Gender role models are needed


After reading Sarah Garrecht's article "Takes a Village to Raise a Child" (Sept. 28), I couldn't help thinking that everyone would just love to hear my masculine opinion on this so-called "rhetoric" she mentions.

I disagree with Sarah in that I believe gender is paramount in teaching children strong values. Ignoring this fact may just be a large part of why family values in this country are fading. Sure, I believe a mother can teach values to her son, just like I believe a father can teach values to his daughter, but this can only go so far. One thing that somehow fortifies and strenghens our values is a strong sense of identity and self-worth. The reality that seems to get lost in women's justifiable fight for equality is that although equal, men and women are very different not only physically, but psychologically as well. No one is more aware of this difference than a child, especially if he or she is growing up exclusively with the opposite sex. A child may feel confused about his or her own feelings without someone there whom with they can truly identify. Being able to identify with a strong role model of the same sex is imperative to a child's self-worth.

A child needs the opportunity to identify with someone of his/her same sex for the simple fact that only a woman knows what it is to be a woman, and only a man knows what it means to be a man. One paragraph in Sarah's article tells of a sitcom scenario where a single father was to teach his daughters about menstruation. Sarah goes on to write "Now that's comedy." Well I can certainly respect that. It's just pure fact. It would be hilarious. The father's lesson would probably consist of telling them that menstruation is the time of month when women act bitchy. It's important for our nation's children and future that men and women recognize their differences and limitations. Men can only pretend to know what it means to be woman, and likewise women can only pretend to know what it means to be a man. This inability for a boy to learn strong values from a woman is not beacuse she is a "mere woman." It's because she is a woman.

John Palmer

Human Resource

Management Junior

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