All posts tagged: Gender Roles

The Art of Being Gender Ambidextrous

(Photo Credit: Courtesy Richard Becker) There was a bit of confusion when the girls on my daughter’s 8U softball team tried to separate themselves into “tomboys”and “girly-girls.” My daughter didn’t know which group to pick. “Dad, what am I?” she beamed, expecting a definitive answer. “It depends on the day,” I said. “Pick whatever group you want.” “Okay,”she called back, “I’ll pick tomboys to make it even.” Six and six is how the girls divided themselves, with each group taking one side of the picnic table while they ate pizza. The split was an innocent enough diversion between games but it also struck me as indicative of our society. Feminine or feminist? Masculine or mama’s boy? It’s not as easy for someone like my daughter, who learned to catch in a sundress. It’s not as easy for someone like my son, who would rather sew the hole in his jersey than ask his mom to do it for him. My wife Kim and I raised both of our children to be gender ambidextrous, tossing out …

I’m Married, But Don’t Call Me Mrs.

I was absolutely terrified and not sure at all that I wanted to step out of the car and into the church. I was all of 24 years old and about to marry a man whom I loved deeply and who I wanted to share my life with. Have children with. But wife? Wife. WIFE. I felt not unprepared or ambivalent but rather, resistant and fairly resentful of both the word and the reality of “wife.” Or at least the reality I envisioned. I went into marriage with a fair amount of pre- (or rather, ill-) conceived notions of what a marriage “should be,” what it meant to be a wife and how my life and world would change. Part religion, part society, part too many hours spent reading and watching overly romanticized, conventionally and poorly written beach novels and Lifetime For Women television specials. And part me and my own family baggage and mythology. My mom married my dad at 18 after being sweethearts (what a term!) since they were about 12. My mom …