Saturday morning, I was drinking my coffee and reading the paper while Will was checking out the latest Treehouse offering. By the time I was finished the first section – I just put the paper down and looked at my boy and considered what the true meaning of being a man is.
Toronto journalist Christie Blatchford wrote a column on the sissifying of Toronto men. Now look, I’m a writer. I get how at times, you write in a overly dramatic fashion to get people talking. So bravo Christie. You have me talking. And you had me
in a massive rage thinking all weekend.
She starts the article by being horrified by two groups of teen boys running into each other on the street and …god forbid…HUGGING! She continues on with references to UFC (maybe she missed the article this week on a UFC fighter being fired for his joking tweet about a rape van..wow, that’s manly.) She ends with a ‘tongue in cheek’ bit on how all boys should know how to fart on cue; take down a bully and kill bugs – but not hug. *Sigh*
The second piece in the paper was a letter to the editor about how a ‘real man’ would have tried to stop Marc Lepine’s shooting rampage in Montreal. This man ends his letter by saying THAT is the real shame of the Montreal Massacre and of our time. I looked over at Will and thought – really? Is jumping into that situation his responsibility? If I had a daughter – would I want her to be attempting to stop a shooting rampage? As a mother, I’d be shocked if any of the mothers of the victims of the Montreal Massacre blame any man who was at the scene.
Have I missed something? When did the clock start moving backwards? When did we reenter the dark ages of men needing to club men over the head and women needing to be protected by the stronger, tougher sex?
I am a single woman raising a boy. I will feel successful at raising Will to be a man if he is honest and compassionate. If he’s respectful of different cultures. If he is inclusive to all. If he’s a good friend. If he’s able to get love and receive love freely. If he’s able to give something back to his community. If he’s able to make people feel better about themselves.
And you know what Christie Blatchford – my kid’s a hugger and I truly hope he stays that way forever. Because no matter what kind of day someone is having; how sad they are; what they’re going through..a hug makes everyone feel better…feel connected. And that is the meaning to being a man.