You wouldn't know it to look at them, but men have it really rough these days. Every time they want to hang out around children, someone looks at them like they're a bunch of perverts. Take the play center in England that has declared itself a woman-only zone. They've even barred all boys over the age of 9.
What is this, The Little Rascals? Do they have a He-Woman Man Haters sign for the place?
I never really realized how hard it was to be a man around kids until I had my daughter. That's when my husband became a father, and my brother became an uncle. And that's when the world started treating them like they had something to hide because they're men who actually like being around kids. Well, one is around his kid, one around his niece, but that doesn't seem to matter to some people.
Fathers. Uncles. They're all treated like freaks by ridiculous rules like the one at this play center. The amount of time they put into nurturing these children is ignored, and they're shuffled into a little box marked "scary" -- not because of any proof but because they happen to have a penis.
Not fair, huh?
The bizarre gender separating decision by the play center is being defended as a move to be respectful to the Muslim community that makes use of the facility. Which would sound better if it wasn't pissing off Muslim dads right and left. Turns out they -- like any normal, caring dad -- want to just take their kids to the play center. They don't see a reason for gender division.
So if you take religion out of it, what's left? Fear.
Is that what we really want to raise our kids with? Fear of the other gender?
Attention, world, if you want men to be involved with their children's lives, it's about time you stop treating them all like they have ulterior motives and want to touch our kids in inappropriate places. If you want to raise boys who will respect girls, teach them to be respectful. Otherwise you're just making the two sides more fearful.
Would you be afraid to take your kids to a play center or park because there were dads or older boys there?
Image via stev.ie/Flickr