You’ll Be a Man One Day, My Daughter

June 11th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

One of the great joys of travel is that it exposes you to foreign, sometimes alien points of view. Unfortunately, sometimes those views are stupid.

Like, for instance, this column by Jordan Rane in American Way, the American Airlines in-flight magazine. (Yeah, yes, okay, I know: Probably not really fair to pick on an in-flight mag, but that’s what I come in contact with all the time.) Titled “The Paternal Bucket List,” it’s about the five things all dads should try to do with their sons: get involved in their sports, go camping, build something, plant a vegetable garden, show him where his ancestors came from.

Those are all totally fair ideas for what Rane calls an “admittedly subjective” list. But as I read it, and as I thought about Warren’s recent worry about how to teach his son to be a man, I got mildly annoyed, and not just because my seat barely reclined an inch. (At least I was in the exit row, so I had legroom.) My problem: I don’t have a son. I have a daughter. Apparently, his column just doesn’t apply to me and Sasha.

In other words, why restrict this stuff to fathers-and-sons? Why shouldn’t any parent, male or female, try to do these very same things with their kids, whatever their gender?

It feels weird to make this complaint, as if I’ve suddenly turned into some castrated nag, but come on, Jordan Rane, think a little broader next time. After all, if you can teach your kid to be a man through such manly activities, surely I can do the same for my daughter?

Hmm, that didn’t come out quite right.


  1. Keith Wilcox says:

    June 11th, 2010at 2:06 pm(#)

    I think it’s fair to write an article about father/son activities. It might not be all inclusive, but there are some things that typical boys like to do and other things that typical girls like to do. There’s surely a lot of overlap so it would have been possible to write about that, but I just don’t see the problem with father/son activities. Now, I would like to see more articles about father/daughter activities. Maybe that’s what the complaint it. I see lots of mother/daughter and father/son articles but not many mother/son and father/daughter articles. From that perspective I can see where you’d like to have more reading material, yes.

  2. Tim says:

    June 11th, 2010at 4:23 pm(#)

    I’m 100% with you on this Matt. And while I could see Keith’s point, this article doesn’t have a single item that is in any way gender specific (and in fact one of them comes from his wife). I’d say these are pretty much 100% gender-neutral suggestions. But I suppose father’s day is coming up so they have to do these stories.

  3. Matt says:

    June 11th, 2010at 4:42 pm(#)

    Thanks, Tim. It’s not really a huge complaint, but it would’ve been so easy for the writer to add a little aside à la “Your daughter would probably enjoy all of these, too.” One sentence! Anyway, that’s all, I’ll shut up now.

  4. johan says:

    November 7th, 2010at 12:04 am(#)

    What happens to these dolls when they get admitted…

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