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Does he wash up?

 

helpingdaddy

Driving the kids home from school lately is a chore.

For at least a month there have been road works at a busy intersection I need to cross. At peak times it takes five or six turns of the traffic lights to get through. Annoying. Much.

So this afternoon instead of watching the snails slime by I flicked on the radio in an effort to keep the kids amused. There was a song playing that sounded snappy so I turned the volume up- nice and loud.

“Why’d ya do that?” my son (11) said.

“Because it’s catchy.” I replied.

“That song is sexist.” he stated.

I paid a bit more attention to the lyrics. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong.

“Why?” I asked him “Is the film clip rude?”

“No mum” he said mildly annoyed at my dumbness “it makes boys look bad.”

 Oh. Sexist.

Against men.

 Does he wash up? Never wash up
Does he clean up? No, he never cleans up
Does he brush up? Never brushed up
He does nothing the boy does nothing

He was right. Although I suspect the song is more about dancing moves than heavy-handed-man-bashing. But nevertheless it’s true- it does mambo-tunefully paint the ‘boy’ in a not so grand a light.

That got me thinking about the world I’m bringing my son up in.

As a woman it’s important to stand up for what is right and perhaps even more so for what is wrong. But does that mean we need to swing the power all the way to one side before it lands in a sensible middle?

It’s okay to teach our girls that they deserve equal wages and equal rights and equal consideration when paying for a dinner bill, but have we have also taught them that it’s not okay to put down women but it is okay to put down men?

Isn’t that a strange hypocrisy?

I don’t want my son living in a world where he is discriminated against because he is a male just as much as I don’t want my daughter growing up in a world where she is discriminated against because she is a female.

“Why do you think it’s sexist?” I asked him

“Well,” he pondered for a second “she’s singing how useless ‘the boy’ is.” And then like most conversations with eleven year old boys we were suddenly off on a tangent, albeit a related one- “And you know what everyone thinks-‘ he said “men want a wife that can cook.”

“And what do you think of that?” I asked him.

“It’s true you know [and he listed of several men in our family who actually do act that way] I don’t know why- it’s just the way they think.”

“No,” I repeated “ I asked you what you thought about that?”

“Oh” he said “Well I’ll cook when I get married.” he looked me and then added “I’ll cook sometimes…Okay I’ll cook a lot, no…I’ll cook always. Errr,’ he grumbled “I’ll cook whenever she wants me too.”

 The traffic lights were still red. I turned off the radio.

One Response to “Does he wash up?”

  1. carladelvex says:

    Yes- in the pic is my son- aged about one and a half!
    This is one of my fave pics. My kitchen has changed a lot since then…as has my son.

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