January 26, 2013
THE ESSENCE OF BEING A GENTLEMAN...:
I Don't Want My Preschooler to Be a 'Gentleman' (LYNN MESSINA, 1/10/13, NY Times)
My 4-year-old son, Emmett, swallows a spoonful of cereal and asks me if I know what a gentleman is. Surprised, I tell him I have some idea; then I ask what the word means to him."A gentleman lets girls go first," he says, explaining that every day at naptime all the girls go to the bathroom before the boys.His explanation, along with the quiet solemnity with which he delivers it, is completely endearing and yet it makes my heart ache. This adorable little boy, who is only beginning to learn the ways of the world, just got his first lesson in sexism -- and from a teacher who, I don't doubt, believes she's doing something wonderful for womankind.She isn't the only one.Start to complain about your preschooler adopting gentlemanly behavior and you quickly discover how out of step you are with the rest of the world. Almost everyone I mention it to thinks it's lovely and sweet. What's the harm in teaching little boys to respect little girls?
...is behaving well even towards women who aren't ladies.Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2013 6:25 AM
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