Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons is a book that does just that, it helps moms be closer to their sons. It does this by first offering mothers new information on the uniqueness of their sons.
The first section of Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons offers moms the important information the media and others have omitted. It examines the role of the testosterone flood in utero and how this changes boys even before they are born. It looks into the newest ideas drawn from improved methods in testosterone research. These new methods show that testosterone is not about aggression or violence, it is instead about striving for status. That is, pushing him to compete, to win, to be at the top. Testosterone pushes boys to win and this is just one of the many ways that a boy’s biology impacts his way of being.
The book shows how boys adjust their behaviors based on their differences and importantly how moms can use these differences to get closer. Sections on why boy’s emotions are invisible and how to see them, on how they play, how they compete, how they heal and more. Golden offers tips and suggestions about how to take advantage of the boys uniqueness and use it as a way to get close. There are bonus sections on discipline, adolescence, and teaching boys about emotions.
Concise and straight forward this book will put moms in a position to truly appreciate their boys for who they are and to get closer in the process.
Give it a try. You can’t go wrong.
The NASW Social Work Code of Ethics is a very helpful but demanding document. It asks us to live a cognizant life both at work and at home. If we take this document seriously, and we certainly must, it demands that we are prepared to confront things not in concert with the Code.
Unfortunately there is a massive failure by the entire social work industry to adhere to that code going on right now.
If you will, think about a southern, rural town in the early 1950’s. Imagine you are there to give a workshop to the townspeople on racism. Can you guess their reaction to your words about racial equality? Their daily habits and way of life is based on something far from what you are describing to them. What do you think they would say and do? My guess is they might politely listen but after leaving conclude that you were some sort of nut — a “n***** lover” or even more likely an interloper who hates them and their way of life.
In some ways I feel like that person right now. There is a form of discrimination that is clearly present, potently hurtful and yet most of those around me are hostile to hearing about it. They just don’t and won’t see it. If you call attention to it, if you point to the elephant in the room, they become hostile.
Who is the group that faces discrimination that no one sees? It is men and boys. And the treatment of them in the arena of social work has taken a very, very disturbing detour from the NASW Code of Ethics for quite some time now.
Where it concerns the interrelationship between men and women our early survival mandated cooperative gender roles. Men would provide, protect and risk in order to ensure the safety of women and children. Women provided the essential immediate care of children.
This arrangement is what we have come to know as gynocentric in that the roles taken on by men and women hinged on the fact that women and children had to be protected at all costs. While both roles are or were vital in the overall picture, life and limb sacrifices, the role of protector and provider fell on the shoulders of the male. In short, the male is replaceable. The women are not, because men can’t have children.
This arrangement worked spectacularly for a long time. However, human advancement, through the cooperative efforts of men and women, resulted in a world where gender roles are generally not essential for human survival. We have far fewer concerns over our immediate safety than we did on the African Savanna and technology has made many professions accessible to both men and women. Accordingly, women’s roles have evolved and expanded, affording them the opportunity to make more conscious choices, and to experience more freedom than strict gender roles could have ever afforded.
Men, however, have lagged behind in this area and that is where we start to encounter some of the problems that they face today. To more fully understand this, we must take a look at cultural development through the gynocentric lens.
Even before the industrial revolution, while the male role was functional and successful without question, it was one of significant, unrecognized and unseen sacrifice. Of course that made sense. Were humans to practice the same protection and compassion for men as they did for women, it would have destroyed us. In an environment of hardship we could not afford to busy ourselves with men’s suffering and pain. That unrecognized burden was what kept us alive.
Men’s roles threw them into positions where people just didn’t know if they would ever return home at any point. Whether in the Paleolithic realm of hunting and tribal conflict, or more modern warfare, the certainty of any man’s survival was never assured. When there is constant uncertainty about a person’s fate we tend to detach for our own psychological benefit. We see them as more disposable and basically live in a state of preparedness for their possible demise.
Let’s take an example. Those who are designated to die in war are treated like heroes if they accomplish the miraculous and survive. That “heroism” is offered to young men as a standard of manhood in order to have them fulfill the expectation of sacrifice when needed. When something or someone is seen as disposable we generally ignore their pain and hardship. Indeed, most antiwar sentiment in America is based on the fact that we are killing, not because we are dying. That is expected of the disposable sex.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, when I worked as a psychotherapist with many traumatized men and women, it was clear that society’s focus was to help women suffering from emotional trauma. Matters became a lot more fuzzy where it concerned men’s pain. I found out very quickly that a man’s emotional pain was taboo. No one wants to hear it, people want to run away.
Honestly and compassionately addressing men’s pain usually triggers an instinctive fear that in doing so those men will no longer be available to provide and protect. They become, at least in our unconscious minds, a liability that we cannot afford.
It took me some time to understand that this fear created an empathy gap that is still rampant in the field. Even in what is supposed to be an enlightened field of work, we are operating on some level as though compassion for men will bring us to ruin. This detachment, indifference to and even hostility toward men’s pain and hardship will be made quite visible to you in the remainder of this article.
You will also see how and why social work currently operates as a professional culture in violation of the NASW Code.
We will demonstrate these issues one by one by first quoting from the code and then documenting how it is systematically violated. Let’s start with discrimination by laws.
Here’s what the code says:
That is very unambiguous language. It paints a clear, ethical path that social workers must follow when performing professional duties. Failing to follow those edicts is not just an ethical violation, it is an act of moral turpitude and an abuse of individuals entrusted to their care.
Let’s take a look at an example.
We know now that men are a significant portion of the victims of domestic violence. The latest CDC research confirms this and in fact states that in the past 12 months men were 53% of the victims of domestic violence. (see image below) Most estimates about the percentage of male victims of domestic violence seem to be between 25-50%. However when you search on domestic violence on the NASW web site the focus is on female victims. Here’s an example and another here. Not only NASW focuses more on women, the services on a national level for domestic violence are astoundingly built to serve only women. This is overt discrimination.
We know from the research of Denise Hines1 that when males do seek help as victims of domestic violence at these female only services for victims they are not only turned away, they are often told they are the abusers. Many battered men have reached out for help for themselves and their children only to be offered anger management classes because that is all these facilities will offer men.
This is profoundly destructive. It is, if we are to be honest, a second perpetration of abuse, this time at the hands of professionals who are ethically bound to do just the opposite of what they are doing.
Nearly everything related to the amelioration of domestic violence has been built for women. Social workers have said very little about this but the courts have started to acknowledge the discrimination that men face as victims of domestic violence.
In the Woods et. al. vs California2 case in 2008, a Superior Court in Sacramento, ruled that male domestic violence victims had been unconstitutionally denied services. The court held that state laws violated men’s equal protection rights by excluding male victims from state-funded domestic violence services. The court found: “domestic violence is a serious problem for both women and men” and that “men experience significant levels of domestic violence as victims.”
Then, in October 2009, a West Virginia judge3 struck down state rules for regulating domestic violence shelters because they operate “on the premise that only men can be batterers and only women can be victims” and “exclude adult and adolescent males from their statutory right to safety and security free from domestic violence based only on their gender.”
It’s clear that this problem is now widespread in the United States. Yet where is any objection to any of this being raised by social workers who are deeply embedded in the provision of services to the victims of domestic violence?
Consider this. In California and West Virginia they were sued and found culpable for violating anti-discrimination laws. In both states they were found guilty of violating laws that almost exactly replicated their code of ethics.
So if social workers were involved where are the professional sanctions against them? What NASW sanctions were placed on any social workers responsible? What investigations were done? What recommendation offered? Why, despite the fact that there is open and systemic discrimination against men practiced by social workers, is the NASW not taking action?
Does NASW draw the line at adhering to their own ethics where it concerns women and less so with men? It seems a possibility.
In fairness it must be said that social workers are also people. And people, generally speaking, are detached from men’s pain.
Our humanness, however, does not excuse us for doing damage instead of rendering aid. We are educated people who must be expected to operate in accordance with our own professional codes. Just as we are expected to rise above every other area of potential bias we may have toward other groups, we are also beholden to practice the same with men and boys.
If you are a social worker working in the area of domestic violence are you aware of this discrimination? Are you speaking out against it? Remember, being aware and doing nothing is what the code calls “condoning and facilitating.” As social workers we need to stand up for those who are facing discrimination and in this case it is men and boys. If you do see this and say nothing you are a part of the problem. You are living in a small, rural town in the 1950s.
Will you follow the code and stand up for these men who face discrimination?
Social Workers in hospitals pediatric or OB/GYN units should be aware that there is severe discrimination going on right under their noses, a discrimination that is built right into our laws. Baby girls are protected from having their genitals mutilated by law. No exceptions for cultural or religious differences. No exceptions for anything, as it should be. Penalties for breaking this law are severe. At the same time genital mutilation of baby boys is one of the most popular surgical procedures in America. This is not a minor prick of the skin.
Circumcision on average removes 6,000-10,000 nerve endings of erogenous tissue, nearly as many nerve endings as the entire female clitoris which many estimate to have around 8,000 nerve endings. The adult male equivalent in terms of amount of skin removed is the size of an index card, about 3 x 5 inches.
And there is now an abundance of medical research concluding for the most part that circumcision is actually just a euphemism for genital mutilation. There are deaths associated with this medically unnecessary procedure and now a variety of confirmed and suspected negative side effects.
From the group, Doctors Opposed to Circumcision:
“Memory starts before birth and newborn infants have fully functioning pain pathways. One would expect, therefore, to find psychological effects associated with the painful genital cutting operation [circumcision].” Doctors Opposed to Circumcision
Any loving parent, and for that matter any responsible mental health worker who is working with new parents, should consider the following demonstrated facts and known side effects of neonatal cutting, as follows:
What we find, when considering all the evidence about circumcision is that the only difference between male and female genital mutilation is that one is socially acceptable and one is not. It seems obvious when you consider the longstanding, programmed indifference to the pain of males, which is which and why.
Here are some sources demonstrating the severely negative impact of circumcision on infants, their parents and how those consequences follow the victims through life.
There is an abundance of other research. True enough, there are studies that conclude that circumcision does not produce significant problems for men but as we find in criticisms of those studies, circumcised researchers and circumcised doctors who perform circumcisions both have emotional and financial investment in the procedure.
What is most damning in my mind though is that social workers in the OB-GYN and neonatal fields may not deliver information to parents that might make them reconsider whether circumcision was healthy for their child.
This failure to educate and inform their clients, or indeed to inform themselves of the research is a clear violation of NASW ethical codes.
Part of what drives this is that male genital mutilation is a profitable venture. Aside from the money made doing the procedure the foreskins can be sold for around $400 each depending on how they are used.
Some are used for research while some are turned into very expensive women’s facial cream advertised on Oprah. We are now aware that these circumcisions, the majority of which are conducted without anesthesia, are causing psychological problems and physical problems for the boys and men who are unfortunate enough to have been subjected to them.
Alexithymia (a deficit in emotional acumen and experience) and PTSD have both been connected to male infant circumcision and it is doubtless that many more negatives will be found. In fact much of what we know about girls who have faced genital mutilation is also being found true for the millions of little boys and the men they become.
Social workers are rightly very concerned about female genital mutilation but are failing roundly to address this concern on behalf of boys. If you are a social worker are you following the code and speaking out against the mutilation of children for profit, or are you turning a blind eye to the matter altogether as long as the victims are boys?
And have you considered that if you are working with a family going through childbirth and postnatal care, and you have remained silent about this issue that you can reasonably considered accessory to the abuse?
These are tough questions but as social workers we are not ethically afforded the luxury of failing to answer.
Now let’s move to an area where men and boys face discrimination not from laws but from societal ignorance and lack of compassion.
Here’s what the code says:
6.04 Social and Political Action (a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully.
Did you know that eight out of ten completed suicides are males4? Have you heard that stat tossed around? Have you ever heard a social worker rise up to say that we are ignoring the glaring problem of male suicide? Probably not. The gynocentrism in modern social work does not permit for men, as a group, to have any of their issues given due prominence. This is true even when men are killing themselves at four to five times the rate of women.
NASW studied suicide some years ago. The study focused on girls and suicide. I asked at the time why they didn’t study boys since boys were 80% of the victims and Elizabeth Clarke, the NASW Executive Director at the time said the funding requested the study focus on girls. Sadly, this is not uncommon. The focus of the media, researchers and clinicians is on girls and women even though they are a fraction of the victims. As a social worker, do you see this discrimination? Shouldn’t a commensurate amount of research be done based on those who are most victimized? Shouldn’t any conference on suicide have most presentations related to male suicide and what to do about it? Shouldn’t we create services designed for those who are most at risk? We need to stand up for the victims and potential victims of suicide that are being ignored and marginalized. Will you stand up for boys and men? Do you think that ignoring that question puts you in direct violation of your professional responsibilities?
Men tend to live shorter and sicker lives than women. The fact is that white women have the greatest longevity followed by black females, followed by white males, followed by black males. Both black and white men live shorter lives than both black and white females. Some are thinking that black males are at the bottom since they face the burden of both racism and of being male.
“‘Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death,” says Randolph Nesse of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer.”
Nesse’s colleague Daniel Kruger estimates that “over 375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the US if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s.” (New Scientist Magazine, July 2002)
Men die earlier and more often than women from nearly every major cause of death except for one, Alzheimer’s. And the reason for that is that they do not live long enough to compete for that honor.
Even with the longevity and poor health experienced by men what we find is that the services available to them are considerably less than what is provided for women. The United States has seven national offices for women’s health but none for men. They have web pages for womenshealth.gov and girlshealth.gov but none for menshealth.gov or boyshealth.gov. Why do we discriminate and treat men and women so differently? As a Social Worker are you speaking out and standing up for the men and boys who are obviously being marginalized? If not, are you violating our code of ethics?
The roles in education have been reversed. What was once considered discrimination against women and girls in their 22% deficit in college degrees has now reversed. It is the boys and men who are getting far fewer degrees than the women and girls. The difference? Now we don’t call it discrimination against boys — we call it empowerment of girls. The disadvantage and discrimination of the boys and men is simply ignored and reframed as a positive. As a social worker are you willing to stand up against this discrimination against boys and men?
I hope you are starting to see the profound bias facing men and boys in today’s world, and in the way that that the social work field is not just ignoring, but facilitating that problem.
The hardship and discrimination they face is ignored and worse, they are villainized and blamed for the problems they experience. Where did Social Workers learn this? In grad school. Our social work education is clearly anti-male and is in dire need of an overhaul to close the empathy gap, and to restore the social work profession to its own ethical standards. If we are educating and training social workers to violate their own code of ethics then it stands to reason that we are left with a pervasive problem throughout the field. We are left with the disturbing reality that the field is the problem.
Part Two will focus on Social Work Education and its anti-male bias.
Research since the 1970s has documented that men, in addition to women, sustain intimate partner violence (IPV), although much of that research has been overlooked. A growing body of research is examining the experiences of men who sustain female-to-male IPV, but there is still much to be learned. This exploratory study assesses the experiences of 302 men who have sustained IPV from their female partners and sought help from 1 of 6 resources: domestic violence agencies, hotlines, Internet, mental health professionals, medical providers, or the police. We examine what demographic characteristics and life experiences are associated with where men seek help and how they rate those experiences. We make recommendations for agencies, service providers, and first responders about how to tailor services for this specific population and their families.
excerpt – “This is just basic unfairness. It’s raw gender bias,” said Harvey D. Peyton, attorney for Men & Women Against Discrimination.
The West Virginia legal challenge is among a growing number of battles being waged across the country by groups that allege state laws requiring gender-neutral programs are skewed by discriminatory rules and regulations that embrace gender biases.
Psychologists have studied and argued about male sex roles for many years. They have done a decent job, with a few exceptions, of describing these roles. These include the independent, tough, competitive and unemotional types and many others. But they have missed possibly the most important aspect of these roles completely, and that is the connection of the male sex role with gynocentrism. Without gynocentrism the male role would simply not exist. It is an essential element in the male sex role and describing the traits that might make up such a role is very short sighted. They have failed miserably at identifying the underlying reason for the roles. On that point there is mostly silence. Take the example of the recent movie titled “The Mask.” In this film male roles are villainized and seen as a problem that boys need to remove as if they can take off these roles like they might take off a mask. There is zero mention of why those roles have evolved as they have.
This article will start a discussion about the connection of male sex roles with gynocentrism and how our zest to push boys into male sex roles is actually a push to train them to be gynocentric foot soldiers.
I can remember in the 1950’s when I was a little guy the common phrase used in my elementary school was “girls first.” Whether it was a line to get ice cream, leaving a large school assembly, or just getting a drink from a water fountain. The standard chant was girls first. The girls got to go before us boys simply because they were girls. I can remember asking when the boys would get to go first and was rebuked and told to just wait my turn. What is the message to boys? Your needs are secondary. Your job is to sacrifice and let the girls go first, get used to it. Of course there was never a time when any teacher said “boys first.” Boys first has a strange ring to it, doesn’t it? The message was clear. As boys we needed to put our needs second and allow the girls to go first, simply because of their biological difference, they were girls. And if you complain about this unfair advantage you will be shamed and labelled as a troublemaker.
If you are going to be a gynocentric foot soldier you had better learn that your needs are never first. You will be facing many situations in the future where you will need to put women’s needs ahead of your own. Get used to it. This is the beginning of basic training.
While the overt usage of the “girls first” or “ladies first” adage may be diminished I think that the idea is still prevalent. All one has to do is search google and see how many images sport the “ladies first” meme. This gives us the odd mix of “ladies first” alongside “we are all equal.” Yet another bizarre twist in our misandrist culture.
Added into this crazy mix is the big boys don’t cry message. Nearly every male in the US has heard this repeatedly. Much has been made about how this stops men from emoting in public and encourages them to avoid their tears. Men have been shamed for eons for not “dealing with their feelings.” I think this obvious blue pill assessment is limited and misses the mark. If one ignores the gynocentric connection then one sees only a man avoiding emotions. But why? Why would a man want to avoid emotions? The first reason is that in a gynocentric world women’s needs and feelings are important and men’s are not. Think back to a little boy being told that big boys don’t cry. What are they saying to him? They are saying that his needs and hurts are not as important as his sister’s. When do young boys cry? They cry when they have needs that are not being met, or when they need attention to a hurt. The message is clear. When you are a boy and you are hurt or have needs, they are less important than your sister’s. And if you dare complain about it you will just hear the same message once again, “big boys don’t cry.” Voicing your needs is seen as whining. If you are going to be a good gynocentric foot soldier, that is, be a good provider and protector of women you can’t whine or cry.
But there is another piece of this mess that is rarely mentioned. By saying to a young boy that big boys don’t cry you are not only telling him to STFU you are also alleviating yourself from any responsibility to tend to a boy’s pain or to muster even a rudimentary degree of compassion. So the message to the boys is clear, your pain does not matter as much as our sister’s and it matters so little that those who love you don’t feel the need to offer you support or compassion. Deal with it. Be a man. Boys learn to handle it themselves because very few others will step forward and offer them a hand. But they also learn that others simply don’t care about their pain. This is the basic training of a gynocentric foot soldier.
And then there is the mess that starts for boys in early childhood where they are told to never hit a girl and if they do they will face severe punishment. This rule is enforced, not only by the parents or authorities but also by the toughest boys. The girls catch wind of this and take advantage. Some start hitting the boys knowing the boys cannot hit back. But wait, the girls violence is ignored. No one lifts a finger. The boys already know that no one will likely listen and will turn away and shame them for complaining. Now they find out that violence is just one more area where their needs don’t count. They also know that if they report a girl who hits them they will face a gauntlet that labels them a pussy. Boys learn to stay quiet about their needs, even safety needs. This is what a foot soldier is supposed to do. The girls learn that they can be damsels in distress and turn on the waterworks to get what they want. They also learn they can get away with violence against boys. The boys learn they face a very unfair system and they better stay quiet about it. If any of the boys speaks up and complains they regret it. They get punished for speaking up. Quiet, you just take care of yourself and take it like a man. Reminds me of our present day domestic violence system.
These three, girls first, never hit a girl, and big boys don’t cry are the marching orders of the gynocentric foot soldiers. Each one informs the boy of his role. The gynocentric army is all about the safety and satisfaction of women through the sacrifice of men. It’s pretty simple and has been functioning effectively for centuries. “Big boys don’t cry” tells boys that their needs are simply not as important as the tears of women and girls they are destined to sacrifice for. “Girls first” tells the boys to get used to the idea of sacrificing their own wants and desires in order to help women and girls. “Never hit a girl” marks out who is the enemy (other men) and who is to be protected (women and girls). All of this goes on under the radar with most people simply being ignorant of what underlies these messages.
We can’t blame the culture totally for this. I think there is compelling evidence that there are biological factors that are driving gynocentrism. If there were no biology involved do you think for a second that boys would do exactly what they are told? Hell no. Do boys follow just about any other dictum offered by parents or the culture at large? No. Do boys unquestioningly follow? Of course not, boys by nature are rebellious and very slow to do what is demanded of them. But do they follow through on these three things? Pretty much. Not only do they follow through they also patrol the males around them to be sure that they are also following through. This is more than just culture.
Boys are surrounded by these gynocentric messages. At home they will likely see their dads put his needs last and focus on what mom wants and rarely saying “no” to her. In the media they get more gynocentrism. Men saving women from harm and sacrificing their own safety, needs, their desires or even their lives in order to do so. Worse yet, if they are not saving women they are portrayed as stupid and incompetent which seems to be a gynocentric man’s way of trying to make women feel better in comparison. Men are shown to be unable to make a simple decision without the help of a smart woman who can show him the way. Most men don’t complain.
Our college campuses are overrun with gynocentrism. No one dares to cross the gynocentric party line of the women studies departments for fear of their job. Women first? Yes, maam.
In our legislators the boys see the same. Like automatons, our gynocentric male legislators do exactly the same thing. We have seen them focus on women’s and girls needs, especially for the last 50 years and ignore the needs of men. Just like the boys were taught, just like the boys saw from their father, just like we see in the media. Now our legislators are acting out this same foot soldier pattern by enacting laws to help women and girls and completely ignore the needs of boys and men. Domestic violence laws like the Violence Against WOMEN Act, the rape shield laws, sexual harassment laws, workplace harassment, affirmative action for women and girls, title IX and on and on. Boys and men are an afterthought.
Gynocentrism is bad enough but what happened In the past 50 years put a new sinister spin on the gynocentric foot soldiers Now it wasn’t just girls first and big boys don’t cry, now the new fabricated twist was that women and girls were oppressed, by men. Our young men make it to middle or high school after years of gynocentric training and now they must deal with a new monster, the lethal and incorrect mantra: Men oppressed women and women are victims. If they contradicted or questioned a party line about women and girls being victims or having special needs they would face overwhelming opposition. Much of that opposition would be from gynocentric soldiers protecting women.
So on top of the ideas that boys are here to protect, care for, and provide for women is the bizarre notion that the very people who had been providing and protecting them were now guilty somehow of being perennial abusers of women and girls. So now men and boys need to provide and protect women and also atone for some mythical oppression of those they have sacrificed for years. Really? Maybe put even more simply, it’s like having a slave owner tell his slaves that they had oppressed him in the past and that their ancestors had oppressed him as well and they now need to make up for that with special treatment for him. Enough said.
Our boys face a routine and unacknowledged training to be gynocentric foot soldiers. The male sex role is based on placing the needs , safety, and desires of women and girls on a higher level than those of men. If we ignore this foundation we are sure to fail in serving men. From the childhood messages like big boys don’t cry to viewing the vast majority of male role models who are serving the needs of women and neglecting their own wants and needs our boys rarely see a man choosing consciously and going his own way. This needs to change.
If we are really going to free men from their roles we will need to help them first with what has been drilled into them and is facilitated by their biology: putting women first. Instead of trying to teach boys to cry we need to teach boys that their needs are of importance. We will need to teach boys that it is not mandatory for them to provide and protect for others, that it is also okay for them to simply care for themselves. We need to help them see the value in their being, not just in their doing and we need to help them see that, in spite of what the culture and feminists might say, men are good. Then once they have the data, once they get the information and understand the gynocentric yoke, then and only then should we let them go whatever way they want. If they want to get married then so be it. If they want to move to the desert and be a hermit then so be it. Unlike the feminists who push women into certain roles and shame them for others, we need to bless the boys in their own choices whatever they might be.
Men are indeed good.
Here is the original Men’s Issues Video with the audio:
After being on youtube for nearly 8 years Youtube decided that the background music in this video was a copyright infringement and without any warning simply muted the audio. This was the first video I had done and at the time I simply didn’t think that using background music in a free, non-commercial, educational video was going to cause a fuss. I guess I was wrong.
When a drought hits in Africa the animals head for the few spots that still have available water. I think we have something similar happening in the US today where we have a drought of masculinity. Two places where the masculine still exists are in sports and gaming. Both these spots offer a masculine environment where competition is the norm and competition rules. Those who practice harder and are more skilled are rewarded, those who are not, aren’t. Both these spots lack the politically correct mentality, affirmative action and censorship of interaction. Boys flock to these places.
Compare this with our schools where 6 year old boys are being expelled for kissing a 6 year old girl or a 7 year old boy is suspended for fashioning his breakfast pastry into a gun and pointing it at someone. Our schools are dominated by the feminine and by women who have a natural inclination to, understand girls. They were one. Boys? All too often the thinking is that the boys just need to learn to be more like the well behaved and attentive girls.
The erroneous assumption that many people fall prey to is that we are all a blank slate at birth and then are molded by our socialization. The media and our colleges have been spreading this one-sided notion for nearly 50 years. This leaves us asking the question “Why can’t the boys just act like the girls?” If we are all just blank slates that should be easy. But guess what? Boys are not like the girls, at least most of them. They have different bodies, different dreams, different hormones, different brains, different desires and on and on. Young boys generally don’t dream of getting married and having babies, they more often dream of being a dominant sports hero or an explorer, an astronaut, or some other dream that may tickle his well developed fantasy life. And boys are unique in so many other ways.
And the beat goes on in expecting boys to be like girls around all of the feeling stuff. Lots of feeling stuff. Boys should be in touch with their feelings! Just like the girls! This drives the boys nuts. They live in bodies that are not tuned to frequencies that are dominated by feelings. More likely they are interested in actions. Most women, of course, don’t have a clue about this difference and wonder why these boys are not “dealing with their feelings,”™ just like they do, just like the girls do. Sometimes they will even ask the boys why they are not “dealing with their feelings?” But wait, have you ever seen a man ask boys something similar? Probably not. Why not? Because men grew up as boys and know that the boy’s bio-computer is not set on that frequency. The lack of having any understanding males in schools is a real problem where boys live in an environment that is all too often clueless about their nature.
Just imagine a school that was run by men. Men were the teachers, men were the administrators, the coaches, the guidance counselors, the cafeteria workers, etc. The focus of the schools was on winning and only on winning. Feelings were not important since they were not connected with winning. In fact those who shared feelings were punished. It was a distraction. Now imagine that all girls in the US had to go through that system over the last 50 years. What would it do to girls?
In todays feminized schools competition has become a no-no. Guess what? Boys thrive on competition. Ever been to a cub scout meeting and watched what happens? The boys compete and they love it. One of the mainstays of the meetings used to be competitive games. No matter that someone loses, its the excitement of wanting to come in first and excel that matters. I remember my own and my son’s scouting experience with things like the pinewood derby where all of the boys built a small wooden race car and then competed. It was great sport. Did my daughter do anything similar in brownies? Absolutely not, her groups were focused on relational events, not competitive events. As I remember the Brownies had a “Brownie Circle” and a “Friendship Circle” with the emphasis being on friendship and relating. I am guessing that things have changed in todays pc world of gender cleansing and the boys are being forced to be more relational. Just a guess. Let’s hope they are having fun competing
Now our schools are promoting the relational and pure competition is going the way of the dodo bird. There is a very feminine push to see everyone as winners and no one as losers. This has crippled many of our students from missing out on the experience of losing and learning how to both respond to and handle losing. If we don’t help our youngsters by practicing losing we are limiting them. We all need plenty of practice losing and sometimes losing big. This is exactly what helps bring maturity and it is exactly what our culture tries to insulate away from our children.
There’s a private boys school outside of Washington DC that uses boys’ competitive nature to help in both deportment and scholarship. They divided the school into two groups. The Blues and the Whites. When you enroll in that school you are assigned either to the white or the blue team. From that point forward everything you do creates points for or against your team. If you get kicked out of class your team suffers, if you get straight A’s your team benefits. If you excel in sports or extra-curricular activities your team gets points. The rivalry is fierce. The boys push each other to get more points and when they have more points they get both special privileges and bragging rights. Needless to say, the boys do much of the policing of acting out behaviors and the grades are top notch. Compare this to our default public school that has removed competition from the curriculum. Things have become increasingly buffered from all things competition. The focus is not on who is first, second and third, the focus is on getting along, being nice to each other etc.
This competitive nature of boys and men is not new. Men have been competing against each other for thousands of years and for good reason. As men compete they join in the battle for status. When we win an event our status goes up, when we lose, our status goes down. Men strive to keep their status up. This is the world in which boys and men live. At least most of them. This is the world of striving for status. And why is it so important for boys to strive for status? Because their life depends on it. The higher their status the more likely they will be successful and the more likely they will find reproductive success. This has been a goal of men for thousands of years, to be the one who gets the girl and then has a family and excels. This is partly why boys practice competing as youngsters. They are preparing for later in life. This is why they HAVE TO GET TO LEVEL 17 in their video game! It’s all about status.
You can see something very similar in the animal world. Usually it is the young males of a species that are involved in rough and tumble play. Scientists have found that the play of young animals is usually practice for the skills they will need later in life. I think we can see something similar in human boys and girls. The research is very clear that boys when very young tend to prefer toys like trucks and guns while young girls prefer dolls. The socialization crowd heard of this research and claimed it was still socialization but just not overt. Then the researchers did a study on chimpanzee boys and girls and their toy choice and guess what they found? They found that the little boy chimps preferred the trucks and guns and the little girls chimps preferred the dolls. The scientists failed to detect any behaviors from the older monkeys to try and stop the boys play with guns or the girls play with dolls. They seemed to just let them be. Perhaps we have something to learn from these monkeys?
Do Girls Compete?
Well, yes, but it is not quite the same. Girls don’t compete with each other to gain status just like the boys, they instead, are the ones who “choose.” The girls watch the men compete, they watch the men who have gotten status and they decide (choose) who they will mate with. How many times have we heard the phrase a woman’s choice or women have choice. Think back, have you ever heard the phrase a man’s choice or men have choice? Not so much. Remember too, that girls are sometimes born with status. Very attractive women and girls have immediate status that is completely unrelated to their accomplishments or actions, it is instead related to their attractiveness which is due not to their efforts but to their genetics. They may have to do things to keep up their attractiveness like watch their weight or work out but the heavy lifting of being attractive is something she was born with. A young woman who has symmetrical facial features, the right ratio of hips to waist, and well developed breasts is born with something that men and boys find irresistible. She knows this and is very aware of how to leverage her attractiveness to manipulate the males. Unlike the boys, this characteristic is not something she has had to work for, this is something she was born with. I can’t think of any similar process in boys. The boys don’t have a clue what it would be like to be wanted and desired simply due to a part of their body being a certain way. Boys are very aware that they succeed by gaining status and that is just what they do.
Then there is the issue of exercise. The schools in their race away from competition and masculinity have taken away yet another thing that boys need in order to function: they have taken away exercise. How you ask? They have stopped recess where traditionally boys have gotten at least 30 minutes of running and jumping to calm their bio-computers. But no, recess has been either cut or diminished. In a feminine environment it is just not as important a sitting still.
I can remember when I was in school many years ago that the gym teachers and coaches took a similar approach to discipline. They were usually pretty tough but the punishment was almost always doing something physical. Take a lap Golden! That meant I had done something wrong and my punishment was to run one quarter mile. I was also banished from the game for that time while my friends played on. Another similar punishment was having to do a certain number of push ups. Give me 20 Golden! Where is the wisdom in this? Well, the coaches knew that what the boys needed was a workout and they were more then happy to give it to them if they acted out. What seemed like a punishment was actually a therapeutic act. This is exactly what a disobedient young man needs. He needs to run! In today’s feminized schools punishments are doled out but I would bet that very few are physical.
Then when these young men can’t run and jump they sit in classrooms and get fidgety and can’t sit still. The girls can sit still and since we are all equal™ shouldn’t the boys be able to do it? Of course they should! Since the boys don’t and won’t then they are just being impudent and stubborn. We need to force them to act more like the well behaved girls. Those darn boys just won’t do it! We can make them do it, let’s medicate them!
And that is another story.
NOTE – I heard via twitter that some psychology classes are using this post for class. I want to thank them for that and also thought I would leave some references that back up the ideas presented in this post. All too often the research that is done that helps us understand boys and men gets a back seat. Most people simply don’t hear about it. The lace curtain is strong on plow. lol
Here are a couple of references that help explain boys competitiveness, activity differences, and importantly the 50 year old research driven facts about testosterone in utero. For those of you who don’t know…boys, that is most boys, get a flood of testosterone in utero that changes their brain and their psychology for life. Here’s a link to an abstract from an article by Melissa Hines a top hormone researcher on the impact of prenatal testosterone:
Notice they say very clearly that this flood makes the boys more aggressive, more interested in rough and tumble and coalitional play, impacts his core sexual identity and his sexual orientation. Chew on that for a while and understand this all happens prior to birth. here’s the cite for her excellent book.
Hines, Melissa, Michaela Constantinescu, and Debra Spencer. “Early Androgen Exposure and Human Gender Development.” Biology of Sex Differences 6.1 (2015): n. pag. Web.
Read up on the latest research on testosterone and see that they are junking the old idea that testosterone was the root of aggressiveness and are now thinking that testosterone is focused on STRIVING FOR STATUS. You know, that competitive stuff the article discussed. um, yeah. Check out this article on T