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.