Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The War on Boys and Men?

I find it quite interesting that in this past week there have been two very similar pieces written which describe a need for defense of traditional masculinity.

The first of these was written by Bill McMorris of the Federalist.  It was a reply to a sociology professor's recent article that claims that men don't have intimate relationships that women have, so woe be to men.   It is another in a long line of advice to men that claim that if they just acted less masculine, they'd be so much more happy.  Bill replies that society changes prevent men from being men, thus not only can't we be more feminine, we're now prevented from being truly masculine (and establishing relationships that spawn from those interactions).

The second was written by Camille Paglia, a staunch feminist, who opines that our society is headed for trouble due to the "softening" that is occurring.  You'd think her background would give her the opposite opinion.  However, she is also a worried mother of a boy.

Boys are in trouble.  Nearly 20% - one in five! - high-school aged boys is now diagnosed with ADHD.  Boys get worse grades than girls in school, and boys now are less likely to go to college than girls are.  

I know that women have suffered, and in the not-that-distant past as well.  Heck, my wife regales stories of the nuns that taught her growing up that ignored her and other smart girls because they weren't, and could never be, as smart as boys.  

Indeed, the pendulum has been on the other side.  But for God's sake, we weren't medicating away femininity out of a significant percentage of girls.  And we have no idea what the ultimate costs of doing this are going to be - no idea at all.

I admit, I don't have a son, so my opinions are just that.  However, I do have nephews, and do see examples in every day life of what is happening to little boys.  A great example was last year, when I was attending church with my cousin.  In the pew in front of us was a five-year-old boy that fussed and fidgeted his way through the entire mass, much to his grandmother's chagrin.  Despite her corrections, talks, and threats, the little guy just could not sit still.

After mass, grandma turned around to my cousin and me and said, "I am so sorry and so embarrassed by the behavior of my grandson.." to which my cousin (very much a man's man) immediately replied, "Embarrassed?   Why?  Mrs. X, your grandson's a BOY!"  As a scout leader for many years and a father of a boy himself, my cousin knew what of he spoke.

Hopefully, additional voices like those listed above can join the choir before it gets too late for an entire generation of boys.     

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