This Mother’s Day, instead of booking an overpriced Sunday brunch, I am calling an emergency family meeting. I intend to sit both of my kids down and undo what the schools, the media and our political class are teaching them about 50 percent of the population, namely boys. I don’t need a Mother’s Day gift this year. I prefer my son’s integrity and self-worth be snatched back from the clutches of the identity-politics mob. That will do.

First on my agenda is assuring my children there is no such thing as ‘toxic masculinity’. It is a baseless, unserious idea, made up by people who seek to elevate themselves by pulling others down. I want my son to hear his mother affirm for him that masculinity, like femininity, is natural, good, and nothing to minimize or malign.

Second, the over-correcting wing of the #MeToo movement has painted targets on the backs of boys and men from the campus to the boardroom. Moms across the country should become their sons’ human shields. One fumbled compliment of a woman’s appearance can cost dearly if you are the wrong gender in America today. As a woman I reject this manhunt, which is perpetrated against every male who doesn’t speak or act like a robot. There may have been great promise in the #MeToo social-justice agenda for my girl, but misdirected rage and power-politics have overshadowed the value of the effort and turned it into a weapon against my son.

I refuse to participate. My children will not be taught to oppose an entire sex.

Finally, apologies are for genuine regret over real mistakes. They aren’t concessions to people who want to add another ‘I’m sorry’ to their basket of ‘wins’


Real men DON’T cry when berated by an anonymous, online, professionally-offended class of critics for wearing a shirt with anime drawings of scantily clad women.

They refuse to negotiate with terrorists. Never apologize and never explain, I tell my son, unless you actually have reason to. If you have done something wrong, be the first to raise your hand and assume responsibility. Knowing when to apologize and when to refuse to apologize is what dignity in a man looks like.

If my son wants to honor his mother on Mother’s Day, he can do so by honoring himself and how he was created. There is nothing inherently wrong being male. I like my boy and all his maddening testosterone-fueled folly, his awkward interactions with girls, his inability to wait his turn, his clueless teenage-boy ways. My job as his mother is to teach him to channel his energy, good and bad, and send him out into the world to make his contribution. It is also my job to protect him from a culture that threatens his self-esteem and assails his identity.