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A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 15:28
by mothra
We need a massive rethink on the way we raise our boys


A couple of weeks ago my daughter’s teacher sent a photo of her grade three class party. It was a lesson in how children as young as eight have already internalised their gender role.

In the photo, all the girls had formed a conga line behind the teacher. They were dancing, smiling, laughing and clearly having a fun.

The boys, meanwhile, were standing at the edge of the room watching on. All of them.

Some of the boys looked like they wanted to join in the fun. Others had already perfected their look of unaffected cool. Checking with my daughter later, I found that not one of them joined in the dancing.

These boys have already learned to perform masculinity: men don’t dance, and they aren't supposed to be playful.

They probably don’t know this yet, but by the laws of Australian masculinity, they won’t be allowed to dance again until they’re trying to impress a potential mate. Even then, it’ll be a means to an end rather than for joy or self-expression.

While eight seemed a bit young to already be straitjacketed by gender roles, a few weeks later, watching my friend drop her three-year-old son at kinder, I realised that the indoctrination process starts way earlier.

My friend’s three-year-old was standing at the gate of his kinder trying not to cry. That’s right, at three, this little boy has learned that boys aren’t allowed to express their emotion.

I don’t think it’s ever occurred to my daughters, who are aged four and eight, that they aren’t allowed to cry.

What’s more depressing is that my friend and her husband are the kinds of parents who are aware of the damaging effects rigid gender roles can have, and don’t reinforce them. They would never have told their son that boys aren’t allowed to cry.

Yet, he’s learned it anyway. The larger culture that he’s being reared in has done the work of asserting and embedding the rule that men don’t cry — just as the eight-year-olds have learnt that boys are only allowed to let loose and have fun in certain situations, such as sporting fields or playing video games.

Just as the messages telling girls that they must be compliant and pretty are everywhere, the prescription of socially-acceptable masculinity is just as pervasive.

For example, I’m writing this on the couch with my sick daughter watching what feels like a double marathon of the Nickelodeon kids series Paw Patrol. And yes, that is as excruciating as it sounds.

I figured that a kids show featuring animated dogs rescuing lost animals and performing other emergency services would be pretty innocuous. But, it turns out that Paw Patrol is an abject lesson in how to perform gender.

The running gag of the whole show seems to be boys repressing their genuine emotions.

For example, after Rubble the bulldog learned that a kitten was stuck on a boat that was drifting out to sea, he says, “Oh no, the itty bitty kitten.” He then realises his terrible crime of expressing empathy and concern, and corrects himself in his serious, all-business bulldog voice, “I mean we have to save her.”

It’s not an isolated case. After Skye the girl dog performed a daring air recuse the male dog in charge, Chase, says, “Skye I was so worried.” Realising his faux pas of expressing emotion, he corrects himself and says, “I mean excellent flying.”

It might not matter if boys watch this modelling of restrictive gender roles once or twice, but there are roughly 78 billion episodes of Paw Patrol. And it’s just one example. There are any number of kids TV shows, movies, books and computer games that are like it.

If we really want to free our boys and girls from the constraints of gender roles, and give them the freedom to be whoever they want to be, then we need to do more than tell parents to allow their daughters to climb trees and give boys permission to cry.

We’re going to need a massive rethink to the way we rear and condition kids — and the collective conviction to follow through with meaningful change.

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/we-need-a-massive-rethink-on-the-way-we-raise-our-boys-20180529-p4zi6s.html

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 15:38
by HBS Guy
I think boys need an initiation into manhood. Stopping Guy Fawkes night was a very bad thing IMHO.

As you got older you could light more and more of the crackers etc. Now initiation seems to be getting drunk then driving.

As to gender roles, who knows? To what extent might they be innate?

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 15:47
by mothra
HBS Guy wrote:I think boys need an initiation into manhood. Stopping Guy Fawkes night was a very bad thing IMHO.

As you got older you could light more and more of the crackers etc. Now initiation seems to be getting drunk then driving.

As to gender roles, who knows? To what extent might they be innate?


I quite agree. My son is going on a special camp set up by the men in the community in a year or two. They run it every year. It's quite brilliant.

As to gender roles being innate, i would modify that slightly to say that qualities of what are traditionally called the masculine and the feminine are innate yet each of us falls into our own point on a spectrum ranging between what is typified by those qualities. It is demonstrably so because more and more people are telling us every day that they feel comfortable with behaviours or actions that are not representative of their outward biology.

But you must concede that much is social construct. It explains too much for it not to be so.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 18:03
by HBS Guy
Yeah, I suppose Father works and Mother runs the household is still common, if not in reality on the telly, books etc.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 18:24
by DonDeeHippy
As my Hero Ben Lee sings...
Boys with their barbies
and girls with toy army's
I guess kids r going to emulate those that teach them....
ohh shit another song... cats in the cradle, id better stop or it will get worse. :stop

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 18:39
by MilesAway
mothra wrote:
HBS Guy wrote:I think boys need an initiation into manhood. Stopping Guy Fawkes night was a very bad thing IMHO.

As you got older you could light more and more of the crackers etc. Now initiation seems to be getting drunk then driving.

As to gender roles, who knows? To what extent might they be innate?


I quite agree. My son is going on a special camp set up by the men in the community in a year or two. They run it every year. It's quite brilliant.

As to gender roles being innate, i would modify that slightly to say that qualities of what are traditionally called the masculine and the feminine are innate yet each of us falls into our own point on a spectrum ranging between what is typified by those qualities. It is demonstrably so because more and more people are telling us every day that they feel comfortable with behaviours or actions that are not representative of their outward biology.

But you must concede that much is social construct. It explains too much for it not to be so.

You are off troppo land matey!

Without men, ...then what? Yeh, you're picking flower heads and making bread!

:tweed

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 18:40
by MilesAway
HBS Guy wrote:Yeah, I suppose Father works and Mother runs the household is still common, if not in reality on the telly, books etc.

What's that got to do with anything?

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 18:58
by johnsmith
MilesAway wrote:Without men, ...then what?


no one suggested we do away with men

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 19:38
by mothra
DonDeeHippy wrote:As my Hero Ben Lee sings...
Boys with their barbies
and girls with toy army's
I guess kids r going to emulate those that teach them....
ohh shit another song... cats in the cradle, id better stop or it will get worse. :stop


Oh please sing! I love a song, me:



Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 19:58
by johnsmith
DonDeeHippy wrote:cats in the cradle


one of my favourite songs.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 20:01
by MilesAway
johnsmith wrote:
MilesAway wrote:Without men, ...then what?


no one suggested we do away with men

Bullshit brotha!

GO SLUTWALK YAY :OMG

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 20:33
by DonDeeHippy
DonDeeHippy wrote:As my Hero Ben Lee sings...
Boys with their barbies
and girls with toy army's
I guess kids r going to emulate those that teach them....
ohh shit another song... cats in the cradle, id better stop or it will get worse. :stop


Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 20:41
by mothra
DonDeeHippy wrote:
DonDeeHippy wrote:As my Hero Ben Lee sings...
Boys with their barbies
and girls with toy army's
I guess kids r going to emulate those that teach them....
ohh shit another song... cats in the cradle, id better stop or it will get worse. :stop




You have to delete the 's' in the 'https' to make youtubes work on this site.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 20:43
by DonDeeHippy
ahh thank you :bgrin

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 22:08
by mothra

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 23:01
by Aussie
Hands up if your Parents would have read a book like that back in the 50s.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 23:55
by mothra
Aussie wrote:Hands up if your Parents would have read a book like that back in the 50s.



Think there might be a few more things to consider and navigate than in the '50s?

Moreover, how did not talking about things work out for us?

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 07:17
by HBS Guy
They read Dr Spock in the 60s.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 14:43
by MilesAway

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 07 Jun 2018, 14:45
by MilesAway
mothra wrote:
Aussie wrote:Hands up if your Parents would have read a book like that back in the 50s.



Think there might be a few more things to consider and navigate than in the '50s?

Moreover, how did not talking about things work out for us?

No one talks about anything now! It's just "...SLUTWALK SLUTWALK SLUTWALK,... MEN ARE PIGS!"

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2018, 08:32
by Sprintcyclist
Boys are very sensitive.

Our emotional side needs care from other males.

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2018, 12:48
by Bongalong
Sprintcyclist wrote:Boys are very sensitive.

Our emotional side needs care from other males.

What the fuck are on about dickface?

:roll

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2018, 16:11
by mothra
Sprintcyclist wrote:Boys are very sensitive.

Our emotional side needs care from other males.



Indeed. I think you would enjoy this article, Sprint. It's wonderful.

http://polanimal.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4273

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2018, 17:26
by Bongalong
mothra wrote:
Sprintcyclist wrote:Boys are very sensitive.

Our emotional side needs care from other males.



Indeed. I think you would enjoy this article, Sprint. It's wonderful.

http://polanimal.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4273

:roll :roll

Re: A rethink on raising boys

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 11:07
by Sprintcyclist
Bongalong wrote:
Sprintcyclist wrote:Boys are very sensitive.

Our emotional side needs care from other males.

What the fuck are on about dickface?

:roll


yes, that is exactly the attitude that damages boys.
then those emotionally crippled boys go on to damage other men or women.