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3:18 a.m. - 2011-08-16
The Help

Wow. I've had an atom smasher of a headache for the past two days. Not a migraine, thank goodness, but a bad'un nonetheless. When we got back this afternoon I went to bed. Exhausted from trying to fight the pain back I curled into it and finally slept. And now I'm up at 2:00am. My head's still tender but I feel better. Eating's been problematic, hope that'll resolve itself today too.

On Friday when I said I wanted us to see 'The Help' Mick snorted and said, "Oh yeah, Wolf will really wanna see that." Meaning a movie about women. Well, women who weren't wearing catsuits and cooing over a hero with a really big…gun.

That snort and the automatic assumption that guys, even 14 year old ones, don't 'do' movies starring women cheesed me off. A lot.

"You know, I resent that. First of all, Wolf is always talking about racism and social inequality and here's a movie about that very thing. It's an important movie. Not every movie he sees has to be about fricken superheroes and idiotic CGI explosions. Secondly and more to the point, this is how it starts. This bullshit about how movies and books about women's stories are junk and soooo not interesting to men. How dare you assume Wolf would be bored and dismissive? That at best he should be a good sport and humor me. Like he'll 'humor' his girlfriend by dragging himself to a 'girl' movie. God forbid he be interested and want to see it for himself. Oh no. Can't have that. Manly men suffer through chick flicks and give themselves snaps for being such good guys. Wow, jeeze, a whole 2 hours of pretending to pay attention to some lame shit about women, right?"

Mick blushed. I waited. I could see he was sorting his thoughts and really working through what I'd said. Mick began to nod. "I'm sorry, LA. You're dead right. It is a crap thing to assume about Wolf. It's a crap thing to teach him too. I even do that dismissive thing to myself and I should know better by now. I always end up liking the movies you pick. Most of the time way more than the ones I pick."

"I know. And I don't want Wolf to hear women's voices as lesser. That our stories, our issues, our history are inferior and less valid. That 'human rights' means: Stuff that primarily effects men. Do you realize that military rape is only just now being seen as a war crime? During the Bosnian Conflict Muslim women were routinely herded up and gang raped. By military order. To demoralize the enemy. Rape is a tactic. And yet it's always been one of those silly 'woman' problems. Certainly not a violation of human rights, just women's rights and so no biggie."

Mick was startled, he thought we'd been talking about movies.

I patted his arm. "This is how we start to fix it. By teaching our children to pay attention to ALL the stories. By not subtly undermining the validity of what women have to say with winks and nudges and smirks behind my back. That you're indulging me by condescending to see a film made by or starring women. And I don't want Wolf's interests stunted because he's only supposed to enjoy moronic guy stuff. He's 14, of course he loves 'Jackass', I just don't want him thinking it's the only thing he's allowed to like."

Mick gave me a squeezy hug that lifted me off my feet. He put me down and said, "See? This is why I love you so much. You make me think. You show me things I never saw before." Turning he called upstairs, "Hey, Wolf! C'mon, let's go see 'The Help'!"

Before our conversation I know he would of said, "Hey, Wolf! C'mon, we're taking your mom to see 'The Help'."

By George, I think he's got it!


Teaching old dogs new tricks, ~LA


3 Wanna talk about it!

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