May 7, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Last time I pointed out the knee-bending irony of feminist Leah McLaren’s decision to make a little girl out of her three-year-old son. Fortunately the child has yet to go under the knife, but McLaren is doing all she can to indoctrinate him into the supposed ways of little girls. Being the radical feminist that she is, she’s doing that because she doesn’t want the child to grow up to be a man (or at least what McLaren and her ilk believe men to be), because, you know, Men Bad, Women Good.
The irony of course comes into play when McLaren, like so many radical feminists, tries to at once assume that her son is the way he is because of his sex and that, with a few well-chosen interventions (ballet classes, a garland of dandelions) she can make him, well, something else. According to her mushy thinking, he’s biologically determined up until Mommy’s influence takes over.
No serious person takes McLaren seriously. For one thing, it never occurs to her that her son may be doing nothing more than asserting his individuality toward her. His actions may simply mean that, if Mommy wants me to do this, or enjoy that, I won’t. He may well be doing what is entirely healthy and normal in a child and that has nothing whatever to do with his like or dislike of flowers. In that way too, McLaren needs some adult lessons in how to be a decent parent.
As I said yesterday, the only one who needs an intervention is McLaren. Someone who has a clue about healthy parenting of children should take her aside and explain that what she’s doing is an example of very serious child abuse. McLaren should then be required to demonstrate that she’s mended her ways, understands how wrong she is and will begin treating her son with the respect he’s due as an autonomous individual.
All that is clear enough. But what’s more important is McLaren’s unquestioning belief that there is one set of behaviors that we call masculine and an entirely different one that’s feminine. Being the radical feminist she is, that naturally takes a misandric tone. So, because her son rejects a flower, she asks herself “[W]hat’s next? Kindness? Decency? Dancing?" Because, in her mind, love of flowers is feminine; boys hate flowers. And of course kindness, decency and dancing are also feminine traits. Boys and men are incapable of all three.
Hers is pretty standard-issue misandry of the type we’ve heard from feminists for 150 years or so. In that way, it’s not particularly noteworthy except in regard to her son and his chance at living a healthy, happy life. But McLaren’s assumptions about male and female behavior is what’s truly alarming and altogether strange. Simply put, she believes (and wants he readers to believe) that masculinity is a certain set of behaviors beyond which no man or boy may venture.
That of course is just shrieking nonsense. The most casual look at the world today or the history of the human race tells us immediately that, since at least the beginning of recorded time, masculinity has embraced an astonishing array of behaviors. Yes, every parent knows that little boys and little girls tend very strongly to behave in different ways. Sex-based differences in behavior manifest themselves very early in life. Very early.
But the fact remains that men and boys express masculinity in countless different ways. The poet, the artist, the priest stand beside the warrior and the king. So do the scientist, the explorer, the entrepreneur, the doctor, the lawyer, the engineer, the father, the inventor, etc. Charlemagne was a man, but so was Oscar Wilde. Jesus and the Buddha were men. So is Charles Manson. So is the Dalai Lama. Any understanding of men or masculinity that doesn’t embrace all that and much more is no understanding of masculinity at all.
The point being that what we’ve come to call “masculine” behavior is actually just a tiny sliver of the whole. Nowadays, anything aggressive, violent or stoical qualifies as masculine; nothing else need apply. The Rock is masculine, Mr. Rogers is not. Except of course both are. Unsurprisingly, those descriptors closely mirror the feminist take on men. Feminists have been describing men for decades now – wrongly – but describing them anyway, and their descriptions run to form.
Sure enough, popular discourse wants to squeeze men into that narrow box constructed by feminism. In this, as in so much else, feminism is not only wrong, it’s obviously so. The boy who spurns dolls for toy cars and trucks may grow up to be Monet and make beautiful paintings of flowers while maintaining an extensive garden of them. The boy who pushes his little brother down during play may become a priest teaching us to love our neighbor.
They’re all men. Because they’re all men, their behavior is per se masculine. The expression of masculinity is vast and always has been. Dangerous fools like McLaren will never admit it, but men come in all sorts and no attempt to restrict what is “masculine” to a few traits, to a cartoon version of the real thing will ever be successful.
McLaren’s assumptions are factually wrong. Her abuse of her child is morally wrong.
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