Boys Will Be Boys
My mind just exploded.
I knew I was in for a treat when I clicked on an article from Newsweek titled “Boys Will Be Boys”. I immediately thought “what excuses will be made for men this week?”. Sure enough it took all of three sentences to get this gem:
“IT WAS A CLASSIC MARS-VENUS encounter. Only in this case, the woman was from Harvard and the man--well, boy--was a 4-year-old at a suburban Boston nursery school. Graduate student Judy Chu was in his classroom last fall to gather observations for her doctoral dissertation on human development. His greeting was startling: he held up his finger as if it were a gun and pretended to shoot her. ""I felt bad,'' Chu recalls. ""I felt as if he didn't like me.'' Months later and much more boy-savvy, Chu has a different interpretation: the gunplay wasn't hostile--it was just a way for him to say hello.”
A four year old boy is simulating violence with a gun and the grad student thinks he doesn’t like her and then explains it away by saying “well , it’s how he says hello”………………………………………
Then I read two paragraphs down and the author points out boys are more susceptible to emotional and social damage and are more likely to commit crimes.
“What some researchers are finding is that boys and girls really are from two different planets. But since the two sexes have to live together here on Earth, they should be raised with special consideration for their distinct needs. Boys and girls have different ""crisis points,'' experts say, stages in their emotional and social development where things can go very wrong. Until recently, girls got all the attention. But boys need help, too. They're much more likely than girls to have discipline problems at school and to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Boys far outnumber girls in special-education classes. They're also more likely to commit violent crimes and end up in jail. Consider the headlines: Jonesboro, Ark.; Paducah, Ky.; Pearl, Miss. In all these school shootings, the perpetrators were young adolescent boys.”
Let’s go back to the first sentence. Researchers, and this author, are explaining away a 4 year old boy’s simulation of violence with a gun as “just his way of saying hello”, and then wonder allowed why boys are more likely to commit crimes.
I’m not that smart but even I can pinpoint this disconnect. Should we be flippantly excusing gun play from 4 year olds? Of course not. I WISH my son would pretend to point a gun at me. I am so against violence I won’t let him have a toy gun, much less let him get away with using his finger as a gun. Furthermore, play fighting or not, if this type of issue had been brought up by my son’s teacher, she would most certainly approach me with a stern message along the lines of, “violence is not okay, see me about ways to curb these behaviors at home”.
In the fourth paragraph, the author says the feminist movement has caused boy’s “normal” (you know, gun play) behavior to be called into question. See, boys are rough and tumble and should be allowed to express these behaviors, even if feminists see this as a sign of male dominance, inequality and/or signs of violent behavior later in life.
“Even normal boy behavior has come to be considered pathological in the wake of the feminist movement. An abundance of physical energy and the urge to conquer--these are normal male characteristics, and in an earlier age they were good things, even essential to survival”
Sociology 101 teaches us to ask questions. So what the fuck is normal boy behavior anyway? The author thinks normal boy behaviors are things like camping and starting a fire, because you see, these things are necessary to survival. Huck and Finn, one researcher suggests, would be categorized as ADD according to us modern feminists. The author then goes on to argue that, instead of trying to “re wire” boys, we need to just love them. Essentially, telling people to accept boys the way they are.
Sometimes things are so blatantly stupid it’s impossible to rationally refute them.
The author’s overall thesis is essentially this; boys are different from girls. Well no shit. And while she’s citing books and articles from 25 to 30 years ago without acknowledging the immense shift in social perspective and scientific data, while she blames feminism for, well I don’t know, dissuading violence against women apparently, and while she complains that parents cannot raise their boys without the stereotype of the “macho man”; she offers no solutions.
From stage of development to the next she explains, based on scientific evidence, why men become “macho”, “dominating”, and even sometimes “violent”. She then argues the scientific evidence of development proves boys are different than girls and their “manly” qualities are not only justified but socially “normal”, “acceptable” and what women, researchers and feminists should just simply recognize as fact.
Lastly, the author attempts to argue that boys without a father in their lives are more susceptible to homosexuality and violence, like gangs (cue scary music). Either they turn gay because their mom is so sensitive or if they are black they join a gang.
“Black boys are especially vulnerable, since they are more likely than whites to grow up in homes without fathers. They're often on their own much sooner than whites. Black leaders are looking for alternatives. In Atlanta, the Rev. Tim McDonald's First Iconium Baptist Church just chartered a Boy Scout troop. ""Gangs are so prevalent because guys want to belong to something,'' says McDonald. ""We've got to give them something positive to belong to.'' Black educators like Chicagoan Jawanza Kunjufu think mentoring programs will overcome the bias against academic success as ""too white.'' Some cities are also experimenting with all-boy classrooms in predominantly black schools.”
What do I think is missing? Someone analyze the affect the media and it’s perpetual use of negative, racist, sexist and gender biased stereotypes and/or norms in print and in film, have upon the development of American youth. I for one would really like to know.