Teaching Our Daughter To Not Take Shit

The patriarchy starts young

Sometimes I watch my son spin on the floor, enraged because of a toy or some shit. I have the same feelings, I just repress them because I'm an adult. I guess that's being a man. The heart remains a child.

Then I watch my daughter give in to him, and I wonder. How are we raising her? She just gives up the toy if he screams enough. To keep the peace. Is that just being a woman? And should it be?

Grown men barely repress our rage. We make personal, interpersonal, and international messes and expect women to clean them up. And women do. Look at every woman standing behind a cheating politician at a press conference. Look inside your own families, at who's keeping the peace (on average). Just look at Artie Bucco:

Artie here pulls the tablecloth off a table, leaving his wife to apologize while he storms off in a rage. Women have been doing this for generations. We call women more emotional, but that's a joke. Anger is an emotion, and men are full of it.

We don't want our daughter to grow up the same way. We don't want her to do the group assignments while some dude does the presentation. We don't want her to, like, help discover DNA and get written out of history by blokes. We certainly don't want her to be in a relationship like that. So we try to change.

Telling kids stuff is almost pointless unless you show them too. To be honest I was largely blind to this issue until my wife pointed it out, I'm probably doing it myself.  A lot of our society is based on 'boys being boys' (even when they're men) and women dutifully cleaning up. But fuck that, right? Why not avoid the mess in the first place?

So we tell her to not give him that toy. When he throws a tantrum about the toy we pay attention to her, so he's not sucking the oxygen out of the room. I don't mean to pick on the boy, he was born screaming and that's just the way he is. He's not the patriarchy, but the patriarchy does start young. Children learn it at home, they learn it at school. We're from a generation that at least knows it's wrong. We can help our young ones get ahead.

The way we the world is now, we're letting men rage and scream and women just get out of the way to keep the peace. But the abscence of violence is not peace. We're in a state of perpetual structural violence because the bad guys are getting away with it. Boys being boys, making noise, and screaming for all the toys. And they get them. That's the real terror tactic, being so unpleasant that you just get your way. And it works. This is the patriarchy.

The patriarchy is a fundamentally family institution, and change has to come from the family. From yours and mine. We have to teach our daughters not to take shit, and our sons to not give it. Lord knows the world is in deep enough already.