Mary and I were talking yesterday about how difficult it is to raise boys in this culture, and I argued it’s difficult to raise anyone. We have to raise boys, now, to be better than the people around them. We have to teach them kindness when their coach is teaching them aggression. We have to teach them empathy when their schoolmates are teaching them competitiveness. We have to teach them compassion and tenderness in a world that wants them to scheme and battle. In a world that feminizes compassion.
In short, we have to raise boys the way we raise girls: to be better than their society. To know their bodies are their own, and that they are beautiful and miraculous. We teach girls to be smart and pursue art and science and math and history and football and whatever the fuck they’re interested in. We teach them to play bass. To play drums. We teach them to surround themselves with people who read, people who question, people who make art. We teach them to treat the earth with care. We teach them to help others, to cooperate. And our boys deserve these same lessons.
They deserve to learn kindness from birth. To treat all humans as worthy and important. We have to teach our boys to be better. Better than their society dictates. Better than their flimflam politicians, better than this terrible notion of more more more. We have to start at the center. We have to start now.