Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wearing a Frilly Apron

But in order to do this [helping boys behave like boys] properly, a right understanding of masculinity (on the part of the parents) is necessary. Small boys tend to think that masculinity consists of rolling around in the dirt, and so they are likely to dismiss a quiet studiousness in a boy as simply another form of indoor effeminacy. But we have already seen that a boy should be studying to become wise, studying to be a sage when he is old. This is not the same thing as wearing a frilly apron. Put another way, the distinction between masculinity and femininity is not one of “outdoors” and “indoors.” Women can consider a field and buy it for a vineyard, they can work in the garden, they can tend the fruit trees, and be a glory to their sex. Men can work inside too, helping and leading with many domestic duties, though their focus will be different. Role relationships are clear to the wise, but for those who want life to conform to wooden simplicities, they are a stumbling block.
Douglas Wilson, Future Men, pg. 20-21.

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