I’ve been a bit cranky today. I think it’s the @#$%@# Cub Scouts and their @#$%# patches. I’ve been sewing, you see, for about…one hundred and ninety seven years. My fingers hurt. *whine*
So anyhow, I’ve been…edgy. And I got into something of an email discussion over these stupid magnets. See, someone on an email list I’m on posted a link to a site that sells these, saying she had bought some of the “Boys are Stupid” ones for her daughter. Now, this woman has two daughters, one of whom is a very pretty teen. I understand having an attitude of guardedness in her situation. That doesn’t bother me at all. When my boys are teens I very well hope all the pretty girls they know have parents who keep an eye on them.
But. These sayings, which can be printed on magnets or t-shirts, are offensive. There are five pages of “boys are stinky” logos. I’m sorry, but would this be funny if they were saying things like “Girls are stupid. Throw rocks at them”?
Well, no. But it’s ok to say whatever you want to about boys. Sometime a few months ago I was in Costco with my boys (I can’t remember if I’ve already told you all this story. Sorry if I have). They were talking about the TV show Jimmy Neutron. Well, Max and Tre were. Raphael was throwing things out of the cart and giggling. Anyhow, they were commenting on something stupid Jimmy’s dad had said, and noticing the fact that he frequently says stupid things.
“Well, guys,” I said, “I don’t know why, but dads on TV are often stupid. Are the real dads you know like that?” They shook their heads.
“No,” I continued, “but for some reason the dads on TV are.” As we were having this conversation we passed a woman who was passing out samples. She overheard us and remarked,
“Honey, it’s not just on TV.” I turned and looked at her, but she continued blithely, “They’re all like that.” I smiled my sweetest smile.
“Well, I’m trying to teach my boys that that’s not their only option.” She looked at my three bright eyed little guys and SNORTED.
The thing is, I think this attitude does as much disservice to women as to men. If men are all bozos, then when your daughter settles for a bozo, how can you argue? How can we protest when men treat women badly, if men are at their core bad?
I grew up with a mom who used to change all the “men of God” references in hymns to “people of God.” When I was the child she was protecting I pretty much rolled my eyes at her or looked at the floor and pretended I was elsewhere. But now, as the mother, I understand. I gotta say this.
I know three boys. They’re not stupid.