Friday, January 4, 2008

Boyz 2 Men

(Quick update: I'm still getting links from Google by people looking for "fake" pay stubs. If that's you, please reconsider your actions.)


Some of you may be asking, "What's 11D?" I had the same question when I saw that a few hits to my blog were coming from there. I found that my blog was linked in this post (my site is linked to the word "bloggers" only). The post is about the "sub-culture" of "debt blogging." I had never heard of this term before. I guess it refers to people who have accumulated an inordinate amount of debt on their credit cards. The post on 11D even links to an entire list of debt blogs. Guess what, I'm NOT on that list. For good reason, too. If you are an 11D reader, I'm sorry, but I'm not a debt blogger--and hope never to be one. You may want to hit your "Back" key now.

When the doom and gloom bubble blog readers descended upon me because my good friend at HousingPANIC told them that I was a flipper and they believed it without reading any of my posts, I could almost understand the connection. After all, I did lose my money in real estate--just not that way. Yes, most of the comments I received made absolutely no sense considering my situation, but I good-naturedly published them to highlight the ignorance of those readers. I kind of felt sorry for most of them, too.

However, now I'm referred to as a blogger who is in credit card debt because of what? I bought too much furniture or went on too many vacations, none of which I could afford, so I put everything on my credit cards? Huh? If you've read anything that I've written, I'd say that I was just the opposite. I have no credit card debt--and I only did during our most trying time of apartment ownership to purchase food and other necessities. We don't even have a car payment! I refer to my lack of spending on frivolous items so often in my posts, that I can't just link you to one in order to prove it.

I'm not only annoyed by the fact that I've been misidentified, yet again, but I'm referred to on a blog that's sub-titled, "Leave saving the world to the men? I don't think so." What's that supposed to mean?

I have a wonderful husband and FIVE amazing sons. My very brief perusal of the site shows a picture of the author's two sons and refers to her husband. So she has plenty of men in her life, too. And I'm sure that she adores them just as much as I value my family. Maybe her subtitle is tongue-in-cheek. I haven't read all of her posts, so I don't know how she portrays herself.

But when my radar senses any type of male bashing, my wife-and-mother horns begin to appear from the hiding place deep (not real deep) within my forehead. I won't bash the author of 11D because I refuse to stoop to the level of how I've been treated in the past. However, I will talk in general about raising boys into men. (I'm about to rant and rave off topic like I have never in the past, so you just may want to reconsider continuing with this post.)

My husband and I teach our sons on a daily basis what it means to be real men. This is what we try to tell them and what my husband models:

Being a man means . . .
. . . recognizing that there is a God and praying every day.
. . . being honest.
. . . taking responsibility for all of your actions and not being a victim.
. . . honoring your commitments and keeping your word.
. . . being the head of your family through servant leadership.
. . . treating others with respect and kindness in all things.
. . . running ahead of everyone and opening the door for them (we're still working on this one).
. . . it's okay to rough play and to channel your endless energy productively, but know how to control it and don't hurt anyone or break anything.
. . . allowing women to embrace and cherish their feminine genius.
There are so many other manly attributes that I don't have the time nor the space to list them here.

In today's world, when men's contributions to society are downplayed by PC rhetoric, I spend an inordinate amount of time instilling in my boys the value that they bring to this world. And I do the same for my two little girls. If my boys are proud of the characteristics that make them male, does that minimize who I or my girls are as females? Heck, no. Read my blog. I'm sure you'll find that I'm a strong, intelligent (that could be debated somewhat--especially with the "sandpaper on the wooden toilet seat" incident), confident, and very out-spoken human being. The more I embrace my femininity and teach my daughters to do the same, the better I am at allowing my strengths to impact the world around me, but, mostly, my family.

(I should tell you that I spent many years as an investigative analyst in Equal Employment Opportunity with a large city government. I know what gender discrimination and sexual harassment are. I performed the training for 10,000 city employees. If all men were raised with the qualities that I recite above, our society wouldn't have these problems. Also, in my investigation of hundreds of complaints over the years, I found very few to be based on discrimination, but more on how people treat others, or on poor management skills. Unfortunately, gender discrimination does exist, but not on the scale that some will lead you to believe.)

It's troubling that many people today equate a feminine identification to weakness, subordination, marginalization, and inferiority. Frankly, it's insulting to me. Therefore, you see women defining equality to men as taking on innately male characteristics. Unfortunately, this suppresses the best of who they are. I'm proud to be a woman and I'm proud that my sons will grow up as productive men (two of them are already there!).

With the qualities of both genders flourishing in this society, I believe that many of our challenges will find creative solutions. And, yes, if need be, I would leave saving the world to men--my men, anyway.