~ 26 January 2006 ~

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

The current Newsweek cover story, “The Trouble With Boys,” is just one of many recent examples of a growing awareness of the damage that feminism has inflicted upon males. Going much further than simply showing that men and women are of equal worth, feminism has strangely worked against itself by implying that male and female are the same. The result is a gross overcorrection in culture that tends to denigrate masculinity in favor of getting in touch with one’s so-called “feminine side.”

Recent less-than-stellar performances of boys in education have caused many to take notice. National Review’s Rich Lowry, commenting on the Newsweek article, observes:

…Feminists have wanted to believe that, given the right socialization, boys would give up their stubborn fascination with earth-moving equipment. As someone once said, “You can have your own opinion, but you can’t have your facts.” Similarly, you can have your opinion about what gender should be, but you can’t have your own brain chemistry. Newsweek notes how in the womb, the brain of a male fetus is bathed with testosterone.

As any parent knows, that makes him different from a girl. If pedagogy systematically ignores those differences, it will be a disaster. Newsweek recounts the indices: Boys are twice as likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities than girls in elementary school; the number of boys professing a dislike of school has risen 71 percent from 1980 to 2001; men constitute 44 percent of undergraduates on college campuses, down from 58 percent 30 years ago.

If school overemphasizes sitting quietly and language skills; if recess is eliminated; if discipline is eroded; if the books feature consciousness-raising instead of action-packed narrative — then boys will be bored, disaffected and disruptive. Classrooms have to be made more boy-friendly — with more discipline, more competition and more activity — so that boys are no longer treated, as one expert put it to Newsweek, “like defective girls.”

These changes look promising, but schools aren’t the only place where cultural emasculation has been felt. The topic came up in a different setting where The White Horse Inn radio program interviewed David Murrow regarding his recent book Why Men Hate Going to Church [hat tip: The Rough Woodsman]. This week, Albert Mohler spoke of sex differences on his own radio program in the context of Scott Haltzman’s new book, The Secrets of Happily Married Men.

If we realize and act upon the fact that boys are not “defective girls,” the chances of growing defective men will exponentially diminish. Let’s appreciate the different ways God has made us. If there’s anywhere in our culture that’s lacking diversity, this is it.

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3 Comments:

  1. Jason Doty » 26 January 2006:

    Drudge has an interesting article up about a schoolboy who is suing the system for unfair bias toward females. This is all starting to come together in the American mind all at once so it seems.

  2. martin » 29 January 2006:

    Hi: the problems males face in society may all be coming together, but if so, there is a long way to go: no word here about the 93% of prisoners that are male, or the suicide rate of males being five times that of females, or the gap in longevity while the government spends almost two times as much on female healthcare as men’s (Women’s health care centers, women’s health agencies, funding for breast cancer, etc) and no word on the daily violence inflicted on men on tv, the movies, etc and in reality (for example, 98% of dead Americans in Iraq, and about the same percent of dead Iraqis are male).

    But the most egregious mistake in the article was spreading the lie that girls used to trail boys in education: at no time has that been true. Girls have always trailed boys in math and science, by not by as much as boys have always trailed girls in reading and writing—which gap has steadily increased, while the gap in math and science has been reduced to a couple weeks worth of learning—: which is more important in your personal and professional life–reading and writing, or math and science?

  3. George Rolph » 13 February 2006:

    It was a fascinating experience reading through the responses to the article entitled, “The Trouble With Boys”

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10965522/site/newsweek/

    Though the responses covered many areas I have separated three different views that seem to be to reflect the most prevalent views in our society, bar one.

    THE ENLIGHTENED PARENTS VIEW.

    “It is fitting that I read your cover story on my son’s 16th birthday. “The Boy Crisis” describes his educational journey to a T. I have spent the last 10 years searching for answers to his many behavioral issues, all of which are outlined in this story. I’ve pursued experts who have helped with whatever label of the moment was assigned to him—he had ADD, poor sensory development, a misfire from brain to hand (which makes written expression difficult) and undeveloped social skills; he was a brilliant underachiever and organizationally dysfunctional. What a relief to read what I have known deep down for all these frustrating years: he is not so abnormal.”

    As I read this, I wondered why this parent had sought out an “expert” view for what she already knew instinctively. Then I realised it is because we are taught to listen to “experts” and ignore our own parental instincts in today’s society. Thus we have a situation where we rather listen to Oprah than to Gran or Grandad. No wonder we are losing our parenting skills! All Oprah is doing is regurgitating what “experts” have told her.

    The extended family is the real vault of wisdom we need to get back too. It is time to once more place our faith, our resources and our trust in the family as our source of expertise and lay down all those paperback books we buy that give us so many confusing and disparate “strategies” for raising our kids. Joe/Jane Bloggs PhD may have a hell of a brain for studying trends and statistics and putting their ideas together in a paperback as a “fix all” solution for parents branded as “dysfunctional” by another “expert” but the truth is that Gran and Grandad have been there, done it all and know all about bringing up kids. They are a deep fountain of wisdom and experience that we devalue and lock them away in a retirement home as soon as they become “difficult to manage” (Often a euphemism for, getting in the way of our selfish ambitions). I am certain that it is because Asian cultures value their elderly so much more than we do in the western world and pay more attention to their accumulated wisdom, that their children are so much more stable and grounded and able to focus. Generally speaking, in the west we tolerate the despising of our older people. In the east, they revere them.

    It was listening to “experts” that got us into the place where in America, Ritalin is now prescribed to, “10 to 12 percent of all boys between the ages 6 and 14 in the United States ”

    Source: http://www.breggin.com/congress.html

    The side effects of this schedule 2 drug are as follows:

    “Short-term effects can include nervousness and insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, changes in heart rate and blood pressure (usually elevation of both, but occasionally depression), skin rashes and itching,
    abdominal pain, weight loss, and digestive problems, toxic psychosis, psychotic episodes, drug dependence syndrome, and severe depression upon withdrawal.

    What are its long-term effects?

    High doses of stimulants produce a predictable set of symptoms that include loss of appetite (may cause serious malnutrition), tremors and muscle twitching, fevers, convulsions, and headaches (may be severe), irregular heartbeat and respiration’s (may be profound and life threatening), anxiety, restlessness, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, and formication (sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin).”

    Source:

    http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/drug_guide/Ritalin

    This, has become our substitute for parenting and it happened because we relied upon “experts” instead of family wisdom.

    PROFESSIONAL DENIAL

    It was interesting to me also that a typical “professional opinion” surfaced in the responses and betrayed a worrying, yet all too familiar theme in professional thinking.

    “Yes, boys are in crisis, and American parents are justifiably worried about the men their sons will become. But I wonder what mothers like Lance Armstrong’s make of such statements as “An adolescent boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map.” The assumption that “masculine” qualities can be imparted only by men undermines the success of millions of mothers who are fully capable of raising thriving, emotionally healthy, masculine sons without a man around. Linda Armstrong raised Lance on her own and did quite well, as did the women who singlehandedly raised such successful men as Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, Rickey Henderson, Ed Bradley and Jamie Foxx. Armstrong calls his mother his main role model, saying she gave him determination, strength to overcome adversity and the capacity to succeed. These qualities are not exclusively masculine. They are human qualities that mothers can and do engender in their sons.
    Peggy Drexler, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry
    Weill Medical College of Cornell University
    New York, N.Y.”

    This view encapsulates much of the denial that plagues “official” and “professional” thinking. It is a view that comes by taking a selective view of the world and cherry picking examples of unusual success in the world view held by the professional concerned. What is disturbing is that this behaviour is exactly the opposite way that a “scientist” should behave. It is an emotional response and not a response based on the wealth of data on offer.

    The rest of society can see that single parenthood and the destruction of family values are the root of our problems. The crime and welfare statistics scream this fact at us every day. Yet, this kind of “professional” thinking is a measure of a profound denial of the truth and eventually finds it’s way into yet another paperback book, written by an “expert,” to further muddy the waters and confuse parents and children alike.

    THE “ENLIGHTENED” FEMINIST VIEW.

    “Boys in a “crisis”? in my grandmother’s day, only men could vote. When I was a girl, only boys could play sports. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men can be priests. In certain societies today and throughout history, girls can’t attend school, and women can’t work or show their faces in public. In China, girl babies are discarded because boys are favored. In America, glass ceilings block females from access to power, money and leadership. On playgrounds, a common taunt among boys falls along these lines: “You cry/ act/talk/throw like a girl.” So for the fraction of a nanosecond in human history that boys are perceived to be on the short end of the stick compared with girls, you call this a “crisis”? C’mon, guys. You take a turn at second-class status for once.
    Sandra J. Anderson
    Columbus, Ohio ”

    This view is the one that caused most of our current problems in the first place. It is the infantile, bitter and false historical view that has become a plague on all of our houses. It is the view of the vengeful and angry heart of feminism that has nothing to do with “equality” and everything to do with a perceived, and all too tragically, taught, view of gender roles that is distorted and based upon an illusion. Again, this view is the result of cherry picking history and social realities to reinforce a learned injustice. It works by searching memories and history for illustrations of bad men and bad things done by men and then painting the whole male race with the results. It is a philosophy that puts St Francis of Assisi in the same box as Adolph Hitler and then places both under the microscope of hate. It is not surprising that faults are found. These faults are then magnified and projected onto all males. In time, the hate grows to the point where revenge is sought by punishing all male children for the sins of few of their fathers At the same time, ignoring the positive male role models that abound everywhere, as a form of self justification. These views are then rationalised and taught to the rest of us. The result is that astounding statements are made that are not seen as the psychologically dysfunctional remarks they really are. Therefore, the statement, ” C’mon, guys. You take a turn at second-class status for once.” Is not seen by society for the sick view it really is, instead it has become “accepted” feminist thinking. By accepting these weird and damaging views as normal we all become infected by them. The truth is, by subjecting male children to a taste of a perceived discrimination not carried out, or common to all, or even most, males is like saying that black people should be given the right to kill white people because “some” white people treated them badly in the past.

    The most dangerous aspects of this psychologically twisted viewpoint are our unquestioning acceptance of it and our failure to prevent it being taught to our sons and daughters. The lesson should be that because Jody Foster or Catherine MacKinnon says that a view is sane and rational, does not mean it is. We need to become more discerning about which “experts,” “world views” and “political viewpoints” we listen too.

    In the end, the family is fountain of wisdom we should drink from and not the endless parade of “experts” all claiming to know better than the accumulated thousands of years of family wisdom.

    George Rolph
    London

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