A New York Times parenting article titled “How to Raise a Feminist Son” prompted a lot of debate on social media this week.
Conservatives and liberals, abortion activists and pro-life advocates weighed in on the discussion, and it became a trending topic Friday on Twitter. The article raised a lot of debate about gender roles, but a few online commenters also turned the conversation toward abortion.
Neither abortion nor its many euphemisms were mentioned in the advice column, but abortion activists often try to marry their agenda with feminism. And for some feminists, raising a good son means teaching him to support women’s so-called “right” to abort their unborn babies.
Men are falling behind in school and work because we are not raising boys to succeed in the new, pink economy. Skills like cooperation, empathy and diligence — often considered to be feminine — are increasingly valued in modern-day work and school, and jobs that require these skills are the fastest-growing.
… But how can we raise feminist sons?
I asked neuroscientists, economists, psychologists and others to answer that question, based on the latest research and data we have about gender. I defined feminist simply, as someone who believes in the full equality of men and women. Their advice applied broadly: to anyone who wants to raise children who are kind, confident and free to pursue their dreams.
The authors urged parents to allow their son to cry and express emotion, to give him strong role models and to explore his unique interests. It brought up a lot of good values that every parent should teach, including freedom, responsibility and respect.
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But the term “feminist” was the big issue for many people. As one commenter responded:
How to Raise a Feminist Son.
Imagine the OUTRAGE if a publication dared to print “How to Raise a Masculine Son.” Good God.
— @PolitiRight (@PolitiRight) June 2, 2017
Many others simply questioned why the article emphasizes that sons should be taught to be good feminists rather than simply that all children should be taught to respect and value all other human beings.
“How to Raise a Feminist Son” makes no sense. Just raise your children to respect everyone and we’ll have a lot less problems.
— Kendall Foster (@MicroGamer97) June 2, 2017
How to Raise a Feminist Son // how about “how to raise a moral person,” rather than this. https://t.co/5ODXBgMvz2
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) June 2, 2017
Then, there were concerns about the link between abortion advocacy and feminism, and how abortion could be pushed on impressionable young boys.
The radical pro-abortion group NARAL, which supports unregulated abortion for any reason up to birth and attacks pro-life pregnancy centers that offer moms support, promoted the article Friday.
NARAL highlighted the quote, “Show them how to be tough – tough enough to stand up to intolerance.”
“Show them how to be tough — tough enough to stand up to intolerance.” How to raise a feminist son: https://t.co/IB3cdkDK3R
— NARAL (@NARAL) June 2, 2017
For NARAL, intolerance means any objection or misgivings whatsoever to a woman’s so-called “right” to abort her unborn baby. They do not believe fathers should have any legal right to help decide what happens to their child’s life before birth.
Another commenter hinted at how dangerous and harmful NARAL’s abortion agenda is to men:
How to raise a feminist son- just don’t. He’ll become a slave and could lose your grandchild to abortion. True story. #feminism
— fiteswithheart (@fiteswithheart) June 2, 2017
The hurt is apparent, but one can only guess the circumstances of the commenter’s son’s situation. Many fathers are deeply wounded by abortion. Legally, they are powerless to stop their unborn child from being aborted if the mother wants to. It’s her body, her choice, according to NARAL; and men must be taught to “tolerate” that and completely give up their right to protect their children before birth.
Teaching children good values is probably the biggest responsibility a person can have. Some may choose to teach their version of feminism to their children, some may not. But what it all should come down to is this: Sons should be taught to respect and value women, just as daughters should be taught to respect and value men. And parents must teach their children to begin bestowing those values upon others when life begins – in the womb.