Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big Brass Balls

I hereby demand that each and every one of you, particularly those of you who are the parents of boys, but also parents of girls, or anyone who is thinking about becoming a parent of a boy or girl someday, or else anyone who spends time around young boys or girls and is therefore a role model whether you like it or not to please go read this amazing blog posting. My friend Rob emailed it out today and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's basically a letter that this woman has written for her two sons to read when they're older, and it's all about the kind of men she hopes they'll become. It's poignant and well-written and I won't waste time with a junior high book report summary of it because all you gotta do is go read it yourself.

But I will waste time talking about what this post makes me think about. Ever since I became a dad and the Ash became a mom, the two of us have spent a lot of time talking together and pondering seperately what we can do to help our lad grow up and become one of the good guys. Becoming a good guy doesn't seem to be very valued in this society of ours. In its place, there seems to be this preoccupation with maintaining a tough "don't fuck with me" exterior. Concepts of masculinity and feminity are both being defined less and less by substance and more and more by superficial elements. In the case of masculinity, it's anything from the girth of your paycheck to the length of your truck to your capacity to manifest violence in the world. Funny enough, none of these things require anything resembling balls. The guy in this lady's story, Hugh Thompson? Now that's balls. Great big ones.

1 comment:

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

The link in your post (i know it is from way back when) is to an invitation only blog.

I also wanted to bring to your notice a similar letter posted at zenhabits.

http://thestoryofparth.blogspot.com/2008/05/letters-to-parth-3.html