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14 year old son telling me that men have it much harder than women...

(78 Posts)
mawbroon Sat 25-Jul-20 20:50:01

I know this has been done before, but I can't find anything when I search.
Chatting with my 14 yo earlier and he has some very strange ideas about feminism and what it means.
Can anyone point me in the direction of any articles/videos to help him understand what feminism is, and why we need it?

I put across a few brief points, but of course, I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING 😂😂

OP’s posts: |
RedRumTheHorse Sat 25-Jul-20 20:56:07

Was your son talking about toxic masculinity but describing it very badly?

BaseDrops Sat 25-Jul-20 20:58:47

I’d be checking his internet history tbh. Find out where he is getting his strange ideas from.

DrDavidBanner Sat 25-Jul-20 21:02:36

Ah Reddit is such a lovely place hmm. Sounds like he's on some dodgy red pill site.

Not as its a competition but I can't see how someone who doesn't have to shave every day yet can tell you how bad men have it.

RadicalFern Sat 25-Jul-20 21:02:42

Can you get him to explain exactly what it is that he thinks men have such a hard time with? Because it's possible that some of the things he's thinking you can relate back to how Patriarchy is basically bad for everyone, including men. If he's anything like my brother at his age, trying to meet him head on will make him dig his heels in, but he might be encouraged to see the bigger picture.

But also, oh to have the confidence in the rightness of my opinions of a 14 year old boy.

mawbroon Sat 25-Jul-20 21:06:35

Yes, that was part of it. We watched a mens rights v feminist debate which brought up some very good points all round.
There was an example where one of the women discussed the different reactions by men when she has refused to give her number to them on nights out. One guy was very upset and she said he cried because she said no. DS is of the opinion that she should just have given him her number instead of making him feel bad, but he could not see that the man was not entitled to have her number and she is under no obligation to give it out. So women should be nice to spare men's feelings.
I've discussed feminism in an age appropriate way along the years but I feel that now is a very important time to make sure he understands the dynamics before he starts dating etc

OP’s posts: |
ShinyFootball Sat 25-Jul-20 21:09:56

Ask your ds if he can thing of what could happen if she gave the number. Given that she doesn't want to go out with him. And bearing in mind he's the sort of man who bursts into years when a woman says no to giving him a phone number.

noblegiraffe Sat 25-Jul-20 21:10:25

DS is of the opinion that she should just have given him her number instead of making him feel bad

What else does he think women should do to stop men feeling bad? Sleep with them?

He needs a stern talking to about consent and boundaries when it comes to women. Men do not get to take things from women even if the word no makes them sad.

HavelockVetinari Sat 25-Jul-20 21:11:26

Lots of stuff. Off the top of my head:

Gender pay gap

New drugs or medical interventions nearly always use men as the standard (because women's hormonal fluctuations apparently make it more of a PITA during a trial) which is bad news for women's health

Men perpetrate 95% of violent and sexual crimes against women

Women's pain is often dismissed by doctors as period- related whereas men's is taken seriously, meaning female cancer ofter stomach, bowel and pancreas as detected far later, with worse outcomes.

Men are used as the standard for plane and car seats, making them less safe for female passengers.

81% of women and girls have been sexually harrassed. 1 in 5 women in the UK will at some point in their lives be raped.

The vast majority of those working in the sex trade have been sexually abused and/or coerced. Most porn actresses have a background of abuse and rape.

There are loads more, but that's a few for him to think about.

Babdoc Sat 25-Jul-20 21:13:36

Entitlement, much? Crikey, OP, give him the consent talk before he starts dating. Unless you want him up on a rape charge. “She had to agree to sex - it might have hurt my feelings if she refused...”
How can we raise our daughters to have even a fraction of the breathtaking entitlement, selfishness and arrogance of the average male?

HavelockVetinari Sat 25-Jul-20 21:13:49

Oh, and the rough sex defence - the man who fractured Natalie Connolly's eye socket, poured bleach into her vagina, broke her ribs and left her to die got just 3 years for manslaughter.

mummmy2017 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:14:49

Ask him would he let his girlfriend give her number to another boy, just to make the boy not cry?

Wondersense Sat 25-Jul-20 21:16:56

I reckon this has come from his friends or some site he's been on. Youtube is ripe for this sort of thing too.

Tell him without feminism you, his own mother, would not have the right to vote. You would probably not work, if you did work you'd be paid less, not be allowed to have a bank account, would not be allowed to keep your children if you separated from the father, and raping you in marriage would be legal.

Tell him that women do not owe any sad, rejected men their phone numbers just because they cry, and you look forward to having this conversation with him one day if he has daughters of his own when he's grown up. That women have to be very guarded with their information, even phone numbers because they have no idea if the man they're speaking to is good or bad.

DodoPatrol Sat 25-Jul-20 21:18:30

Hold on, he’s a child. I would not be telling my young teenager about the worst and most horrific examples of men torturing women. Can you point him to examples of good relationships instead?

Wondersense Sat 25-Jul-20 21:19:17

I recommend that he's introduced to the ideas of the Pop Culture Detective on Youtube.

Mumoblue Sat 25-Jul-20 21:20:13

Oh dear. The internet is very good at convincing young men that they're the most opressed ever.
He needs to really think about the type of people he's been listening to.
Ask him why he thinks a man's feelings are more important than a woman not wanting a stranger to have her phone number.

mawbroon Sat 25-Jul-20 21:20:49

noble he definitely understands about consent when it comes to sex. I've told him he should always assume it's no unless there has been enthusiastic consent. But he seemed more concerned about the made up statistics around false rape accusations and how it can ruin a man's life. Yes, this is true, of course it is, but he wasn't having it when I explained how few rape cases make it to court and the victim has all manner of personal stuff dragged up and then the conviction rates are tiny.

OP’s posts: |
MamaLion1319 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:21:01

@Babdoc he is a child. Give your head a wobble.

Goosefoot Sat 25-Jul-20 21:23:42

I'm not sure I'd go out to try and prove that women have it harder with him. He's 14, and a boy, so it makes a lot of sense he would empathise with the perspective of other boys and men, and 14 year olds typically can be a bit narrow in their thinking.

I'd look more at trying to emphasis that we all have challenges that cancome from different things, our sex, our education, our personality, whatever. The thing is really to try and see things from the perspective of others and realise that they have their struggles as well.

IJustWantSomeBees Sat 25-Jul-20 21:23:55

These views are really, really concerning. Is there a male role model he can talk to as well as you? It’s awful but it’s fact that people, especially men, are more likely to listen to men and find their points more valid. If he’s listening to men shouting crap it’s important that he knows that not all men think this way.

Could also watch some documentaries with him

netflixismysidehustle Sat 25-Jul-20 21:26:31

You need to monitor what he's watching

My ds found some right wing American MRA shit at that age and quickly worked out that the women that he knew were nothing like the women described by these speakers and going down that road was the fast track to an incel life.

The man cried because he didn't get her number? Wtaf is wrong with him? I'd ask your son is it not kinder for the man to know that she has no interest now than get her number and her to pity-date him?

Ask him if he gives his number out willy nilly. Why doesn't he? Would he date any girl that cried? If you cried would he tidy his room?

If he'd said that males are under more pressure than females to ask people out I'd agree with him but it sounds like he has some scary entitlement and boundary issues going on.

BaseDrops Sat 25-Jul-20 21:27:10

Ask him if he should give his number to a gay man who is hitting on him to avoid hurting his feelings.
Ask him why the woman’s right to her privacy is less important than a man’s ego. Why is better for the woman to lie and give the man hope than be honest?

Does he want women to lie to him about anything that might hurt his feelings? How is he going to know if they are actually interested in him or consenting to anything?

Should he go on pity dates with girls he doesn’t like? Why not? Are their feelings more important than his?

DialSquare Sat 25-Jul-20 21:27:11


Ask him would he let his girlfriend give her number to another boy, just to make the boy not cry?

I wouldn't say "let" as that implies that he has control of her and feeds into the problem. However, I can see where you are coming from. If he feels that females should go against their own wishes to not upset a male, would he still feel like this if a girlfriend of his did what he is expecting other females to do. I would suspect that he would look at it quite differently under that scenario.

Goosefoot Sat 25-Jul-20 21:27:56

I mean the thing with the phone number - that is pretty typical 14 year old thinking, IMO. Because it seems nice, it doesn't seem hard, and if everyone was nice maybe it would work, and alo because at 14 you don't see the consequences so clearly. Even in terms of, it's probably kinder, really, to be clear that you aren't interested rather than leave people with the feeling that maybe you would be.

I don't think taking about bleach in people's vaginas is really appropriate.

Tiredtiredtired100 Sat 25-Jul-20 21:28:06

I would strongly suggest watching both The Mask You Live In and Miss Representation, probably in that order. I think if you watch TMYLI which is about toxic masculinity it will open up discussions about men and what they suffer from in our patriarchal hyper-masculine society. It sounds to me like he is having issues with that and so opening up to that discussion may then lead to a real exploration of his issues, which is the first step in then getting him to see why women have it hard too.

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