Delaney and Liam are playing spies in the next room. They are assigning themselves various roles, personalities, skills, and gadgets. Liam paused the assignments to say, “The boy spy is usually the stupid one.”
I am so frigging sick of this. The dumb guy trope should be over. It never even should have started.
My father has railed against it ever since my sister and I brought home our first Berenstain Bear books, with the goofy, clueless dad. The marital combination is a sitcom staple: The mom holds the world together. The dad goes along for the ride. Usually screwing up quite a bit in the process. Thank God the mom is there to swoop in and save everybody.
This isn't silly. This isn't a funny joke. It's becoming a cultural norm, and it has the potential to be very damaging to men and women alike. And now, with Liam's comment, I'm beginning to think that the same sentiment has wormed its way into kid's movies and TV shows. It's called “children's programming” for a reason, right?
Here's the reality: Men have as much duty to care for their families as women do. And you know what? Many of them are incredibly good at it. My husband keeps me sane. He's super smart, he works hard, and I wouldn't be half the person I am without him. He would say all the same things about me, too. My son is clever, funny, and capable. He's an excellent problem solver. It hurts to think that the “adventure” movies he likes would suggest he should be anything less.
This is not feminism. This is pure reactionary stupidity.
I think it's important to raise girls to be smart. To teach them that they are not objects, but complete, worthwhile human beings in their own right. I'm proud of my strong, smart girls. The idea of anyone turning them into sex objects infuriates me, just as it would any good parent. And I am equally offended and angered by the cultural insistence on turning my boy into the butt of every joke, the hapless little dude consistently rescued by a smart girl.
Can somebody tell me why we are all so completely freaked out by the idea of men and women getting along and actually liking each other? By both sexes being smart and capable? Because that's what I do in my personal life, it's what most of my friends and family do, and all in all, it's a pretty sweet arrangement. That's what I want my son to remember about his childhood. It's time to override the programming.