Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Man Child

A post by Ken on Pattern Men

Growing up, I always wanted to have girls when I had kids. In a shallow way this was based in a desire to be worshipped by little toddling daughters who would wait at the window watching for me to get home from work every day. Deeper, however, it was rooted in the fact that if there's one thing I've tried to live by, it's to not add to the problems of the world. In my experience of the course of my life, men are a problem. The "good" ones seem to be good only by comparison. Men as a whole in this society are held to a remarkably low standard, and everyone thinks it's funny.

I don't.

Men have tempers they don't control, and when they're alpha enough, nothing is done about it. Men watch football instead of care for their families. Men teach their children to believe everything they believe, and get pissed off if they're different. Men treat women like shit, unless they're "good" men, who treat women like crap. Men don't have real friendships because of the intense homophobia that colors every action we have to take. That was a big one.

Hug a certain way, or people might think you're gay. Just sit and watch the game, don't talk about anything remotely emotional. Dancing is for pansies, even if it's with a woman. No reading-- that's what women and gay men do.

Maybe it's different in different regions of the U.S. This is the culture I grew up in. These were the men and the male culture I knew. After 18 or so I didn't really have or make male friends anymore. Not that I didn't meet guys who I had things in common with. It's just that they all depressed me.  I just couldn't take it. Any adult male friendship was all about events, or parties, or shared hobbies. There's nothing wrong with friendships building through those activities, but they never did. The conversation was so much banal bullshit, and either no one felt it but me, or like me no one really knew how to do things differently. And so many, many men are emotionally crippled because of it.

So, a while back, I found out Barbie and my second baby is going to be a boy. A male. A genuine son. I sat in the ultrasound room stunned after the technician told us. Barely noticed the rest of the show (he has a huge penis, btw, the little tyke).  I was convinced that, like our first baby, he would be a girl. Had names picked out and everything. Another wonderful, beautiful baby girl to drain my wallet and make me smile for the rest of my life. No dice.

Sitting there, I had to steel myself. Had to reconfigure my brain a bit. What the hell was I supposed to do with a boy? I'm not arrogant. I don't hold myself in such high esteem to think that I'll be able to succeed in raising a good man, where roughly 99% of the population seems to fail. Hell, I don't even know what a good man is. All I know is the men who surround me aren't.

In the end, though, I'm thoroughly excited to meet my new baby. And I'm ready. Ready to give it my best shot. I want to help build a strong man, full of knowing how to tell for himself what's right from wrong instead of having other people make up his mind for him.  If he's strong, I'll try to help him become a gentle giant-- the kind of kid who only ever hits somebody when they're picking on someone weaker. I don't know if he'll be okay, in the end. Society is a difficult adversary. But I do know that at some point most boys are okay. Most are good, and sensitive, and stronger in their hearts than in their chests. At some points it's society that pulls them one way or another. All I hope is that one day I'll look at my son with utter pride at how he's grown. How different he is from all the men who made me fear the thought of raising a son. How much he knows and thinks and loves and feels. All I can do is try, and maybe, just maybe, instead of just not adding to the problems of the world, I can actually help correct them.

No comments:

Post a Comment