Turning boys into girls, or developing them into men?

Started by Amber, Jul 29, 2003, 11:18 AM

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Amber

I know I'm preaching to the choir ... but the article below suggests that in order to suffocate male violence, we need to turn boys into girls.  We need to teach them about "fairness."  I'm sorry, but what the hell.  

Instead of suffocating men's "violence," shouldn't one harness it?  Guide it.  Mold it.  Funnel it into productive ends.  Get them in sports etc. to allow them to grow in a rational way?  

Furthermore, by trying to turn men into girls, does this not make them that much more angry?  That much more likely to be violent?  That much more likely to rebel and turn into violent monsters?

Is that what they want?  A self fulfilling prophecy.  Define masculinity as violence, do things which create an environment in whih men do become violent (i.e. trying to make boys become girls), then point to it again, and say Look, there it is!

Masculinity does not need suffocated.  It needs managed.  I know this gets a big "duh," but its simple and honest message should make it that much more easy to inject it into mainstream culture.


Our Complicity in Linking Masculinity to Violence
1999 Michele Toomey, PhD
[email protected]
Note: This article first appeared in "Independent School," fall, 1999.

Masculinity based on violence is a tradition that is exploding in our faces. Traditionally, proof of manhood can be established either by taking abuse without flinching or by displaying macho bravado by threatening to inflict abuse or actually doing it. Today's version of masculinity and violence has several new twists. Verbal abuse is flagrant and promoted, killing has replaced attacking, and the bullied are no longer willing to earn their stripes by enduring. They are striking back with deadly vengeance.

We, you the parents and we the educators, are among those being blamed for this horrific turn of events. Together we are seen as members of the two major institutions, schools and families, responsible for educating and protecting our children. The current prevalence of violence in the schools has cast the shadow of blame on us. We are, whether we like it or not, being confronted by public opinion and asked to be accountable for our failure to prevent or stop this trend. It is only right that we stand up, take stock, take a position, and take the lead in helping to bring about a redirection of youthful male energy and anger. Their search for meaning and belonging must be redirected toward intimacy and fairness coupled with caring and respect, and away from alienation and hostility that spills over into violence and rage.

Public schools may be bearing the brunt of the criticism at present, but without intervention, the less dramatic but still abusive rumblings that bubble beneath the surface of our homes and schools will eventually boil over into more violent expressions. What then, can we do to take the lead in changing this frightening trend? As someone who has been trying to address this issue in private schools for over 10 years with marked success, I have an approach and a plan that I invite you to consider and then, hopefully, to implement.

First, to stand up and take stock, we must assess our own biases regarding proof of masculinity through violence. If we already encourage our sons and male students to reveal their feelings of fear, worry, hurt or vulnerability without giving them the "stiff upper lip" pep talk because we fear they will become wimps or sissies, we have passed the level one "macho detection test". If we are caught in our own fear that they will lose their masculinity, we need to look at why we are fearful of male vulnerability and determine if we want to learn how to reconcile strength with vulnerability and masculinity. If we are willing to assess our biases, then we can proceed in good faith and become part of the solution. If we are not willing, and are stuck in the bravado mode, we are, unfortunately, part of today's problem and, as such, are partly to blame for the climate of violence that prevails. We have failed level one of the macho detection test and cannot proceed because we have the wrong orientation to masculinity and power.

The next step is to take a position. Protection from masculinity linked to violence, is masculinity linked to the courage of accountability and fairness. It takes courage to confront others and exact accountability, because it means revealing that we are being negatively affected by something someone else said or did. Once we reveal we are affected, we are in a vulnerable position because the information can be used against us. We have shown a potential "enemy" how they can "get us". However, accountability, if valued, is a wonderful vehicle for fairness, and fairness does not make enemies and is never a breeding ground for violence. Rather, it yields a sense of safety and allows for understanding to occur, which, in turn, leads to connectedness, to intimacy, that never fosters alienation and anger. Instead, it provides a safe place and safe way to express and experience fear, hurt, disappointment, or anger without abuse that leads to violence.

If we accept this position that confrontation with accountability is a protection against violating anger, then in taking the lead we must commit ourselves to learning the skills of confrontation and accountability. A confrontation is not an attack or an accusation, it is a revealing of how something that has been said or done has affected us, and an exacting of others that they claim what was going on for them when they spoke or acted in a particular way. The purpose of the confrontation is to gain insight and greater understanding and then resolve the issue fairly, not to establish blame or punish. In the course of the exchange, the revealing will add a deeper level of understanding of each other. The resolution that evolves should be fair to all and no one should feel defeated or diminished.

To take the lead, we must learn how to confront and be accountable, how to model it and demand it of all our children and our students. Schools must look to their role in developing a curriculum for teaching confrontation and accountability and in creating a climate of fairness and respect with no tolerance for verbal or physical abuse. Parents must endorse, model and then expect schools to help teach our children to learn the way of confrontation and accountability. Masculinity will then be linked to accountability and not to violence.



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he men's movement is a hate movement.  

What feminism is to men; the men's rights movement is to women.

Men's rights activists blame misandry for all their problems in the same way that feminists blame the patriarchy.

The only thing men's rights activists are good at is abusing women.  

And you can quote me on that.  :D

Bilbo

I'm surprised(not) that the author did not address the issue of female violence, which is rising much faster than that of males.  I just listened to a radio program the other day discussing the skyrocketing number of women and girls in the penal and juevile detention systems.  Of course, the program had the usual feminist hue; the penal system doesn't take into account the unique needs of women and girls, and, therefore, was unfair to them.  Right.  It's funny because feminists used to play on the stereotype of the honest, pure, and gentle woman, compared to the brutish male.  Now they are forced to accept this fundamental mistruth, but, of course, they spin it again into womens' oppression as the driving force behind their choices to commit crime.  Feminists truly believe that there is no choice that a woman makes that is legitimately of her own free will.  All decisions whether consciously recognized or not, are determined under coercion of the patriarchy.

From my experience, girls display much more aggression than a decade ago.  Many girls are becoming violent gang members.  I stood in line at Taco Bell the other day and watching two teen girls spar with one another, slapping and kicking the hell out of one another.
It is impossible to reason a man out of something he was never reasoned into in the first place- Swift

"The cardinal principle of judicial restraint--if it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more."

Amber

While sifting through all this masculinity = violence nonsense, I notice all of them keep begging men to "not worry about looking like a sissy."  To totally reject masculinity altogether.  That the dichotomy is to be the violent jerk or the sissy wimp, and please please please be the sissy wimp.  

You can be masculine and not violent.  In fact, you can work with a man's masculinity to turn him away from violence.  You can make it masculine and gentlemanly not to hurt women, but to protect them.

I wonder how much of it is just to make men sissy wimps, therfore unattractive to women ... in the same way that they tell women to be masculine brutes, thereby turning them unattractive to men.
he men's movement is a hate movement.  

What feminism is to men; the men's rights movement is to women.

Men's rights activists blame misandry for all their problems in the same way that feminists blame the patriarchy.

The only thing men's rights activists are good at is abusing women.  

And you can quote me on that.  :D

radicalangel

Quote from: "Amber"
While sifting through all this masculinity = violence nonsense, I notice all of them keep begging men to "not worry about looking like a sissy."  To totally reject masculinity altogether.  That the dichotomy is to be the violent jerk or the sissy wimp, and please please please be the sissy wimp.  
...

I wonder how much of it is just to make men sissy wimps, therfore unattractive to women ... in the same way that they tell women to be masculine brutes, thereby turning them unattractive to men.
Maybe whatever it is you call "sissy wimps" is who they really are, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.  And, just who are YOU calling "masculine brutes"?  Pot...kettle...black...
url=http://gayrebel83.blogspot.com]My Blog[/url]

D

More like they are weakening the 'boys' so that the country can be ripe for hostile takeover.

Its about subjugating society.  

Should I have posted that under my ConspiracyTheory nik? :) ;)

D

"From my experience, girls display much more aggression than a decade ago. Many girls are becoming violent gang members. I stood in line at Taco Bell the other day and watching two teen girls spar with one another, slapping and kicking the hell out of one another."



Go Buffy!!!!


If women are never guilty of violence why punish them?

Amber

he men's movement is a hate movement.  

What feminism is to men; the men's rights movement is to women.

Men's rights activists blame misandry for all their problems in the same way that feminists blame the patriarchy.

The only thing men's rights activists are good at is abusing women.  

And you can quote me on that.  :D

radicalangel

Quote from: "Amber"
Quote
Maybe whatever it is you call "sissy wimps" is who they really are, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

I understand your queer lifestyle needs men to become "sissy wimps," so someone can be the "bottom,"
Shows how little you know.  I don't need anyone to be anything except themselves
Quote
but seriously ... heterosexual women want masculine men,
Not all
Quote
heterosexual men like to be masculine,
Not all
Quote
and this is nothing something you'll ever change.
Stranger things have happened
url=http://gayrebel83.blogspot.com]My Blog[/url]

Adrienne

I happen to like "sensitive" rather than the "he-man" type of males, actually. Growing up, I always liked the nerdy, short, slender and slightly built guys, especially if they had long hair. I had a major thing for Kyle Machlachlan of Dune for a while. In college, I swooned over the physics and CS majors.

But ultimately, I ended up with a 6'2" 215 lb bodybuilder instead. Life is funny sometimes. :)

He actually did have short hair at one time (before I met him), but not anymore. I keep trying to persuade him to grow it long again.

AliciaGoMavs

My question is:  When does "sensitive" become "whiney"?
When does "macho man" become "insensitive jerk"?
(okay, I have more than one question).
When does "able to share his feelings" become "shut up and get over it already!"?

I hear many women talking about wanting one type of guy or the opposite, but when it comes to defining what they mean, they seem to lack a precise definition.

What really bugs me is my female cousin that is dopey in-love with this one guy, a nut-case, when she could do so much better.  Why she sticks with this guy, I don't know.  I know guys --good guys-- who have asked me about her, but she is stuck on this one guy.  I never understood such blind loyalty that some women can have to insensitive jerks or losers.  I believe that these same women are the ones who will end up running to a DV shelter one day.  I hope my cousin won't be one of them, but the odds are starting to look otherwise.

I tried the "big sister" thing on her, but she won't budge.  You can see in her eyes, that she won't be persuaded otherwise.  She is sold on this guy and it makes me want to bang my head against a wall sometimes.

In fact....  :banghead:  

But then, I have seen guys fall for the wrong woman as well, so it works both ways.  Ah, love...
Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."  --Jesus Christ
NAB Matthew 7:5

URnotmeRU

What does this guy do that classifies him as a "nut case", and how do come to the conclusion that a guy is "normal" other than being Hannibal Lecter or a fag?
nd the time will come when you'll see we're all one and life flows on, within you and without you. - George Harrison

AliciaGoMavs

Okay, they have been together off and on for almost 4 years.  In that entire time, he hasn't been able to hold on to any job.  He already has a daughter from a previous marriage, and yet he wanted to marry my cousin before he had finished divorcing his first wife.  He doesn't seem to have any ambition, he frequently borrows from his parents and other family members.  Also, they were going to join the Coast Guard together, but she got accepted while he got turned down.  And now, get this... she wants to continue on to the service and send money to him!  With her gone for a tour of duty, (and they not being married), what possible motivation is there for him to remain loyal to her while she is out defending the country?  The guys I knew who had an interest in my cousin have steady, good-paying jobs.  And they aren't covered with tattoos!
Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."  --Jesus Christ
NAB Matthew 7:5

URnotmeRU

What can I say other than I'm sorry I asked?
nd the time will come when you'll see we're all one and life flows on, within you and without you. - George Harrison

AliciaGoMavs

Hey, you should know me well enough by now that I calls them as I sees them!  :wink:
Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."  --Jesus Christ
NAB Matthew 7:5

D

What's a girl doing in the coast guard anyways?  This country is going to colapse on its heels.

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