On the flip side of the hit post about Emily Heist Moss’s open letter to her harassers, we have the B-side (I know this metaphor marks me as a fogy ): my objections to a New York Times essay by Lynn Messna, who declares that she doesn’t want her son to be gentleman, because gentlemen are sexist.
“Start to complain about your preschooler adopting gentlemanly behavior and you quickly discover how out of step you are with the rest of the world. Almost everyone I mention it to thinks it’s lovely and sweet. What’s the harm in teaching little boys to respect little girls?..But I don’t think it’s an overreaction to resent the fact that your son is being given an extra set of rules to follow simply because he’s a boy. His behavior, already constrained by a series of societal norms, now has additional restrictions. Worse than that, he’s actively being taught to treat girls differently, something I thought we all agreed to stop doing, like, three decades ago. Continue reading