ICYMI, 16 and Pregnant star's Nikkole Paulun's Facebook post about her monthly date nights with her six-year-old son is going viral –– and people are losing their shit over it for entirely the wrong reasons.
Paulun's post explains how her son takes her out on dates once a month to learn how to "treat a woman." He saves his allowance to pay the bill and tip the waiter, and she teaches him proper table manners by ensuring that their electronics are put away and his elbows aren't on the table.
As the post went viral, many commenters were outraged by the idea of the little boy having to treat his mother to a meal with his own money (a response which is, in a word, absurd). Kids love to take their parents out, and that's the least of the problems with Paulun's post.
What most of the naysayers missed is that Paulun's ideas of how a man should treat a woman are firmly rooted in outdated gender norms. The man pays for dinner? The man must treat his lady like a princess? Give me a break. That little boy being taught how to "treat a woman right" might not even be a cis-man.
I applaud Paulun for recognizing that the little boys we parent sometimes grow into someone else's husband or partner. After experiencing troubled relationships herself, it is understandable that she wants to raise a man who respects women.
The problem is that reinforcing benevolent sexism sets back equality. If we want to raise feminist men, we have to ensure that we are living from a feminist perspective first.