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October 25, 2016

War on Women? The Real War is on our Boys [Warden]

It may not be a surprise to many of you that after decades of a leftist controlled public education system that regularly denigrates and shames boys for their masculinity, that boys are now lagging behind girls in school.

Women now comprise 60% of college graduates and are trouncing boys across all measures of academic performance, save one--SAT scores where the boys beat the girls by a significant margin in math and slightly in reading.

The response to this disparity, of course, is to label boy's superior SAT scores to, you guessed it, gender biased testing that favors boys.

It cannot be the case that boys are better at something. Boys are never better at anything.

Our schools are stuffed full of left-wing, female educators who largely despise boys and see their very nature as a problem to be corrected. They've beaten them down, broken their spirits and stuffed them full of Ritalin to shut them up. Is it news to you that 20% of 14 year old boys have been diagnosed with ADHD? It shouldn't be because it's a goddamned outrage. They've literally pathologized masculinity.

I have two boys, aged 5 and 10 and I'm mad as hell about how this garbage culture treats them. But here's the thing--I can't change how others act toward me and my family. I can only control what we do.

We need solutions--all of us who wish to raise our boys into strong, confident, masculine men rather than the limp and effete pajama-boys we're beginning to see dominate our culture.

So what do we do? I have a few recommendations below the fold. Please add yours to the comments.

First, grab yourself a copy of Wild at Heart. It's not a book about raising boys, per se, but all of it is dedicated to examining the true nature of masculinity from a Christian perspective. If that turns you off, then just think "nature" and "evolution" instead of God and you'll still find quite a bit of valuable reading here.

Secondly, I think we need to actively and purposefully encourage masculinity in our boys. Men, particularly, should be aware that every single day they are modeling what it means to be a man to their sons--how you interact with your wife, your reaction to problems, your physical and mental toughness, your ability to problem solve, and your strength and courage in navigating life.

I am, quite frankly, a radical reactionary when it comes to this feminized culture. I seek to neutralize its effects in my boys by emphasizing and encouraging masculinity in all walks of life. I think that exposing your boys to all of the things that the left hates is a good start--contact sports, martial arts, guns, working with your hands, fishing, woodworking, etc... I can't fill all these roles myself--for example, I'm not the most handy fix-it guy in the world, but I am able to fill in these gaps with other strong male role models like the boys' uncles, grandparents and in-laws.

I also take the boys to stereotypically masculine events--car racing, monster trucks, regional pro wrestling, rodeos, football games, etc... If it's loud, dirty or dangerous to the participants, we're there.

More importantly, though, I believe that men--fathers particularly--need to push back against the kind of helicopter parenting that so many mothers engage in. This means giving your boys, or even someone else's, the space to adventure, roughhouse, explore, and challenge themselves. It also means accepting a relatively higher level risk of injury.

My wife is generally good with letting our boys be boys, but I do have to fight against her protective instincts at times. And this is okay. Parenting used to be a push-pull between husband and wife, finding the right balance between protectiveness and the freedom to explore, learn, test limits and sometimes get injured in doing so. Somewhere in the last 30 years or so, this balance shifted radically to the feminine side. We must shift back to a more healthy state of affairs. I'm not afraid to tell her to back off and let the boys go. It sometimes upsets her, but she also respects it and realizes that I understand them in ways that she doesn't.

One of the ways I push back is by giving my kids a lot of room to roam. When we go to the supermarket, I let my 5 year old wander from site when I'm in a fixed location like waiting at the deli. He knows where everything is and where I'll be. He'll wander off, chat with the sample lady, check out the lobster tank and investigate any sales specials in the fruit bargain bin and return with what he discovered. I think it's good for him to explore and gain a sense of independence.

It's always interesting to see how startled adults are when they see a kid this age walking alone. It's a mixture of concern and judgment. I don't care about what they think. This was normal when I was a child and things aren't anymore dangerous now than they used to be. The odds of a stranger snatching your kids are next to nil.

I've weighed that tiny risk and found it to be acceptable for the simple reason that boys have an innate need to explore and conquer. Whether climbing trees, flailing at each other with stick swords, or tromping through an unknown creek, boys need to feel like adventuring heroes. They cannot do this while someone is constantly shielding them from risk. The risk is the point.

Does all of this mean that I spend all my time yelling macho rah-rah slogans at my boys? Of course not. My older one is both thoughtful and sensitive and loves to do artwork. I recognize who God made him to be and also--and this is important--that these things do not negate his masculinity. He can paint a beautiful picture one day and go tearing around the neighborhood on his bike the next. That's who he is, that's what he does, and I'll be damned if I'll let anyone make him feel badly about it.

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posted by Open Blogger at 08:51 PM

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