As a mother of two boys ( now young men) I am becoming increasingly concerned about the current ‘girl power’ trend which seems to involve a lot of men-bashing.
My son’s school has recently published exam results which show a significant gap between the boys and girls’ grades (in favour of the girls). If this had been the other way around, there would have been a big fuss and parents would have been informed about what action the school would take to improve the girls’ grades. Yet there has been no mention of the underperformance of the boys.
I have just picked up Glamour Magazine which proudly declares on the front cover that the issue is ‘100% Made By Women’. Can you imagine if a Men’s magazine had made this claim for men? There would be an outcry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am delighted that women are achieving more and feeling confident, after all I am one, but this doesn’t have to be at the expense of our boys and men. Men- bashing is sexist too and we really shouldn’t indulge in it. Men can be sensitive and thoughtful, but they often don’t display this in an obvious way like women. Think of the firemen ( mostly men) who had to deal with the recent Grenfell fire in London. Their faces were contorted with the horror of the situation, but they carried on for hour after hour. This shows men at their best.
I understand that there are many cultures and countries who still put men on a pedestal, where there is a long way to go before women are treated equally. But this bears no comparison to how we operate in the UK, Europe or the US and we do not need to undermine men to be successful. Their failure does not fuel our success. It is not acceptable to exclude men, or for boys to perform worse than girls in exams, or for women to behave arrogantly. For a happy society men need to be recognised for their qualities and for the important role that they play. Boys must be brought up to respect women and treat them equally, but the reverse it true too. So let’s celebrate all our young people, boys and girls, and not replace sexism with more sexism.