Teach Your Children Well

Teach your children well……… it’s down to us now ladies. Well it always has been really. We’ve just devoted too much of ourselves to centuries of covering male insecurity!

All my life I have resisted aligning myself to feminism for fear of compromising my individuality and personal integrity. Now it’s quite clear to me that:

‘If we want to save the world we must let women in to stop men fighting it out’.

Today at Tescos, having paid for my petrol and leaving the kiosk, I stood back to give way to a lady who was clearly struggling with the step at the door. This blocked the doorway. A guy came up behind me and pushed my shoulder with his finger, just lightly but it was a push. I asked him please to not push me and turned my gaze to the woman trying to get through the door, hoping he would follow it. Perhaps he hadn’t noticed her plight. He prodded me again in the shoulder, harder this time. ‘Please don’t push me’ I said. ‘I’m not pushing you, I just want you to hurry up. Hurry up!’ he said forcefully. Finally (20 seconds later!) the lady got through the door and he pushed past me. ‘Bully?’ I said quietly. He turned as if to remonstrate but sensibly seemed to make a choice on the side of his being in a hurry and went straight to his car.

Now this event could be construed as some sexist offence, after all I suspect this chap would not have dreamt of prodding me in the shoulder had I been a man. However, as a result of my social conditioning, I chose to see the humanity in his behaviour. Perhaps he had a sick child in the car. But it made me ask myself, why don’t we teach our male children to use their brains to get along in the world instead of their brawn? They do pushing, shoving and fighting instinctively. We don’t need to nurture that bit. It’s destructive. Look around you. We need to give them some other stuff to work with.

He could have been taught to use pleasing people to get his needs met: “Excuse me, so sorry but could I squeeze through, thanks’. Instead, obviously compromised between his urge to impose his will over thinking it through (….. ‘even if I’ve got a sick child in the car, I’m probably going to get back to them quicker if I go with what’s happening here than against it and as an added bonus I’ll be being polite to two people’) he gave in to his baser urges, to dominate. Perhaps the buzz of dominating made him feel more effective, while my ego is probably boosted by demonstrating respect for others! Maybe for both of us its down to our genes and how we are trained genderwise……

So the only bit we can actually change is our values and attitudes and we all need to change. Women need to stop giving themselves away. We need all our resources to carry the world. We must stop giving men the benefit of the doubt and all our emotional goods because they can’t be bothered to learn how to have emotional goods themselves. We need to believe in ourselves and that our way is the best way……….enough to teach it to our children equally (boys and girls). It doesn’t have to be ‘them and us’, the war of the sexes…. it’s just time to redress the balance.

And men need to support all that……knuckle down and do the work, to save themselves.

Oh and the poor chap with the sick child in the car I invented for him? He was probably just a bit tired and emotional!

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