A Dad’s Frustration With The Boymom Hashtag

Danny Thomas

By Danny Thomas


Today, I have somewhat of a rant …

or maybe a concern…
concern is a better word.

here is the source of my consternation:

I have three daughters…
every single one of them
laughs at farts
(so does their mother, but don’t tell her I told you)
and plays in the mud.

All three of them
like comic books
and want to be super heroes and ninjas
and fight bad guys and zombies.

And sometimes they want to be
the zombies
and the monsters and the bank robbers.

They stomp and shout
and wrestle and punch each other in the face
and there are days where they never stop moving from the time they wake up until they pass out.

They don’t listen…
they sweat and smell…
they like Hot Rods and Hot Wheels
and football..
and biking
and building stuff with tools
and skateboarding
and Star Wars
and Lego.

They are proud of their scars.

They hug good, and HARD.

And they love unconditionally…

I am not concerned that they exhibit these behaviors…

Not at all.

I am concerned that
even now
in the 21st century
there are voices out there in our culture
in our world
some inadvertently…
some surreptitiously…
telling them that for some reason
these things…
these activities
and behaviors
don’t belong to them

because they are girls.

Even some well intentioned…
feminist voices
do this…

My friends…
it’s the boymom hashtag and these lists i keep seeing of things that exclusively boyparents experience.

I’m sorry, I need to tread carefully because I have many close friends and colleagues who use this hashtag, and post or share these lists…

I am not attacking anyone here… but voicing a concern.

Every one of those behaviors or activities listed above
I have seen hashtagged as boymom
or on one of these lists of boy parents things…

This makes me furious.

I have no illusions about the differences in gender.
People are different and diverse
and I celebrate that.

What makes me uneasy is that the boymom hashtag and this mode…
this approach of defining or identifying behaviors and activities as gendered
is not celebrating diversity.

It is creating a division.

It feels divisive and limiting to say:
There is a way that you and I will never relate because my children are female.

It feels exclusive and restrictive to say:
There is a club – you’re not part of it – because of vaginas.

It feels dangerous to say:
These are the ways boys behave
These are the ways girls behave.

It feels like we figured out a few decades ago
that doesn’t do anybody any good.

I wonder what we are saying to our kids
our neighbors
our community
when we draw these lines
and define these behaviors as gendered.

Beyond me and my girls…
What does hashtagboymom say to boys who don’t laugh at farts – who aren’t loud – who’d rather play with dolls than cars, or rather dance than play football…?
And what does it say to their parents?

Where do they fit in?

I do not think of ballet, My Little Pony, and dress up as things that only girls do, and I don’t define myself as a parent by the fact that my girls do these things…
and moreover…
they don’t do them at the exclusion of swords, and bike riding and comic books.

So I guess it comes as a surprise to me…
when other parents do…
In 2014.
I just hope that we can keep moving toward a place where it is culturally acceptable for girls, among other things, to laugh at their farts… and stuff…


The post A Dad’s Frustration With The Boymom Hashtag appeared first on The Next Family.

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