Posts tagged ‘Child’

Some Things Never Change

A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

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A recent Gallup poll surveyed Americans about their preference in the sex of their children. Just as in 1941, Americans prefer boys.  Perhaps the only change since 1941 is that it’s the men who are causing our preferences. Women basically have no statistically significant preference either way. They are split pretty evenly with about a third preferring a girl, a third preferring a boy, and another third having no preference whatsoever.

Men want boys. Just why is that? Is it because they hate girls? I like to think not, but you have to wonder with nearly 50% of American men having a clear preference for boys. Maybe they just wish the best life for their children and prefer to have boys so that their children will have more opportunities and have a better chance for a happier life. That argument makes sense. Men still make more money, hold more positions of power, and do far less work around the house. It’s pretty cool to be a man, or a husband, at least.

Maybe they just think boys are easier to raise. You don’t have to worry as much about them being molested or raped or getting pregnant. No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” perfectly illustrates the difference between growing up a daughter versus growing up a son in America. Boys cause trouble; they don’t get into it. Or at least, that’s the prevailing myth.

I was on a manosphere website once where one of the participants commented that women were using abortion in order to practice sex selection as a form of gender genocide. I kid you not. However, this article sounds like, if anything, the opposite is happening. Couples are using technology to ensure the selection of boys. If this is a significant trend, it will have disastrous consequences in years to come.

There is another possibility besides plain old misogyny or wanting a better life for your child…there is the possibility that American men prefer boys because they will carry on the family name. Maybe their reason for wanting to procreate is to perpetuate the family name, carry on the family line.

This brings me to another example of sexism in our culture. Women get married and take on their husband’s names. They willingly do so. But why is it that no one ever asks why the family name has to be the husband’s name? I wonder how many men would still prefer boys if their sons didn’t carry their names but their daughters did.

Follow me here. What if two people get married and instead of the wife taking the husband’s name and the kids taking the husband’s name we did something different? What if a man named Smith marries a woman named Johnson. They become the Smith-Johnson family. Any female children get the last name Smith. Any male children get the last name Johnson. Maybe they go by Smith-Johnson until they strike out on their own or until they get married when the boys drop the Smith, and the girls drop the Johnson to include a spouse’s name.

It’s much more equitable. I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, anymore than I would expect to see the Equal Rights Amendment passed. The fact is that women have shot themselves in the foot. Right now we’re a little over half the population of America. If we wanted to mobilize and get to the polls and vote we could have passed that law a long time ago, or any other law you care to name. We could have formed our very own political party. But we traded all that for the dangling carrot of a princess wedding and a diamond ring.

June 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm 8 comments

Working Moms Cause Childhood Obesity; Yeah, Right! And I’m the Pope!

Crop of Children with various body composition...

Image via Wikipedia

I found an article on the internet today that’s just plain silly and blatantly sexist. Not surprisingly, it’s featured on Fox News. The article mentions a study conducted by a female graduate student that attempts to correlate the amount of hours a mother works per week with her child’s increased chances of being obese, as compared to moms who stay at home.

This article is so biased it incensed me. You know, in American society most of the time a man and a woman have a child together, and then they, together, have to feed and care for the child. That is a joint responsibility that all too frequently ends up on Mom’s checklist. Dad’s checklist hasn’t changed: go to work and bring home the bacon, mow the lawn, take the trash out, and fix stuff when it’s broken. Mom’s checklist has changed: care for kids and husband and make sure they have food and medical care and a clean, warm, comfortable home, and bring home the bacon.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that women work. If you’re a stay at home parent of either gender, I applaud you as well. If you can afford to do so, then children are always better cared for when a loving parent stays home with them. But not everyone has that luxury. The single dad doesn’t. The single mom doesn’t. The couples who work for low wages don’t.

Why didn’t the study attempt to correlate the amount of time that parents spend working with childhood obesity? Why didn’t the study take into account stay at home dads? Why didn’t the study also look at gay and lesbian couples who raise children? Why are we once again targeting mothers as being solely responsible for their child’s well-being and not calling fathers to task as well?

I’ll tell you why. This is the feminist backlash at work once again. Keep those women barefoot and pregnant! Don’t give them career options, fool! Marry them young and hot and make sure that they don’t ever crawl out from under your thumb. If they can make as much money as men can, then they will figure out that they don’t need men. The sad thing about the feminist backlash is just how many women help some men to perpetuate this inequality, ones like the stupid bitch woman who conducted this study.

Many women don’t need men nowadays, but that’s not a bad thing. We still want them. We still love them. And wouldn’t it be a better feeling for both sexes to know that we’re in relationships with people that we respect and love instead of people that we want to merely use for their wallets or their housekeeping services? Wouldn’t you like to know that your woman has choices, and she chose you just because you’re you?

There may be a connection between women working and children being obese, but it doesn’t mean that there’s a cause and effect relationship. The cause of children, or anyone, being fat is taking in more calories than you burn. If you want to lose weight, then eat less and move more. It’s that simple. It has nothing to do with whether or not your mom works or how many hours she does work.

The article surmises that women who work don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, and so the childrens’ diets suffer as a result. Why is this automatically the mom’s fault? Where is dad in this equation? Did he skip out? Is he working, too? How come he can’t help out and make a healthy meal? Did he lose the use of his hands?

I sometimes wonder on this blog why I seem to be in the tiny minority of people in the world who can recognize this injustice for exactly what it is. I told the woman who sits next to me at work how I felt, and she understood. She’s expecting a baby in two more months, and she and her husband can’t afford for either of them to quit working. These aren’t frivolous people. They own one car that they share, and they live in a one bedroom apartment in a reasonably priced neighborhood. She gets it.

February 5, 2011 at 12:11 am 18 comments

Doubt in Real Life

Fans protest Michael Jackson's innocence in th...

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Lots of adults in authority positions with children and teenagers abuse these positions. Teachers, counselors, doctors, priests and ministers, among others, are guilty of abusing power. However, we all know that there are lots of really great examples of adults that work with youth. Lots of great people extend a hand and an ear to kids that are sometimes deeply troubled. With kids unlikely to report their abusers in these situations how do we figure out who’s guilty and who’s innocent?

I worked with children and youth in a large protestant denomination while I was in college and in my early twenties, as both a paid staff person and a volunteer. Among the many things we had to study was how to protect ourselves from being wrongly accused of improper conduct with a minor, what was suspicious behavior, and what types of behavior in a child or teen could indicate possible abuse. For instance, you wouldn’t want to invite a teen over to your home for a visit if another adult were not present as a witness. It’s sad that something so possibly innocent has to be avoided at all costs but what’s sadder is when a child is molested or a person’s reputation is needlessly ruined.

I was working a camp with a couple of other youth workers who were friends of mine one summer when I was still in college. One of the youth workers was a volunteer and a college friend of mine that we’ll call Violet. The other was a youth minister from a large urban church that I had met at several of these types of functions, and we had struck up a nice friendship. I’ll call him Paul. He later went on to seminary and now is a very successful ordained minister with a small town congregation.

At that time in my life I was very active in the church and active in my campus ministry organization. I had a friend that we’ll call James. I went to high school with him, but we only really hit it off in college, through the campus ministry. James wasn’t at the camp with Violet, Paul and me. James had graduated the year before and was trying to secure a position as a full time youth minister without much luck.

I didn’t know it, but Paul and James knew each other. Paul was not a big fan of James. What? Not a big fan of James?! Who wouldn’t love James? Why, he was funny and kind and smart! I had worked around him with children on a daily basis, and he was good with them. James and I had a pact to marry if neither one of us was hitched by the time I turned forty. Why wouldn’t Paul like James?

That’s when Violet and Paul told me that they would let me in on a little secret, but I had to promise not to tell James. It seems that Paul and James had worked a camp together the summer before. At this camp James had been witnessed doing some suspicious things with one of the campers. He spent an inordinate amount of time talking, alone, with a boy. Since he was the boy’s camp counselor he was assigned the same cabin as his sleeping quarters. He’d been witnessed more than once sitting in the boy’s bunk at night and touching him while they talked, not inappropriately, but touching. He’d been talked to about this behavior by one of the camp leaders and had afterward still persisted in the behavior.

After he told me about his experience with James, Paul told me something else. There was a statewide “blacklist” for children’s protection, of people whom the church leaders had deemed inappropriate to work with children. This list was often consulted by churches in our denomination before they made a decision on whether or not to hire or even interview a potential youth worker.

At that point in time in my life it didn’t seem fair to me that James should be judged so harshly and labeled a possible pedophile based on the flimsy “evidence” that had been provided. Basically, what got him thrown on that list was one person reporting his suspicion of inappropriate conduct. Any one of us could have been added to that list. Once, at a lock in, I took a sixteen-year-old boy out to the church parking lot by ourselves and taught him how to drive a stick shift, using my car, until it occurred to me how it might look to others.

To make a long story short, I broke my confidence to Paul and Violet and let James know why he wasn’t able to secure a youth position. James confronted the church authorities in question, and Paul confronted me over the phone. He is a gracious man who has since forgiven me, but I regret having done it. James later secured a youth ministry position in another state and then came back for a successful stint in youth ministry at his home church, the one that he grew up in, where they’ve known him since he was a baby. He’s in seminary now. James and I are no longer friends for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is my nagging doubts remaining over this issue. I do wish James well. I hope that there is nothing to doubt.

June 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

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