Raising Boys Who Help in a World Where Girls are Taught Not to Need it

gender roles

It is an odd way to start a blog, the words don’t flow well, it’s not concise, but it is clear. And I don’t want anyone to be confused about what I am trying to say about gender roles. Because the internet is fun and sometimes when I say “the door is red” people will argue in the comment section about why someone would paint a door yellow. So, clarity first.

This is my boy. He ran to grab a ladder to fix a swing after it broke and his sister fell. He said to her “if I had known it was going to break, I would have fixed it before you fell.” This is where we find ourselves, friends. Sitting in swings that are about to break.

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gender roles

Yet, in this modern world, we would suggest the girl fix the swing herself. I’m okay with that, I enjoy fixing things. You know what I enjoy even more? A man showing love by taking care of me.

It’s odd that we scoff at men who attempt to open doors for women. Can I open my own door, of course! Do I prefer to let my man express his love for me by opening it for me? Absolutely.

Sometimes it’s our own perspective that creates feelings, not actions of others. If we perceive that men open doors for women because they believe us to be incapable then we become insulted by the action.

Are we offended by our perception or by action?

This is the question we must ask.

I believe in women. Women are a powerful force in this country. Some of the people I admire the most are strong, accomplished women. I love to encourage women to do all the things they desire- if they align with the convictions of the Holy Spirit, of course.

I am FOR women. I am FOR men. We can be both.

I want to achieve my dreams while holding the hand of my man, not while stepping on his head.

Masculinity is not something to be feared rather it is to be appreciated just as we appreciate femininity.

I’ve met men who made my skin crawl. I’ve been the target of unwanted remarks and advances. I’ve seen the worst of men.

But I have also seen the best of men.

And on this day in the picture, when my six-year-old son wanted to help his sister, it was because it’s what his daddy does. Not because he thought she was weak or ignorant. He wanted to care for her because he loves her.

I’m afraid if we don’t start shifting this conversation about masculinity back to facts we are all going to fall out of broken swings.

Some men are bad. Some women are bad. Not all people are bad.

I’ll keep teaching my sons to help their sisters. I’ll keep teaching my daughters to help their brothers. I can’t imagine a world where this isn’t the right thing to do.

Let’s change the conversation. We can achieve more by working together. It’s not about gender roles. Sometimes my husband cooks dinner while I cut the grass. It’s about respect. I won’t assume all men are jerks because of the few I’ve met that are.

When I achieve my greatest dream, my man will be right beside me. And on the way in, I bet he will open the door.

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Jenn Kish
Jenn Kish is a popular southern blogger, motivational speaker and Christian writer experienced in developing non-fiction narrative for a variety of parent-centric publications. She challenges women throughout the nation to do hard things daily. Jenn and her husband Jared are raising six children together in the mountains of North Georgia. When she is not blogging or working on her upcoming book, Jenn can be found hiding in her closet eating sprinkles.