So it is with Susan Bradley's article on trying (and failing) to raise a boy the radical feminist way:
Ten years ago, I plunged into parenthood in a state of pie-eyed optimism. Thinking that my newborn son was a blank slate, I foolishly thought that I would be able to influence his personality and determine his character.How?
The usual way, of course:
I thought that by restricting the types of programmes he watched on television, offering him mostly gender-neutral toys that had been designed to be educational and not allowing him to play with toy weapons of any sort, I would be able to instil in him my values of pacifism and gender equality.Yeah, you can pretty much guess how that worked out, can't you?
She didn't bother to tell anyone else in her family and among her friends about this plan, as she thought she could get rid of any 'inappropriate' gifts unless the recipient was likely to notice. So, inevitably...
Soon, the toy box held as many trucks, trains and tools (Ed: no, me neither...) as it did blocks and educational toys. What was dismaying to me was that he strongly preferred the "boy" toys over the gender-neutral and educational ones from the word go. Offer him his Baby Whoozit or his green plastic race car and he would go for the race car every single time.Boy, playtime must have been nonstop fun in the Bradley household....
But far worse was to come:
By the time he started attending day care at 14 months, I'd given up on gender neutrality in his toys, but I still clung to the belief that I would be able to raise a nonviolent child by banning toy weapons and even cartoon violence in videos. Picking him up one afternoon, about a month after he started at day care, I was informed that he and his buddy, Zach, had been in trouble that day for inappropriate play.So, several things here. This mad cow was determined to raise a caring, sharing, gender-equal, non-violent child, but couldn't actually be bothered with the raising of him, preferring to dump him in day care instead?
And this is the sort of thing that counts as 'inappropriate play' in the day care
It seems they'd been using their thumbs and forefingers as pretend guns, pointing at the girls and yelling, "Bang! Bang!" I was gobsmacked.Me too, Susan. Though I suspect for a totally different reason...
He'd never watched anything more violent than Teletubbies. How on earth did he have any concept of what a gun was or how to emulate one? It couldn't have been Zach's influence – Zach's parents were even more right-on lefty than me.Baffling, isn't it, Susan?
Of course, she gave up, as most of the Left do when the going gets tough:
Over the past 10 years, I have come to the conclusion that my influence over my son is much more limited than I ever imagined it would be. I cannot mould my son into the type of person I want him to be, I can only guide and advise and hope that the decisions he makes will be good ones.It took you actually having a child to realise that, you utter booby?
I've never had one, never wanted one, but I figured that out for myself with no problem...
He is a wonderful person – curious about the world around him, kind, generous, loving. He is exactly the sort of child I had hoped for 10 years ago, when I first held him in my arms. I just wish that I could take more credit for that.I'm curious, Susan. Did you really want a child?
Or a project..?