A new father wonders how to raise a son who will honor and respect women

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Concerned about male violence, a new dad asks, “How Do I Raise a Kind Son?”
Christopher Zumski Finke is the proud father of a four-month old baby boy, whom he adores. He wants his son to grow into a man he can be proud of.  At the same time, he is aware of reports about horrible acts of male violence toward women that show up regularly in the news.  “It’s nearly impossible to avoid stories of violence, rape, and domination,” he writes. “Living rightly is hard enough on your own, and now I must raise a son to do so in a world that is, in part, characterized by men’s violence against women.” He tells of the days before his son was born and the conversations he and his wife had as they wondered what it would be like to raise a girl or a boy.  He thought he could shelter and protect a daughter from the threats a young woman might face. “But a boy, that really scared me,” he confesses.“Boys are the particular threat to young women. If we had a boy, we would have to raise a man. What kind of man would he be?” He goes on: “I love him and I want him to love others, to be kind, to be aware of his actions, and to treat people with respect. I want him to learn from the men who have chosen these things instead of power and abuse.”  Read about his quest to find such men and to learn from them.  This article was published in YES! Magazine. (After you read the article, you might want to take some time to read the comments that came in with the article, and note especially the comment from Elena Bennett who, as a feminist, liked the article but expressed some concern about Finke’s thoughts on protecting a daughter rather than helping her experience empowerment as a person who could learn to be strong in her own right.  And read Finke’s excellent response following Bennett’s comment.)

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.