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Et tu, American Psychological Association? If anyone was going to hold the line on masculinity’s being a psychologically healthy phenomenon, this descendant of social workers would have hoped it would be mental health professionals. Instead, the APA released guidelines for treating the traditionally masculine, those recognizable by their “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence,” as problems to be fixed.
Flipping through this report was eye-opening, as well as hair-raising. In those pages, male behavior reads like a social pathology. That’s certainly one way to view half the world’s population. In the past, I might have noted it’s not a particularly constructive way. However, given recent trends related to American men and boys, destructive might be a better descriptor.
Times - Strangers - Men - Sympathy - Girls
The first three times I was pregnant, strangers — overwhelmingly men — expressed sympathy when they heard I was carrying girls. To a man, they sounded convinced I was about to take on the harder, unenviable job of having to raise and protect a daughter in 21st-century America.
I wasn’t fazed by that prospect. Hailing from a family tree full of sisters, I felt fully prepared to raise strong daughters. It wasn’t until last spring, when I learned that baby number four would be a boy, that I experienced my own very real fear.
Daughter - Sleep - Idea - Boy - Boys
While I could have mothered a fourth daughter in my sleep, I realized I had no idea what to do with a little boy. Sure, I had observed boys at preschool and their penchant for dirt, trucks, and running around, but that felt inadequate. How did those boys eventually become admirable men?
I want to raise a righteous and courageous man, who stands up for what he believes and protects those who are weaker. However, getting from point A to point B isn’t exactly obvious —...
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