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why are so many boys treated as sub-humans? - Page 4

post #61 of 128
I have one son (and we are expecting a ?? this spring). He likes some supposedly girlie stuff and its fine with us, he's super active and adventurous, also fine with us, he's smart, funny, and delightful, which I hope would be fine by anyone. But all along its been like a textbook example of gender assumptions-- since birth he's praised for being so "strong" and "energetic"... never called "pretty" or "sweet" (well, except by us)... he's "all boy" (except, apparently, when he's cooking, or helping hang up laundry, when he's "helping his mom" as if though he and his dad don't eat or need clean clothes, grr). I was scrupulous about dressing him in a non-gendered way as a baby, but that the first question people then ask- and gosh, they act like I'll be offended if they "guess" wrong (come on people, I was the one who dressed him like that, obviously I'm not hung up about it). I haven't really heard overtly negative comments about him for being a boy, but even the "positive" stuff grates on me. Its like people actually only see in his stereotypically male behaviors, and are blind to the full range of his potential and personality. Now that he's growing his hair long (he wants it to be "down my back, like a girl"), he'll actually ask adults if they like his hair when he hears them compliment a girl friend on hers...

What I really hate is the ultra-conservative, cultural-backlash gender normativity of EVERYTHING for kids, it makes me want to throw up. I think its just as bad for the girls, and frankly in some ways more insidious. I go *so* out of my way to find clothing, toys, not to mention a CARSEAT or TOOTHBRUSH that isn't "boy" or "girl". It all makes me sick. I am convinced that if #2 is a girl I will do the same, and it won't suddenly be all pink frills and satin bows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
t'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?
Yes exactly.

(and my son is obsessed with the hattifatteners...)
post #62 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
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.
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post #63 of 128
I feel more sympathies for the boys because there are fewer boys/male advocates....and when you try to advocate you are belittled and told you are misogamist.

If you say their is a boy crisis in schooled it is denied.... people look at test. Your being anti-girl/feminist/misogamist for speaking up or agreeing there might be a boy crisis. Look at who is dropping out. It ignores the rates of autism, LD's, and ADD in boys

leading to this-----

There was a post on toxic stuff how it effects boys. The last post on this board about the Disappearing Male mention about being tired of all the reports about how toxic stuff effecting male....I say about darn time. I knew about earlier puberty years ago but nothing about the boy.

Their is a double standard on male victim of sex abuse. You look at how it is reported. They talk about the woman (perp) mental state. Why emotionally she did it. There is undertones of well the boy gained something. Few people question if these double standards/attitude is why boys don't speak up and why many boys have the attitude they have about sex.

The complete denial that teen boys like girls and think about girls for more than sex objects. Denial of how important relationships are to boys http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...376235,00.html

The so little focus on mens/boys health....in every race men die before women yet there isn't a push to educate and make the medical facilities "male friendly" (note--I think the medical system needs to improve for all not just one gender. I would like to see more activism for male health.) The lack of information on what is normal about male growth from birth, to puberty, to old age.

If you say wait a minute. Lets look at things differently. Why are so many boys turning into murders, rapist, thugs, drug dealers, et What is happening and why are they turning out this way. There is more than one factor. Yes men don't need to do these things but I think we need to look at why men do and how they ended up there. I think we will find statically more physical and sexual abuse of boys than currently reported---It is stuff that isn't talked about. Isn't allowed to (seeing some progress though). It is also seen as improvement or they gain something from it.

The early labeling boys sex offenders. Yes, there is something wrong with pres-schoolers and 6 year olds being labels as sex offenders and harassers. Many of those situation do need discipline but not the burden of that label. Some of these situation boys are getting punishment instead of help. Natural normal behaviors for girls and boys are being labeled sexually deviant. Questioning how we deal with these situation and the un-intended message that is sent is wrong. It is wrong for wanting the teaching to be more gender neutral fashion. Empowering both genders to speak up. Teaching both genders how they can be sex harrassers and creating a sexually hostile enviroment. From why I have seen of the world I think ignoring same sex sexual harrassment worses opposite gender harrassment. Same sex does not mean homesexual.


*************I have to add qualifier--I am talking our culture. Each culture has different set of problems.
post #64 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Granted I didn't get a son until yesterday...
Congratulations on your new son! :

I am a mom of 3 boys with another boy on the way. I have one daughter. Much of my family just loves and adores my daughter while simultaneously ignoring my sons. It makes me so sad. Thankfully I love and adore all of my children, regardless of their gender. I find that my boys give the tightest hugs and the warmest hand squeezes and secret whispered "I love yous". My daughter would rather help me with every little household task and invite me to her room for tea. The way they express their love is different, but no less sweet.

Boys ARE sweet and awesome. And yes, sometimes noisy and dirty, but my daughter is too.
post #65 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
If you say wait a minute. Lets look at things differently. Why are so many boys turning into murders, rapist, thugs, drug dealers, et What is happening and why are they turning out this way. There is more than one factor. Yes men don't need to do these things but I think we need to look at why men do and how they ended up there. I think we will find statically more physical and sexual abuse of boys than currently reported---It is stuff that isn't talked about. Isn't allowed to (seeing some progress though). It is also seen as improvement or they gain something from it.
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Yes, and I have read somewhere that something like 98% of male prisoners (don't quote me on the statistics) never had a father or father figure in their life and if they did they hated him. I read an article once about a prison that offered card making for Mother's Day and every single prisoner showed up to make a card for his mother or mother figure. It was so successful that they decided to do the same for Father's Day. Not a single prisoner was interested in making a card for their father, and when asked why, many of the prisoners had some colorful words to say about their father's.

A positive male role model is very important for all boys.

Just some food for thought.
post #66 of 128
I also woder why this happen
post #67 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post

I am a mom of 3 boys with another boy on the way. I have one daughter. Much of my family just loves and adores my daughter while simultaneously ignoring my sons. It makes me so sad. Thankfully I love and adore all of my children, regardless of their gender. I find that my boys give the tightest hugs and the warmest hand squeezes and secret whispered "I love yous". My daughter would rather help me with every little household task and invite me to her room for tea. The way they express their love is different, but no less sweet.

Boys ARE sweet and awesome. And yes, sometimes noisy and dirty, but my daughter is too.
I wonder though about this. I've heard of families where there are girls and one boy, and the boy is spoiled and the girls ignored by family. I think it just depends upon the preferences (or prejudices) of the family, and is not something that happens more to one gender than another.

I live in a pretty progressive place, so don't hear much gender stuff. Although honestly, it doesn't bother me too much anyway, unless it's cruel or demeaning.

I kept being told when I had two girls that if/when I had a boy I'd feel differently, but ds turns 4 next week, and I've not experienced anything that makes me feel differently. Sure, there are shirts in stores for girls and for boys that make me , but I don't find it balanced in favor of one gender or another. I wouldn't dress my girls in a lot of stuff I see in stores, but likewise, I wouldnt dress ds in a lot of boy's stuff either.

I don't think I"m failing to see sexism, but I dont' see it as treating my ds as sub-human. Just some traditional expectations that some people hold, but that my family can just choose to reject and ignore.
post #68 of 128
Ugh. Yesterday I was at a birthday party for a little boy who was turning one and one of the other guests (a male) kept saying really offensive things. He acted like the present of a push toy vacuum cleaner was going to turn the boy into a sissy. When the baby's mom let him play with a dollar that came in a card, the man made a comment about the boy being a money grubber (and somehow managed to make it sound like he was putting women down again). And when it was time for cake, the man was absolutely disgusted with the fact that the baby ate the cake neatly. He practically called him effeminate.

I felt so sorry for that man's wife, daughters, and especially his 16 month son.
post #69 of 128
What about what is expected of females in our society?

I don't see this with my boys but I *do* see this happening with girls. Girls are expected to be mild mannered, wear dresses when they need to, be quiet, to not be rough during play, wear their hair long or pretty. I'm part of a homeschool community and I see a lot of this around me so maybe I see it more because of my homeschool group. But why is it that girls are supposed to be the soft, quiet ones and boys are expected to always be...well...boys? and whatever that entails.

My 6 yr old daughter (very short hair, very hyper, likes to climb, yell & rough house) has always acted more like a boy than a girl most of her life and I get quiet embarassed in social situations when people scoff at me because my little angel isn't acting like a little angel. I was the type of little girl that was quiet, timid, let everyone tell her what to do so I prefer seeing little girls like my DD who are outgoing and don't let anyone push them around.
post #70 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post
Much of my family just loves and adores my daughter while simultaneously ignoring my sons. It makes me so sad. Thankfully I love and adore all of my children, regardless of their gender.
I don't see this so much with my children. I see the boys getting favored more because they are quiet and well mannered. My DD is not the same as my boys are. She gets attention but the boys get it more than she does because I think people feel they need it more since they're quiet. However, DD can hold her own and everyone in the family knows that by now.
post #71 of 128
I have been grappling with these issues for some time. A great read on the subject is Raising Cain, The Emotional Life of Boys. You can read snipits of it on the PBS parent site.

I have three boys ages three and under, and I have had a lot of comments from people. Each time I was pregnant, people would assume we were trying for a girl. They were shocked when they found out that gender didn't matter to me, and I just wanted a healthy baby. Now that I have three boys, people wish me luck and tell me I have my hands full. I feel sorry for those people because they haven't enjoyed the pure love, energy and enthusiasim for life that these three boys bring us. So, I simply say, "Yes, three boys. Aren't I lucky!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokea View Post
Oh yes, I have experienced this. The worst one I have ever heard is a father telling his little boy "suck it up, princess"
I think if you rewind to this man's own childhood there was a dominant male figure saying these things and worse to him. So, this is the only way this man knows how to handle the situation.

Our oldest is very sensitive and loving, and he went through a bought of separation anxiety with me specifically shortly after my second son was born. One day, ds wanted me and was crying. DH told him "Get over it, Nancy Boy." Needless to say, DH and I had a long talk later that day. I asked him why he said it. He was feeling rejected and immediately emotionally reverted to the way he was raised. He was abused when he showed emotion. Clearly the term "Nancy Boy" is not a current one, so that came from someone calling him that as a child. He doesn't want to repeat that cycle. But, the human mind can play tricks on you when you are under stress and have a lot of emotion. He hasn't done anything like that since, and he now shows special attention to the boys when they need hugs and kisses.
post #72 of 128
I feel badly for boys but I also feel badly for girls too. Having a girl, I was told she was "flirting" when she smiled, told that she was going to "break hearts" because she is so "pretty" and that daddy better "keep her locked in her room until she is 25" (can anyone say inappropriate mature/sexual references???). I have been told that she is "too" -- rambunctious, opinionated, etc -- I have had mothers tell their boys to be gentle with my daughter because "we need to be gentle with the girls" -- even though my daughter was having a great time (and the boy was just being a kid, nothing rough or mean).

I have had my daughter told that she is doing a "great job of being pretty" (WTF????) and a million other references in public and even with friends reducing her worth to nothing more than a pretty li'l picture of what they think a girl should be (however unintentional in some instances).

So, I do feel for boys -- but I think the people who are like the people you all are describing, are typically similar regarding girls as well in their gender stereotyping and expectation. Of coure I think it is wrong in both instances.
post #73 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by layne View Post
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.

I agree. Having a girl and boys I get the 'pleasure' of seeing both sides of that sword. And frankly is sucks all around. It's really hard to escape because everyone I know makes comments that are unintentionally harmful to our children in regards to gender stereotyping. I wish children could just be children. I have tried my hardest to create that in my own home but we do not live in isolation so my children have been exposed to it and harmed by it like all children have (like all of us have).

My daughter is always getting old purses and things like that from our friends and family and it makes my older son feel like shit (I can see the hurt on his face ) because he also likes to play with purses and dress up clothes high heels and jewelry ect. I make a point of saying ds1 would love some too, lets split them up between dd and ds1. But it hurts me deep in my gut everytime it happens because I know it's killing a small part of who my son is, there's no way around that and I don't know how to completely protect him from it. People do not seem to take an obvious 'hint' either because they continue to do it. And I have plenty of stories on the flip side too.
post #74 of 128
IN truth, I think it's the flip side of girls must be little nice demure submissive things and boys must be aggressive tough emotionless machines. Really this mentality does no individual or society good. I think kids must be full people, regardless of gender, kwim?
post #75 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
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.
I agree hattifattener. It sounds more like poor parenting than specific targeting for being boys.
OP do you know that these parents are different with their girls if they have them? And even then we never know what happens behind closed doors do we?
I am not saying that there are not injustices to boys that occur, I just don't the examples you gave are gender specific.
post #76 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
I love
"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.
yes! thank you! i hate it when guys razz eachother, saying things like "you're such a girl" or "put down your purse", as though girls/women are lesser beings.
post #77 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
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 agree with you here. It is disturbing to me how many shows portrays fathers. Bumbling idiots that need their children to correct them, or stupid henpecked men that can't think for themselves. :
post #78 of 128
I don't see why anyone should have to live up to any preconceived expectations. Children are individuals. They should be free to be themselves and explore their personalities, likes & dislikes without the weight of all this expectation.

I guess the best we can do is to try to live this in our own homes/lives and stick up for our kids when needed or confronted by stereotypes, particularly stereotypes that contradicts the child's individual experiences or preferences.
post #79 of 128
I have a daughter, just so you know that my comments are coming from someone with no experience of having a boy. And, BTW, DH and I passionately wanted a girl and we did all that we could to try and conceive a girl. I, personally, felt that I would be better equiped to parent a girl.
This thread has been eye opening to me. (Maybe I'm one of those people who doesn't have any ...)

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.

Yes, but when (if ever...) women will have equal pay for equal work for then I'll start to get angry that men are used slightly more often as fodder for comic relief.

Please don't take my above opinion to mean that I believe that boys should be treated in the manner that many above posts have mentioned, like this one:

[....... family absolutely berated me for not circumcising my son. my mom said 'oh, he's a boy, he can handle it.' what!?]
Yeeeessshhh! Shocking! I'm sorry your mother said this to you, 3pink1blue.

No, I belive that all children, regardless of their sex, should be nurtured and carressed so that they can grow up to be nurturing and caring.

A colleague and I were talking about our children a few weeks ago. --He has a 3 YO boy, my DD is 21 months.-- He said something to the effect of; "I don't know how you would discipline a girl, I mean, a boy you can hit, ( I don't think I would feel comfortable hitting a girl." As soon as I was able to pick my jaw off the floor I started a tirade of "No child should ever be hit ever! Why would you think it is ok to hit a boy but not a girl! It is not ever ok!!! EVER!!!" (It is possible that he meant 'spank' and I got lost in the translation --this conversation was in Italian, but still, in my book, spanking is not OK either.) It just shocked me and made me so sad, because it is slightly indicative of how I see some people treating their children here. I suppose I was assuming it was an Italian thing, but after reading some of these posts, it happen all the world over. Makes me want to cry.

Back to whether I have eyes or not: I have seen lots of, what I would certainly call abuse here in Italy, but I suppose I never really noticed if it was specifically directed toward boys. I've seen a mother call her 7 YO daughter "Bitch!" very angrily. I've seen mothers screaming at thier toddler boys to "Sit in your stroller and shut up!" (Please don't think that all Italians are so harsh with their children, not all are, but I have seen much more impatience and rudeness toward children than I would've liked. I feel like I'm the only AP here. )


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansma View Post
....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"
Well, DD had a shirt that read "Diva in training", but since I am an opera singer, for me "Diva" has a whold different connotation that it does for the average person. I would never buy a shirt that read something like "Boys stink!" to put on my DD. I find it way to offensive.

This has been a very interesting Thread to read and take part in. Thanks, OP.
post #80 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_My_Babies View Post

I think if you rewind to this man's own childhood there was a dominant male figure saying these things and worse to him. So, this is the only way this man knows how to handle the situation.
At one time I use to agree it must have been the dominant male.......Not saying he doesn't play a part.

But I am questioning mom's role.

I have heard women say you need to beat them (boys) to make them strong.

I have heard this suck it up and don't be a wuss out of woman's mouth as much as mens mouth.

I have been told I am wrong and misogynist because I say it is not just dad or lack of dad. There are things we cannot change but we can change our own behavior. Change what we expect/desired traits in men so men don't think they have to live up to them.

I have been criticize when I say we need to look at DV differently, gender neutral. Men are looked at abusers. They get caught "theoretically" they get treatment anger management. What about women? When you treat and don't deny women abusers or "on the edge" then you help the kids also. SOME moms like SOME dads needs anger management, alcohol and drug counseling, and parenting education. When a woman abuse many times we ask why is she mentally ill at the end of her rope, et.....When men abuse he is a $%#$%%. We need to look at why? Sometimes it is social expectations, sometimes it is no parenting schools, sometimes no coping skills, sometimes it is mental illness. Treating people gender naturally and looking at why only helps the future. It can change social expectations which slowly betters the future for all genders.

I grew up with an physically abusive dad. My mom was mentally and verbally abusive. I ended up getting all this protections from my dad but nobody stopped my mom. There were (and are more) resources for my dad to get help. My mom's abuse goes unacknowledge, denied. So much blame is put on my dad that half the desease/perpatration goes untreated.

I am not saying demonize mom's but deal with DV gender nuturally. (It also would help in homosexual relationships).
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