciation for their moms.
2) But wait...what about the dads? Don't they have something to do with it too?

I really do think we live in a "man bashing" culture. It's just fine to give women credit for a job well done, but if a man does it? No big deal. Women can complain about the agony of childbirth or periods or PMS, but if a man complains about an ailment? He's being a wimp. And it's even worse for fathers. When a woman is pregnant, she must go through all the physical, emotional, and mental upheavals while the baby grows inside of her and after the baby is born. What does the man do? According to society, he has sex with her and gets her pregnant. And that's about it.

Well, I don't agree. I think that fathers go through the bad stuff too, except they are not allowed to say anything about it. Because if they do, God forbid, then we yell at them: "Excuse me, are YOU the one with an 8 pound watermelon inside of your uterus?" or "I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I'm too busy trying not to vomit for the fifth time today." or "Oh, poor thing, it must have been really difficult for you to contribute your genetic material to our baby." (By the way, yes, I've said all these things to my poor husband in my less-than-holy moments).

When I watch my child or someone I love suffer, I feel so helpless. It's the worst feeling in the world. That must be how most fathers feel as they watch their partners go through a difficult pregnancy, birth, postpartum depression, or even things like severe periods or PMS. In these cases, fathers imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she had to stand by and watch her son suffer and die.

In writing this, I realize that I am EXTREMELY blessed to have an amazing, supportive husband who is an exemplary father. I also grew up in a family where my own father was always there for me and loved me unconditionally. I understand that sadly not all fathers (or mothers, for that matter) are like this. Unfortunately, there is some truth to society's skewed view of a father's limited role in his family simply because there are men who just want to use a woman's body for their own instant gratification and be done with it. If the woman gets pregnant, well, she's on her own. But I don't think it's fair that all the good fathers out there must suffer because of the small percentage of bad guys. 

Why don't we say this more often:

 Just as much as moms.
What you bring to a family is essential and unable to be filled by anyone else, even mom.

You are your daughter's knight in shining armor.
You are your son's role model for what it means to be a man.

Your children look up to you in a way they do to no one else.
Your family appreciates everything you do (even though they might not always show it).

It's great that you like sports or hunting or video games or stupid movies like "Top Gun" that most women just don't get. You add something different to your family that no one else can.

And most of all:

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