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Time to teach tween, teen boys about chivalry?

My friends and I grew up in the shadow of the women’s rights movement and the sexual revolution. When I came of age, birth control pills and abortion were legal and people my age believed women should have the same opportunities as men.

So how strange it is to hear my old college friends talk about raising their daughters. These men and women, now in their 50s, take a critical eye to the boys who come calling at their door. They worry about their girls listening to provocative songs and wearing revealing clothes. They seem to have forgotten that we grew up listening to Rod Stewart sing “Tonight’s the Night.” The men especially are protective of their girls. Having known them in their youth, I know these guys were not always proper gentlemen. Maybe that’s why they are so strict now.

 As the mother of boys, I don’t worry so much about the girls my boys are interested in. Most of them I like, some I don’t, but I try to keep my mouth shut and not tell my sons who they should and shouldn’t see.

But after talking with the parents of tween and teen girls, I’m started to think I need to have a talk with my boys about manners, chivalry and old-fashioned values.

Maybe we haven’t moved so far toward social equality as I thought. Do you think we treat our tween boys and girls differently? Should we?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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