My husband and sons are all mama’s boys, and it’s part of what makes them incredible men. But people are conditioned to take that label as a weakness.
Gender-dictated double standards abound. The gender pay gap. The playboy versus slut labels.
On the gender front, the majority of articles lambaste those who discriminate against women. Such as the #BanBossy movement aimed at empowering females to use their voices without regard to labels that might get hurled their way (i.e., “bossy,” “bitchy”).
I have children of both genders. All three were signed up for sports. All three are huge superhero fans. All three had plenty of household chores starting at a young age. All three have been allowed to cry in our household (away from the prying eyes of those who would judge).
And all three feel immersed in my love.
But don’t try calling my son a “Mama’s Boy,” because gender politics won’t allow it.
Peer enforcement of gender conformity dictates that it is unmanly for either of my sons to be labeled a “Mama’s Boy,” as described by Charles Knight.
Please indulge me for a moment. Close your eyes and envision a wedding reception. It’s time for the bride and her father to dance and Michael Bublé’s rendition of “Daddy’s Little Girl” starts playing or perhaps Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl.” By the end of the song, there’s not a dry eye in the room.
Now envision the mother of the groom dancing with her son, and a song starts playing about “Mama’s Little Boy.” Can you hear the snickering in the background?
This news flash should not surprise you: Men who love and respect their mothers are more likely to grow up to love and respect the women in their lives. A real life example is my husband and his two brothers, raised by a woman with a tender heart and respect for humanity.
My mother-in-law (MIL) was my good friend until her death five years ago. I sought out her opinion on many things. I loved that we could talk for hours. If we didn’t agree on something, we respected each other enough to agree to disagree. No conversation ever devolved into sniping. And I never resorted to reducing my MIL in my husband’s eyes after-the-fact. I didn’t do this, in truth, because I felt that my husband was a “Mama’s Boy.”
I’ve read about women who disparage their MILs. Perhaps their MILs resemble Jane Fonda’s character in the movie Monster-in-Law. But that was not my MIL. She was never my competition. My husband is an extension of her; as my son is an extension of me. My MIL is the reason my husband grew to become the amazing man I love and want to spend the rest of my life with.
When my MIL died of breast cancer five years ago, my two sisters-in-law and I stood huddled at the podium at her funeral. We all had words of tribute for the woman who produced three “Mama’s Boys.”
But be prepared!
If you call my husband or my son a “Mama’s Boy,” you’d better be ready to duck—because our culture has conditioned them to take that label as a weakness. When in truth, it’s a reflection of the love that was doled out by the first woman in their lives, their mama.
Melanie blogs at www.melanieholmesauthor.com; she has a book to be published this fall The Female Assumption.