or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › why are so many boys treated as sub-humans?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

why are so many boys treated as sub-humans? - Page 3

post #41 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post
mine too! he's a "noise covered with dirt" for sure! i can see how it seems insulting next to the girl quote about sunshine etc. though.
I was more insulted by the girl comment!! all my kids are dirt covered noises!

I have noticed this strange dual attitude towards boys though. They're expected to be trouble "boys will be boys" and all, but if they can't be attentive "like girls" in class, they get medicated. It makes no sense to me.
post #42 of 128
I admit I have told my dh to "suck it up princess" but not a little boy.


:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
You know whats been bothering me for awhile? Girls clothing. No, seriously, Im all for cute slogans like "girl power" thats fine. Its the ones that say "Boys are stupid" "I hate boys" things like that. And in small girls sizes. like for five year olds. I cant imagine my five year old boy knowing how to deal with that.
Those make me so sad
post #43 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Embee View Post
My DS as well. And because of his appearance, I know DS appears to many to be a spirited, lizard lovin', tree climbing little girl which is not only just fine, but considered "cool" by most he meets. When they are told he's a boy, it's easy to see their perceptions of his previous "spiritedness" change...

*sigh*

Hang in there, all.

Em

My youngest ds is almost universally mistaken for a girl (long hair, frquently wears DDs hand me downs because he likes purple and flowers and butterflies, etc) and I see the shift immediately when I tell people he's a boy, too. When he's climbing something high and people assume he's a girl, we hear a lot of "Wow, she's so brave and adventurous! That's great!" When people realize he's a boy, it shifts to "You have your hands full" and "Looks like he's a troublemaker!" When people think he's a girl, there's a lot of concern from other parents at the playground if he trips and falls, while people don't give him a second glance when they know he's male. We get "She's beautiful" when they think he's a girl and "When is your mom going to cut your hair?" when they know he's a boy. It's really very strange. I don't think it's necessarily worse for boys, though. I mean, an adventurous, climbing little girl shouldn't be something to marvel at. A little girl shouldn't only ever be complimented on her looks. People shouldn't be treating little girls like delicate flowers and making a big deal about tripping on the playground if the little girl is unfazed. There are ridiculous stereotypes on both sides.
post #44 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
ETA: To the other mothers of boys who feel like you have never experienced this attitude, have you never had a negative reaction to people even finding out you have boys? i.e. Someone asks if you have kids, you respond, yes two boys, and you get the "oh lordy!" and "you have your hands full!" and "better you than me!" or my personal favorite "good LUCK with THAT!" in a horribly sarcastic tone. I want to smack people - they are putting down my sons, and they think it's acceptable for them to do so.
I've had those exact same types of comments. Thing is, I have 3 girls. I don't think this is so much about boys being treated worse than girls, or vice versa. I think this is really about children, in general, being treated as sub-human, as not having feelings, not being worth consideration, etc.

I think this is also regional. I see differences from where I live (Chicagoland) and when I bring my family to NYC to visit my MIL.
post #45 of 128
I love the "boy: a noise with dirt on it"! That just screams little boy to me, in a wonderful way.

Of course not all boys like to get dirty or be noisy....but many do!

Now, "girl: a giggle wrapped in sunshine"....I've not really met that little girl, lol. My little girl certainly isn't that girl, that is for sure!

"Suck it up, princess" said to an upset boy seems more demeaning of girls than boys to me. Yes, it is meant as an insult to that boy, but what it is really saying is that the visibly upset boy is acting like a girl, and that is inferior to being a boy.

All the "boys/girls rule, girls/boys drool" just don't bother me. Do they really bother kids, or just the adults?
post #46 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Maybe you could be more specific? I am the mother of boys and most of my friends have boys. I have never seen any of these children treated as "sub human."
I am still a little mystified as to the meaning of the OP's post also. I have one boy and he has only ever been treated with respect as far as I know.

Quote:
All the "boys/girls rule, girls/boys drool" just don't bother me. Do they really bother kids, or just the adults?
It doesn't bother me either, and I am almost certain it would be water off my son's back. But AFAIK, he hasn't encountered that kind of taunting at school anyway.
post #47 of 128
I know what you mean, but it seems to come from a child's parents more often than anyone else. As a nanny to lots of boys over the years, I've definitely seen it. When N was almost a year old, he LOVED to watch the cleaning lady come and would try to "help" with the broom or the vacuum or the duster. His mom wanted to get him toy cleaning supplies (like a mini broom) and his dad said "No way is MY son getting a broom for his birthday!" N's dad also frequently told him not to cry (he was a BABY, literally) and didn't give as many hugs to his son as his daughter. N was the sweetest, most calm baby I knew, yet his dad always called him whiny or a cry baby or something. It was ridiculous.

It is similar with L (though not as bad). As a baby (6-12 months) his fave thing to do was empty my purse one item at a time, play with my mini brush and anything else he found interesting. His dad suggested getting him a bag of his own little nick knacks and his mom replied "You are NOT getting my son a purse."

I also have friends that have only one gender. One fam has 4 girls, they are always told how sweet and beautiful all their daughters are and how lucky they are. One fam has 4 boys and are always told "you're a saint!" or "I don't know how you take care of so many boys!" or "wow, you must really need a break!" etc. In reality, her four crazy and wild boys are way easier to take care of than families with both genders, or all girls (dh and I used to babysit a lot).
post #48 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
....it sickens me daily, in countless interactions with random people.

What is wrong with people??? The emotional cruelty that they must endure, right from Day 1 in the hospital, until they are out on their own is disgusting and unbelievable. what a sick world this is. grrrrrrrrrr.

rant over.
Yikes! Really? I'm so sorry for the place you live... it sounds terrible. Would you care to share what happened to you & your children? Because your statement is really strong, yet quite vague, and based on the responses, I think some folks are confused, and concerned.

Personally, I can say both my children, boy & girl, have overwhelmingly been treated well by all around them.

I'm honestly curious about your experience.
post #49 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderMae View Post
I've heard stupid and nasty things about having boys (the horror) and about having girls (the horror). But it is looked at as a positive when a girl does something considered 'boy' but it is not cool when boys do things considered 'girl' at all. Even my friends/family who consider themselves progressive and open minded think this way and it's quite offensive to me.
I totally agree with this. What's funny to me is that most of the comments I've read on this thread that refer to this double standard don't have a problem with girls being praised extravagantly for stereotypically "boyish" behavior; as if this half of the phenomenon wasn't harmful to girls.

It's definitely unfair to boys when they get a smackdown for stereotypically "girlish" behavior, but it's also pretty harmful, I think, when people have exaggeratedly shocked and delighted positive reactions to my DD climbing trees, catching frogs, etc. etc. That teaches her that all things typically associated with males must be good, and all things typically associated with females must be bad. Shortcut to internalized sexism, anyone?
post #50 of 128
What bugs me is how stupid boys and men are made out to be. Just watch network tv for half an hour and you'll see it countless time, on commericals, sitcoms, etc. Men are made to look like big bumbling idiots and their wives/mothers/neighbors swoop in to save the day.

In my family, boys are much more cherished than girls, but not like you might imagine. The boys in our family are spoiled senseless. They are treated like they don't know anything and are totally helpless (even into adulthood.) Anyone who has a boy in my family is showered with affections and the boys are just totally coddled to death as far as toys, etc. BUT these same people don't give boys any emotional support at all, and expect them to "grow up" really fast. My nephew (age 3) is really into "boy" things like wrestling, hunting, etc and if he gets hurt, its so heartbreaking to watch him try to hold back tears. i had never seen a child hold back tears till my nephew. he wasn't always like that, just since he was around 2 or so.
[oh yeah and this same family absolutely berated me for not circumcising my son. my mom said 'oh, he's a boy, he can handle it.' what!?]

After 3 girls, we recently had our first boy and it makes me want to barf how my family just melts over him but completely ignored my girls at that age (and still do to some extent.) I know they will hit him with the "grow up, pal, boys don't cry" thing in a few short years. I hope I can save him from it.
post #51 of 128
I think it's reactionary.
post #52 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3pink1blue View Post
What bugs me is how stupid boys and men are made out to be. Just watch network tv for half an hour and you'll see it countless time, on commericals, sitcoms, etc. Men are made to look like big bumbling idiots and their wives/mothers/neighbors swoop in to save the day.
Exactly. My dh frequently complains that the adult white male is the only "safe" person to make fun of these days. It isn't fair to men and it isn't fair to boys to see this as their role model.

Slightly OT, but dh is a middle school teacher and the prevailing attitude around here, from kids and adults, is that doing well in school is feminine.

Yikes!
post #53 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I think a lot has to do with location too. Some areas aren't so anti-boy. Granted I didn't get a son until yesterday, but I am male and was a boy and have heard very few of these things. (did hear the "Girls rule and boys drool" on the playground but it was usually responded with "Nuh uh! Boys rule and girls drool!").
Congratulations MusicianDad!


Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.
post #54 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
I don't think this is so much about boys being treated worse than girls, or vice versa. I think this is really about children, in general, being treated as sub-human, as not having feelings, not being worth consideration, etc.
SO TRUE! It shouldn't happen to any child, but I don't think boys have the corner on being treated as second class citizens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellen Griswold View Post
My dh frequently complains that the adult white male is the only "safe" person to make fun of these days.
dear god, I hope he's joking
post #55 of 128
I have two boys and have already gotten the "hands full" comments.
I always just say "It's the best kind of hands full." And that I wouldn't trade it for anything.

There are things that bother me on both side of the gender stereotypes. I think baby girls get a bad rap too. I have seen shirts that say "future diva" or "drama queen"
post #56 of 128
Thread Starter 
ok, several people want me to site examples. I have tons and will add to this thread as I expierence them. I did not say that ALL boys are treated in a consistently crappy manner, just an awful lot. Too many. But not my son (by me anyway). Yes, girls have their share of bad treatment too, but I feel more sympathy for boys on this issue.

2 stories that come to mind have to do with neighbors of mine. 2 different families.

The first boy, let's call him Gordon, is 9. He confided to me that his dad pulls his lose teeth out with pliers. I could tell he wasn't happy about it, that it was weighing on his mind somehow. When I reacted in disbelif and shock, he tried to play it down by saying "it's not so bad". Would his dad have done this to his daughter? Gordon is an only child. How would you feel if the story was about a girl instead of Gordon?

The 2nd story is about a boy who is 7. Lives down the block. I was out in the neighborhood supervising my 7 year old son while he was riding his bike. The other boy, Gavin, was on his bike too. He hit the curb and flew off over this 2 foot stone wall. He was clearly hurt, down and crying. I went to him and bent over to ask him what got hurt. Another kid went to get his Dad. When Dad comes out (BTW, I do not know this guy) he sees me bent over talking with his son. He walks over to us with a VERY mean look on his face. I back off about 4 feet. He stands next to his kid (who is still on the ground crying) and talks to him in a standing position. He never once acknowledged me or even thanked me for my concern. In fact it became clear to me that he was angry at me??? When he asked his kid to tell him what happened, I kind of assisted the kid with the story (because he was crying). Dad turned his head to me and had this scary look on his face. Now I have no idea what he was thinking while I was talking but if I had to guess, it looked something like "did I ask *you* for your opinion...get the fu*k away from my kid" kind of expression.

I backed off and was really startled by the whole encounter with him. After about 5 minutes he walks back to his house. I felt that my gesture of kindness towards his young child was very unwanted. He took great care not to look at me at all (except for that minute while I was talking, and even then he wasn't looking me in the eye). WTF??

Re: TV. I too get tired of that lame TV "humor" about men. When you are watching TV in the future, start to notice how often people find it funny when men are in pain, hurt, or unhappy. I am not talking about an isolated instance here. really. It's really disturbing to see it woven into so many stories, commercials, etc...

I have so many more stories. I'll tell them all. I need a place to put this stuff I see. I have to purge it - and yes, it DOES bother ME when people mistreat other people. I guess I think it's unfair.
post #57 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post

All the "boys/girls rule, girls/boys drool" just don't bother me. Do they really bother kids, or just the adults?
They bother MY kids. My son can read and does not like them at all. They hurt his feelings.
post #58 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
SO TRUE! It shouldn't happen to any child, but I don't think boys have the corner on being treated as second class citizens.

dear god, I hope he's joking
I don't think it has to be onesided to be wrong. It is a double edged sword. When children are expected to check what's in their pants before crying, climbing, wrestling, reading, being polite, being impolite and/or any other of the broad range of natural human behaviors, it hurts them. And to the dads who make remarks about my son being in ballet, I have in the past come back with 'oh yeah? well he'll be lifting your daughter by the butt in ten years.' if my own kids were not around to hear it, but the problem is that so many parents feel totally comfortable spreading their sexist bs in front of bother my daughter AND my son.
And then we wonder why so many boys are so poorly socialized/afraid of being called "sissies" or worse/unable to express emotions except through violence?!
Part of making a world where women are safe from abuse and rape is raising men who are able to transcend the old power structures and I do not see that happening as fast as I would have hoped. One more reason to homeschool I guess.
It is the only way I have found to shelter my kids from other parents' prejudices.
post #59 of 128
I too wonder about this
post #60 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
Yes, girls have their share of bad treatment too, but I feel more sympathy for boys on this issue.
Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
How would you feel if the story was about a girl instead of Gordon?
The same. Exactly the same. To me, this is an example of serious mistreatment of a child, but there isn't any evidence that the abuse was done BECAUSE he was a boy. Same with the second scenario- sounds like kind of a neglectful and psycho Dad, but do you think such a weirdo would have suddenly become an adequate parent if he was dealing with a girl? I doubt it. Neither of those scenarios were explicitly tied in to the child's gender. Abuse and mistreatment, as far as I know, afflict boys and girls equally.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › why are so many boys treated as sub-humans?