Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola
This is an excellent point. My husband is a video game lover (although he does NOT play all the time or even everyday) and he works for Google. His interests in computers and technology on a recreational basis have helped him quite a bit professionally. However, the trend to which I was referring among my peers is an increasing unwillingness among men to do things that they don't want to do. All the tech experience in the world wouldn't have gotten my husband his job if he had been unwilling or unable to work with people (face to face), follow directions, manage time, prioritize, and suck up his own needs and wants when it was really time to get things done.
In the article that I cited above the author bemoans the fact that men are now less likely to graduate from college, to hold down decent jobs, to move out of their parents homes in a timely fashion etc... So much additional pressure has been placed on females for such a long time that many women and girls cultivate drive and motivation from a young age. Historically, women had to be far superior to men to earn similar professional respect and opportunities. Things are changing and NO ONE, man or woman, can simply rest on their laurels anymore. Job competition is fierce and for every kid in America who has a penchant for technology there are 10 in developing countries that not only understand tech but also have a strong, focused work ethic.
I was homeschooled for a portion of my childhood and I feel strongly that children should be allowed to cultivate interests and follow passions. The issue I take is with the assumption that all children require equal guidance and structure. Unless children are being raised in a bomb shelter, they are going to be effected by the culture in which they live. Girls have had to do more to prove themselves historically and as a result may be more likely to push themselves when given free reign. I don't think that allowing boy children to sit around and play video games all day (whether they are in public school, private school, homeschool, or are unschooling) is beneficial long term.
I absolutely see the relevance of what you are expressing here. It's not a bad point, and the information may really mean a lot in the context of your life and your ideals. On the other hand... I think that given the huge variety of people and their wants and desires in this world, that this information absolutely DOES NOT APPLY TO EVERYONE. As a firm believer in the part of unschooling philosophy that supports the growth of an individual along their chosen path... I've just got so say that maybe it is a very telling thing that so many males and females are breaking the historical stereotypes. I don't think it is something to bemoan or worry over. These achievements gaps and apparent failures to keep up I think are indicative that maybe the technologically driven culture that seems to be of absolute value doesn't work for or appeal to everyone. If someone is unwilling to do something, then there is probably a good reason why. And if someone else IS willing to do it, then by all means let them. What is the need for the constant manufacture of intense competition when it seems that it's working itself out on its own?
As for the absolute need for EVERYONE TO HAVE A JOB, and people's perception of what is important or appropriate... If times are changing, then that is just what they are doing. Big deal. It's part of human cultural evolution. Rather than fight fight fight to keep our children on some track towards success whether male or female, why not let the dynamic change naturally as it appears to be doing? Obviously all of the fierce competition and pressure to stay ahead of the game isn't working in the way it was suspected to. I don't think anyone can project their idea of what is relevant to life on anyone else.
I suppose what I am saying is that unschooling, to me, is letting my child learn what they are inclined to learn in as organic a way as possible. To let them do what is natural to them. I personally believe that unschooling is the answer to the apathetic, unwilling, and uninspired people who aren't able to "perform" as competitively in the "modern world". I think that as much as we as humans try to fight it, nature still takes it's course and we are part of it.
We follow the chaotic twists and turns and branches of change. If that change is leading away from men being these ultra driven career machines? Well, fine. There must be something that seems more fulfilling to them. If women are poising to flip the script and become the go-getters? Sure, why not?
I'm saying the world takes care of itself the way it will. And I think that mirroring that in the way we raise our children can't be a bad thing. If our boys are progressing to something other than what has always been, then so be it. Maybe sitting on their laurels and getting a feel for what it means to govern themselves rather than comply with expectations of a very important part of male human progression? Who are we to say for sure. All I know is that my child's personal freedom to be who and what they want to be is far more important to me than whether or not they get some fancy job where the rake in the bacon. What is important is that they are doing what fulfills them NOW. Because no one can really say for sure the way things are going to turn out. I'm not afraid to let my children be themselves, whether that does or does not fit in with hardwiring or cultural expectations.