The world continues, many are held back, some forever.
The New York Times informs us: “A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls“
But then they get everything wrong.
Because they refuse to acknowledge the profound wrongs built into the system which they so revere.
We’ve enabled a social order that tolerates and often encourages the leaving behind of boys, particularly in poor communities and in minority communities — black and brown.
According to the Times and its adherents, make boys more like we make girls.
Such brazen nonsense is easier for them to promote than even daring to ask themselves if we should construct an entirely new mode of raising our children, promote responsibility, encourage marriage, demand minority fathers live up to their obligations, and destroy the 20th century government-union-learning overplex.
Just be more like girls, states the cultural overlords.
Boys are falling behind. They graduate from high school and attend college at lower rates than girls and are more likely to get in trouble, which can hurt them when they enter the job market.
So much wrong. And yet you hear — constantly — that society must first and foremost do all it can to guarantee equal numbers of females in traditional “male dominated” fields. This despite the truth that there are fewer males in college, fewer graduating, fewer boys in high school honor’s classes, fewer graduating high school. The message is clear and on auto-repeat: raising girls to the highest is of far greater importance to our society than lifting all boys to the minimum.
New research from social scientists offers one explanation: Boys are more sensitive than girls to disadvantage.
Such peculiar framing. Immediately blaming the boys and brandishing their inherent nature. “More sensitive” tells us that boys are born lesser than girls.
Is this actually true?
I suspect not, and the author helps prove my point. We have constructed a society that favors girls.
Findings were very consistent: Families that invest more in children are protective for boys.
Consider China in the latter 20th century. All families, including the poorest, were more protective of boys, more willing to invest in boys. In America, in the early 21st century, we’ve flipped this wretched formula on its head. Making boys more discardable.
The dominant social order cannot tolerate such ideas. Continue upon this path and for those that fall behind the answer can only be: be more like girls.
Society discourages boys from showing vulnerability.
Again, framing the boys as lesser, easily victimized, not able to be what we think girls are: able to be vulnerable. We’ve already been told that boys are — by their very nature — inherently disadvantaged. Now we are told that a possible path to advantaging them is: make them still less like boys.
By the time boys from poor neighborhoods start kindergarten, they are already less prepared than their sisters. The gap keeps widening.
The “gap keeps widening” because our schools and supported institutions continue their focus on girls and on girl norms. The author effectively proves this.
The message remains: continue this same path but with only one change — make boys more like we believe girls are.
Girls generally enter kindergarten with skills suited to doing well in school, like sitting still and using a pencil, while many boys act younger, having trouble listening to adults and controlling their impulses.
Boys are boys.
“Boys get a message from a very young age to be a man, and to be a man means you’re strong and you don’t cry and you don’t show your emotions,” he said. “I see boys suffering because of that, and a lot of that comes out in aggressive behaviors.”
Again, the insistence that to succeed, boys must behave more like girls.
Do only I see the madness in this?
Problems in elementary school have long-term effects. Early suspensions are strongly correlated with not graduating from high school. The modern economy relies on skills like cooperation, empathy and resilience — and many boys are entering the work force poorly equipped to compete.
If you do not be — literally — more like girls, you will be at a lifelong disadvantage!
The researchers…concluded that boys aren’t born this way. Babies of low-income mothers are less healthy, but the boys are not worse off than the girls.
The actual researchers reveal it’s not inherent in the boyness. It is our culture and our institutions. Yet, the culture and institutions refuse to change. Rather, they demand boys change. Be more vulnerable, more ready to cry, more controlled, less physical, more conforming, heed authority.
Maybe the culture and our institutions are correct.
Boys particularly seem to benefit more from being in a married household or committed household — with the time, attention and income that brings.
The culture should promote marriage, monogamy, family. If it wants to do right by boys.
Not without some rebels willing to put up a fight and break the rules, I suspect.
Matthew, chapter 2: “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under.”
There are other ways.