Man-shaming, It’s Starting Earlier Than You Think
Jaxson Heyrend, Social Policy Contributor
Opinion -- Picture this, a young school boy at the age of 11 is playing on the school yard with a girl of the same age, innocent from all talks of sexual characteristics. The boy at the time thinks that girls have cooties, and the girl is thinking that boys are dumb, the two then decide to play a fun playground game of tag. When the two begin, the boy is “it”. They go back and forth at this for awhile as other kids join in on the fun until something happens. A misconstrued incident that results in a crying boy and a crying girl.
In the aftermath, a female teacher, with a lot of influence in the school, handles the situation and takes testimonies from the children. This teacher proceeds to send the students through the proper channels of discipline, she then goes back to her routine. Now, this teacher is no ordinary teacher. She has her toe stepped into the murky waters of new-age feminism. She hears the stories from both students, and she naturally agrees with the plight of the girl. Thus she begins the gossip around the school to many of the teachers. She says things like, “He touched her butt you know,” and “I wonder if his dad taught him his respect towards women” and finally, “this boy is nothing but a sexist pig.” She condemns the young boy. Not only does she make his life miserable, but she makes his parents’ lives miserable.
What is not talked about though, is the actions of the young girl. In her quest to win the game, she remembered something that she was taught by school ground rules. The classic “boys can’t hit girls” rule. It was a winning strategy at that moment to be the victor.
This young boy, ridiculed by both students and faculty, is also shamed for not being strong enough to not let her do what she did. When asked what he did wrong, he said, “The only thing I could do was to grab her foot and hope that she would fall back so that I could get away.” This story not only shows a common theme that allows girls to overpower boys. It shows how “Institutionalized Sexism” is a two-way street. This was a type of sexism that I endured, and one that most young boys endure everyday.
This story sheds light on a common theme in young men at our K-12 schools in this country. The phrase “Boys will be Boys” is a relic from the past. Christina Hoff Sommers, in her classic book “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men,” points out these simple truths like the boy mentioned. “American Boys face genuine problems that cannot be addressed by constructing new versions of manhood. [...] We should be looking not to ‘gender experts’ and activists for guidance.” The clear words presented by an underspoken feminist herself, shows us that we need to stop allowing girls to be the pinnacle of humanity, and start allowing there to an equal opportunity. We also cannot allow feminists to be the people to decide the future of our children.
I agree with the plight of feminists like Susan B. Anthony. However, almost all elementary schools are guilty of believing the girl over the boy. Even when the boy is as skinny as a twig. The new third-wave feminism has seeped into our public schools. Teachers are holding a high standard for boys, but not for girls. However, incidents like ones that affect young boys, will continue to happen so long as there are teachers whose goal is to stop the “patriarchy” from these young men.
According to the NCES (The National Center of Education Statistics), from 2010 to 2015, men had a higher dropout rate than women despite a decline in high school dropouts all together. Why is that? Could it be that teachers may value a woman’s opinion over a man’s? In colleges and universities, it’s the same story. Graduation rates for men are lower than graduation rates for women, according to the NCES. If this is the goal of these kinds of feminists, we need to put this to a screeching halt.
As Christina Hoff Sommers has said, this is a continuing problem in our education system. With incidents similar to the one I described, there’s no reason why men are more likely to drop out of school than women. If we cannot accept a “Boys will be Boys” rule, then the same should go towards girls as well. I plead with parents of young men to continue to raise their children the way that they should. To show common courtesy to women, as my parents did to me, I also plead to parents of young women to do the same towards young men. To show respect to all people, I also plead to teachers of all walks of life, to be patient with young boys and expect the same respect from girls as you would a boy. Hold girls to the same standards as boys. There should be no double standard for girls.
Follow this author on Twitter @jaxson5heyrend
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