Life Is Harder for Boys
Unhappy at School
Before and After
I was taking a writing course at DeVry in 2000. We were asked to write a few response essays to the articles chosen by our instructor, Tricia Morgan. One of the articles was rather interesting “Roll Back the Red Carpet for Boys” by Donna Laframboise. I love the fact that I save things and can come back to them so many years later. Back then I did not have a son. Now I do. Being a mother changes everything. Being a mother to a “double trouble” boy is a challenge. My seven year old son has a lot of difficulties, he lags behind in his development, and he hates school because it is harder for him than for most children. He lags in his speech development. My thoughts on the matter are slightly different now, but first I would present you with the original article that is quite worth reading and then with my response the way I wrote it in 2000. Come to think of it, how peculiar it is to find the original article still online eleven years later? Or rather thirteen years later since the time it was written?
In Her Article
In her article “Roll Back the Red Carpet for Boys”, Donna Laframboise points out that feminism has caused a significant warp in the societal perception of which sex is being more discriminated against the other. The facts tell us that males, especially in their early ages, face more troubles than females. Yet, society remains blind and deaf to these facts and with persistence worth better application continues focusing on girls’ problems. The author calls for openness, consistency and fairness towards both sexes in order to stop practicing blind favouritism. I agree with the fact that males have problems and I support the idea of fairness, but I disagree with the author’s interpretation of the mentioned facts.
A special request
October 25, 2012.
When I published this article a year ago, I managed to find the original article by Donna Laframboise "Roll Back the Red Carpet for Boys" and I was amazed by the fact that the article was still accessible.
The link, however, no longer valid. I ask you, my reader, if you by any chance know where to find it, please let me know!
According to Donna Laframboise
According to Donna Laframboise, males commit suicide more often than females, and they are more prone to alcoholism, addictions, unemployment, homelessness and criminal activity. Males even do not live as long as females. The author tries to track males’ misfortunes back to school ages, when they are being outnumbered and outperformed by females. As to what are the reasons for this disparity, the author adduces some contributing factors. Firstly, boys suffer from learning disabilities more often than girls. Secondly, boys are the objects of more frequent and harsher punishment by dominating female teachers and their own parents. Thirdly, boys are confused by incompatible goals, such as masculinity and intellectualism, and they more often decide on masculinity in order to attract girls. On the other hand, the societal lack of attention to boys’ problems led to the situation when boys themselves accept this “status quo” without much complaint. Underlying this phenomenon is our inertia in thinking, when we readily apply double standards towards boys and girls. For girls’ failures we blame society, but there is nobody to be blamed for boys’ troubles but boys themselves.
- Unhappy at School
Unhappy at school... it is the schools that need to change, not the children. Unhappy at school...
My Opinion in 2000
I agree with the author that males have a lot of problems that deserve our fair attention, but I do not think that these troubles have anything to do with feminism. The shorter lifespan of males is a result of biological wiring and is absolutely irrelevant to feminist activity. The higher suicide, alcoholism, crime involvement rates also have to be ascribed to the biological and psychological differences between males and females. But following the author’s reasoning, let’s take a closer look at school ages. In my opinion, the dominance of female teachers in school might be somewhat unpleasant for boys, but not to such extent as to lead to five times higher suicidal rates in young males.
If we agree that boys prefer to be masculine rather than intellectual, then where are those Apollos, gods of sports? In fact, we see that boys choose neither masculinity expressed in body development nor intellectualism shown by high achievement at school. My engagement in sports never hindered my intellectual growth. On the contrary, it was complementary to my academic achievements, because it helped in developing such valuable skills as self-discipline, time management skills and will-power.
Therefore, to me, Laframboise’s argument about a boy culture is not very authoritative. In my school years in Russia, I witnessed a similar situation when girls outnumbered and outperformed boys. There was no strong societal message for boys to excel in masculinity, and they did not. On the other hand, our boys could not care less about their academic performance either.
I think the reasons have to be found somewhere else. For example, boys tend to be immature longer than girls, sometimes as long as they live. Why boys do not seem to care is because they are sure that when they grow up they will make up the time in the workplace, which has not yet failed to be male-dominated. That is partly the answer to the question why feminists and society does not call off their concern about females. In workplace, females are left in the rearguard with all their academic achievements while males “skim the cream”. Females have to try twice as hard to get half of what males have got without much effort. That explains females’ stronger motivation for academic performance in school.
It is about time
I am far from underestimating boys’ troubles; the only thing I want to accentuate is that we have to look at the situation in its broader context. Feminism cannot be blamed for boys’ misfortunes, because feminism is not trying to achieve its goals at the expense of males. Rather we have to be aware of problems of both sexes at the different stages at their lives and treat them accordingly. Most importantly, we have to discard our idea of reducing both sexes to the common unisex denominator, but instead open our eyes and minds to the biological, psychological and gender differences of females and males. I agree with the author of the article, that it is about time to do so with all fairness.
Boys with Special Needs?
- Working-class boys with special needs most likely to hate school
The research found that children with educational difficulties dislike school more than those with physical disabilities or speech deficiencies.
I want boys to be happy
My Thoughts Now
Donna Laframboise mentioned that girls don’t do so well in math and sciences. It is not true. I graduated from one of the most difficult engineering schools in Moscow. I was not a genius, nor were my female classmates and we all made it. The question is why though? I never liked engineering to begin with and I doubt that anybody in my class did, neither boys nor girls, it is my bloody aptitude that made it possible. I have more inclination towards humanities, dancing, linguistics, and psychology. It is my submissiveness, whether it is a female characteristic or not, that kept me a prisoner of other people’s opinions. I was always “a good girl”. Even back then I hated when they called me “a good girl”, I thought to myself “You know nothing about me, how could you possibly call me a good girl?” It is not so far from “Good Dog!”, Obedience Training Part I, conditioning into good behaviour.
But for my son I do not wish conformity, I do not wish my bumpy journey, I want him to know who he is, what he is, what he is good at and that at any rate he can succeed. I do believe that every child is creative, talented, capable and unique. All our children need for blooming are the right conditions, love and patience.
What do you think?
Do you agree that life is harder for boys?See results without voting
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- Why are men considered the disposable sex?
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© 2011 kallini2010
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