If you are someone who doesn't understand what feminism is or why anyone would ever claim to be a feminist, this TED Tuesday is for you. This TED video, from the perspective of a man and father, changed how I approach the issue, especially now as a mother.
During pregnancy, I often wondered how mothering would fit into my feminist viewpoint. Or how feminism would fit into my mothering viewpoint. I had become a feminist breeder and was curious about what kind of impact this would have on how I felt about certain issues.
I knew just how to handle myself if we had a girl. All the things I would say, the opportunities I would offer her.
But oh, no. We had a boy. A beautiful boy, but in regards to my feminism... seriously outside my realm of experience. It might seem strange, but amongst all the soul-searching questions I asked myself, one that appears and re-appears often is - "How will I raise my boy to be a respectful feminist?"
To be honest, simply avoiding gender stereotypes has been hard enough. And then to add this notion of raising a respectful young person who grows up to be conscientious and respectful to all genders, while remaining knowledgeable about hurtful preconceived ideas... Well, it will be a journey we will explore together to say the least.
Tony Porter's A Call to Men TED speech came at me out of left field. As he tells powerful and moving stories from his own life, he is honest and vulnerable - he allows himself to say what I have rarely heard men say before: Don't "act like a man." The cliche to "act like a man" alone is so telling about our social climate where young boys are told that if they don't demonstrate power and control (especially over women), then they aren't really a man - and if they aren't a man, they are worthless. As worthless as what? A woman?
Enjoy this video, and let me know what you think.