Boys will not be boys

Last month, when a Colorado school issued an edict banning tag because someone might get emotionally hurt, I did a long post about how I thought the long-term consequences of that decision were infinitely worse than the short term issue of kids having a playground conflict. In the last couple of paragraphs of that same post, I wrote about a decision in my daughter’s classroom to ban a favorite type of boy play: imaginary weapons. I would have been okay had the rules denied any wild play in the classroom, reserving it instead for the school yard. What bugged me was how targeted it was to boys’ activities.

I’m not the only one who has noticed this trend. At American Thinker, Selwyn Duke has written a wonderful piece about these same education trends, with special emphasis on the attacks against the nature of boys. I urge you to read it and then, if you still have boys in public school, think about ways politely to change the dynamic.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that elementary school education in the latter half of the 20th Century became pretty much the preserve of women, so one has to accept that there inevitably was going to be feminization in the classroom. This early feminine touch, though was aimed at soothing rough edges, teaching manners, and generally civilizing wild behavior. Nowadays, there’s a misanthropic, feminist edge to what’s going on, that is very much aimed, not at teaching manners, but at “de-boying” boys (witness the fact that, in my daughter’s class, a specific type of boy play got banned).

UPDATEAt Jeremayakova, there’s a video, a bit graphic, that illustrates Michael Savage’s theory that, for both men and women, homosexual culture has become the dominant norm — moving from fringe behavior most of us don’t espouse to cultural beliefs central to young men and women.  It’s interesting, and certainly worth thinking about, even if you don’t agree with any part of or even the entire premise.  (Hat tip:  RD — you know who you are, and thank you.)

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  • eli

    They have been trying to ban imaginary weapons in school since my son, who is now 23, was 5. His friend made a gun out of legos. He was told by the teacher that ‘We don’t have guns at school. Make it into something else.” So, he did. Without changing even one lego, he said instantly ‘then it’s a fire breathing dragon!’ And so it was.

    My three sons would make guns out of grilled cheese sandwiches and swords out of my camera tripod and yardsticks. As long as they didn’t hurt each other with them and just used them for imaginary play, it was fine. And none of them is a serial killer today! In fact, they have become very peace-loving, responsible young men who have taken riflery, show little interest in weapons of any kind.

  • http://phillips.blogs.com Michael Phillips

    I look forward to the perverse consequences of this policy. As Eli pointed out, these policies will have no effect on boys’ play. It will simply encourage more boys to feel more camaraderie among boys, as they are forced to play ‘outlaw’.

  • greg

    ” it’s worth noting that elementary school education in the latter half of the 20th Century became pretty much the preserve of women, so one has to accept that there inevitably was going to be feminization in the classroom. ”

    Maybe in Marin (but I doubt it). My daughter’s elementary school easily included 20-30% male teachers, in addition to the PE and art teachers. Actually, her daycare also always had one male teacher on staff.

    So, yet again, right-wingers foist an imaginary issue upon us (although one that Book has flogged several times, in one form or another) …

    Do you remember back in 2005 when Laura Bush was anointed to head up a three-year initiative on boys? “I feel like, in the United States, that we’ve sort of shifted our gaze away from boys for the last several decades, and that we’ve neglected boys,” she said. The initiative, never defined, disappeared.

    That’s Ellen Goodman writing earlier this month about this latest winger nonsense-fest:

    http://www.sj-r.com/Opinion/stories/15601.asp

    Also, Ellen Goodman from July:

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060705_ellen_goodman_boy_crisis/

  • swampacreage

    Raising milksops for men and making mean spirited smart ass women out of our girls ! Parents more than schools of course !! Just reversing the roles for awhile.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Greg, please read what I write. I did not write that classrooms are solely the preserve of women. I said pretty much — and you proved my point boasting that 20%, maybe even 30% of the teachers at your local schools are males. I don’t know how to break this to you, but that means that 70-80% of the teachers are female, which is a damn fine majority no matter how you slice it.

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  • greg

    I don’t know how to break this to you, Bookworm (Lord, how I wish you would read/recall your own posts! which would spare me the bother of having to repeat for you your own words), but having both genders represented in the elementary school does not constitute a “feminization” of the school, with an attending deleterious impact on male students, who lack gender role models/male influence, etc. — Which is the winger argument that *you* make in *your* post and which *you* endorse.

    Put 30 men into a room with 70 women, and you certainly have a female majority but not a female group.

    Historically, of course, elementary school teachers were mostly female, but today, the demographics on teacher-gender help to refute the winger nonsense about “feminization” in the schools, and for further refutation, please see the study Goodman cites in her July editorial, which I linked above.

  • shilohcool

    From 1992 – 2000, Hillary’s Anthropology Crowd successfully hijacked the American public school textbook. Given that Mary Wollstonecraft was Hillary’s hero while at Wellsley, you betcha she wants to crush the boys. Get ‘em while their young. Like a true predator and a mob hit-man, Hillary never let the boys hear her coming.

    Good reading:
    http://www.amazon.com/War-Against-Boys-Misguided-Feminism/dp/0684849569

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com/ Don Quixote

    Why bless your heart, greg, you still have way too much “attitude” in your posts, but you are engaging on the merits and even citing sources. Thank you.

    The problem is not the feminization of the schools. Women have been teaching our kids since the days of school marms in one room schoolhouses. The problem is the nearly complete take-over of our schools by radical leftist and, in this context, feminist ideology. It hardly mattes if 20-30% of your teachers are male if they share the leftist/feminist viewpoint and goals.

    BW made a simple point, that the efforts to ban pretend gun play in her school is directed at an activity that boys, far more than girls, wish to engage in. We can debate whether trying to rein in boys’ more aggressive impulses is a good thing (indeed, why don’t we?), but BW is unquestionably correct that the ban on pretend gun play targets a largely male activity.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Put 30 men into a room with 70 women, and you certainly have a female majority but not a female group.

    Any President of a University that was discharged because of feminine hysterics might disagree. Course to g, his entire world is disagreeable. not much change there.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Greg, please read what I write.

    Semi-literate people cannot do that, Book. IT is rather cruel to bring such a thing up ; )

    As people can see, g comes back acting like he is doing our lady a favor. Of course, the truth is that g has finished his time in the coffin and wishes to come back to easier haunts. Nutrition is defined as attention and superiority to narcissists. The more they are seen as superior and elevated in status, the more positive attention they derive from their flock.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    As an example to what I am refering to, please read this.

    Quite a few years ago, I saw a documentary on TV about batterers. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the program or the expert being interviewed, but what he said I think is self evident to anyone who has ever tried to communicate with an abusive person.

    What was it? He pointed out that in arguments between the victim and the batterer (not beatings, just arguments), the victim always argued circles around the batterer, beating him hands down. I mean she whupped him.

    They actually captured examples on film, from counseling offices and even from cameras placed in the home.

    This should be no surprise. Of course she whupped him to shame. Reason was 100% on her side. He either had to concede her points or be totally irrational and blow back a wall of gibberish and bullshit at her, like a character in a Monty Python skit.

    Any fair and rational judge of the debate must award the victory to her, by pinning him on every point.

    If you live or work with a narcissist, you know that all you ever get is fallacious arguments from them.

    But we get so used to the irrational blather of these people that we grow tired of fielding it all and blasting it by exposing it for the nonsense and gobbdygook it is.

    So we need to remind ourselves now and then that the way people use language can be a red flag.

    I know of a narcissistic administrator who ordered his charges to do despicable and even illegal acts while remaining unaccountable simply by issuing these orders in the Biblical language of Babble.

    What is it? It’s confused language, language that confuses things with what they ain’t. I have given examples of this before, like confusing patriotism with nationalism to make patriotism sound like a vice.

    If you examine Babble closely, you see that it is nonsense, language as literally meaningless as the babbling of baby. Just noise. Blather.

    Nonetheless, listeners get the message the babbler intends from it. How? Through the power of suggestion. And, as they say, Never understimate the power of suggestion.

    It’s bullshit, in other words. What writers call gobbledygook. The chief tool of propagandists. A way of saying things without really saying them. A way shooting a sentence through the forest without nicking a single tree. A way to confuse the listener enough that he or she misses the absurdity in what you say.

    It works because we are in the habit of fixing other people’s English on the fly. We must, because we all make errors in speaking even our native language on the fly. We start out a sentence one way, see it won’t work, and change some crucial grammatical element like the number of subject or the subject itself mid-sentence. Our listeners follow what we’re trying to say and correctly interpret the sentence anyway.

    Experiments have shown that listeners naturally fill in words you leave out, without even realizing that you have left them out. They correct nonsensical phrases to make sense of them.

    When, for example, Radar O’Reily rushes in crying, “Major Hoolihan went to get married to Japan!” we are but momentarily thrown overboard and instantly fix his sentence to “Major Hoolihan went to Japan to get married!”

    Next time you’re listening to someone, pay attention to how many times you think, “Huh? Oh, he actually means this” or “He actually means that.”

    That’s great. But when a particular person requires you to do too much of that, look out: it’s no accident. It just someone blowing a wall of blather at you.

    It’s full of extraneous gobbledygook that makes it hard to follow what they are saying. Characteristically, these people put so many miles between the subject and verb, interrupting the thought with everything but the kitchen sink, that by the time your poor cerebral software gets the verb, it has forgotten what the subject was.

    You are supposed to get confused and think, “Well, I don’t understand it but it must make sense.”

    No it need not make sense! Run a logic check on everything people say before you let it into your head.

    The administrator I mentioned above wasn’t nervous at all before an audience. To the contrary, he was in his glory. And he was perfectly capable of speaking perfect English to an audience when he wanted to. But when he wanted to avoid responsibility for what he was saying, he mangled his sentences; he left words and whole phrases out; he started sentences over so many times in the middle of one that there was no way to make English out of that gibberish. And don’t even get me started on the hints and innuendo. His charges understood exactly what he was telling them to do, though any direct quotes you could have supplied law enforcement authorities were nothing but innuendo and incoherent gibberish.

    We see this now even in writing. It’s politically incorrect to expect even the most basic standards in email. Blowhards exploit this green light. When educated people, even writers and editors, cannot get through a sentence of email without some unbelievable spelling or grammatical error, or way-off misuse of a word, look out. They are doing that on purpose, to make it seem as though they typed this with blazing speed and cannot be held accountable for making sense or meaning what they say.

    Why? Well, because this is email, Baby. And you know the rules of political correctness about email: we babblers can throw up smokescreens, confuse the issues, cloud the issues, sidestep the issues, and utter Nimrodean nonsense as freely in email as we do in speech. And it’s against the rules for you to call us on it. Ha-ha!”

    And that’s why the victim blasts every argument of the abuser to smithereens. All she has to do is take his blather one piece at a time and say, “Huh?” exposing it for what it is – bullshit and irrational absurdity.

    Narcissists and other abusers never do have a leg to stand on. Reason is never on their side. They never have even a single legitimate point to make. The wall of blather they throw at you is just an attempt to conceal that. It’s like the inky cloud an octopus exudes to conceal its escape route from a predator.

    That’s why communication with a narcissist is impossible. Communication is another thing on that long list of things that the poor babies call “threats” to themselves. So, communication with them is impossible simply because they block it, throwing up this wall of flak to prevent anything you say from getting through.

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=18702053&postID=189620240884066936