Frequently these days when people are talking about how boys are raised the emphasis is on what’s wrong. Boys are taught to be aggressive. Boys learn to disrespect girls. Boys are taught to speak over people. Boys are raised to repress emotion (anger not included). And the litany goes on.
I agree that as a society we have a lot of work to do in improving the way we help our boys grow up into healthy honorable manhood. However for me being raised as boy wasn’t all bad. In fact, my parents raised a boy child and planted the seeds for me to be a feminist woman.
Here are some key lessons I learn being raised a boy:
- Stand up and speak up for yourself.
- You are strong
- You are smart
- You will be a leader
- It’s what’s in your head and your heart that matters, not what’s on the outside.
I was also spared some of the poisonous messages that my peer who were raised as girls sent. Messages like:
- You can’t do that. You’re a girl
- Be pretty or no boy will want you
- Be quite
- That’s not ladylike
When I transitioned I took those good things my parents taught me as a boy right into womanhood. I had to unlearn some of the things I was taught but I was already rejecting them.
So thanks, mom and dad. You helped me become a feminist.