The other day a friend on FB posted a short video entitled “The 3 Worst Words to say to your Son.” They are, according to the video, here, “Be a Man.” They come from the Representation Project and the goal, from the website, is to change the perception our media portrays of men and women.
Been thinking on this…
There will always be fathers who, frankly, are idiots. Can’t change that. But, the initial video bothered me because no alternative was offered. It didn’t say what we should tell our sons. And I find, in our society, boys are not encouraged to be boys. People don’t seem to appreciate that male emotional expressions are different from female… or that it is okay. We haven’t just feminized emotion. We’ve said that’s the way emotions look. We are remarkably clear in our society on what is wrong with males, and seemingly most particularly that they are male. No one seems to be seeking to demonstrate how potency, resolve, camaraderie, honor, silliness or even ironic humor are all worthy of respect and encouragement. Not to say women can’t experience these things but they don’t seem to make the same emotional expression of them as most males (figuring we are all on a spectrum of one sort or another with majorities at ends). The manner of emotional expression in males has not been sufficiently explored or appreciated.
So… here are some words you can say to a son…
It’s okay to be silly.
Rough housing is fun.
Show me what you made.
Seek after wisdom.
Make a friend.
Can you take me with you?
Do you want to help me?
Try it again.
Don’t worry about crying.
All men cry.
We’re going exploring.
I’m taking you out of school so we can go to the movies.
You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
That’s how human beings work.
That’s not how human beings work.
Wow! That must hurt. Want to give another shot in a minute?
Tell me a story.
When we marry somebody we become partners in life.
Choosing that can damage your soul and that’s not a good thing to choose.
Always kiss your mom good-bye.
I love you.
It says Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Seems to me that if that’s true, some of these kinds of words were probably said to him as well. Just some thoughts…