Why Feminist Tosha Schore Became an Advocate for Boys

Having sons forced Tosha Schore to reevaluate everything she knew about boys.

Schore, the daughter of a single mom, grew up stepped in the women’s movement. As a  child, she attended marches and rallies for women’s rights and, in college, she majored in Women’s Studies. She was pregnant with her first child and sidelined with a bout of nausea when a startling thought popped into her head: What if I have a boy?

The thought was “terrifying,” Tosha said, noting that “it never even occurred” to her, before that moment, that she might have a son.

After her son was born, Tosha was determined to be a strong advocate for him. And that, she knew, would require some learning.

“I realized I was going to have to revisit some of the feminist ideology I was coming from because as much as I believe in it — and still believe in it — the ideology that I internalized painted boys and men as the ‘other’ and ‘the bad guy,'” Tosha says. She soon realized that “boys get treated a certain way because of their perceived gender,” just a girls do.

“it’s not fair to ignore that just because males, as they grow, still tend to hold more positions of power,” Tosha says, noting that boys struggle in school. “I’m excited that we women have gained ground, but we’re losing the boys along the way, and we’re losing the men along the way.

I think of feminism as bringing some equality to family systems. But that has not been what’s happened in recent years.

We get to raise boys differently.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Tosha discuss:
  • How feminism fuels Tosha’s advocacy for boys
  • Male gender expectations and stereotypes
  • Boys’ struggles in education
  • Finding balance in family systems
  • Making room for dad
  • Cultural influences on gender expectations and experiences
  • Why your son needs female friends
  • Boys & aggression
  • Raising boys who can feel & express emotions
  • Separating behavior from personality
  • Getting to the root of your fear regarding your son’s behavior
  • Listening as a powerful tool for healing
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

toshaschore.com — Tosha’s website

Boy Talk Blueprint — Janet’s guide to better conversations w your son!

Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges, by Patty Whipfler & Tosha Schore (book mentioned at 27:43)