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 5

post #81 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
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 #82 of 128
I think treating boys and girls differently based on gender is wrong. I have seen people deny the emotional well being and vulnerability of boys since I had my first ds 5 years ago.
I think most of us have gender assumptions that are hard to shake. For example, my boys love to wrestle and to me that's a "boy thing", though ofcourse it wouldn't be wrong or unnatural for a girl to like it either.

I live in a very progressive place and you'd think there would be way more of an effort at gender neutrality with children.
One recent example I can think of is a friend was talking about how glad she was that she had had a daughter, how she didn't think little boys were cute and how snuggly and sweet her daughter was and she would miss that if she had had a boy!
My boys are so snuggly that I get tired of them hugging me all the time. They are wild and love to run around (what kid doesn't?) but love hugs and always try to comfort me when I'm sad. If that isn't sweet, then what is?
And i know plenty of girls who are not into hugs or sharing sweet cuddling time with their mama. Too busy, too into doing other things...
When my second son was born I got a lot of sympathetic looks and words. I was so tired of it.
Each child is different and has their own unique things to offer to their family and society. let's let them be themselves regardless of gender!
And for crying out loud let's raise our sons to be emotionally intelligent and fullfilled individuals!

And those "boys are stupid" t shirts are sold at the gap. I've never seen them worn so hopefully they flopped. What an offensive idea!
post #83 of 128
i'm a new mother of a boy, but long before he was in my life, i did notice a lot of negativity towards boys and men. it's really tragic.

during hawk's blessing, i had an interesting conversation with my aunt, who is a psychologist. she asked me to be sure to keep hawk out of school until he would be about 9 or 10. her reasoning was that boys develop differently than girls and are largely kiniesthetic learners.

and that in the institution of education, the need to move (in boys and girls) is seen as 'bad behavior' and systematically punished out of them one way or another. she felt that it was particularly hard on boys, because unlike girls (in general of course), they are less likely to "follow teacher" and more likely to explore on their own. this also leads to punishment.

in her mind and expertise, until the educational system takes into account active children, kinesthetic learners, and non-followers (or independent learners), it's better to keep children (girls adn boys, but particularly boys because, in general, they tend more to this tyle of learning as little ones) away from school and homeschool or find specialized alternative schools for them.

it was interseting, considering how school-focused that part of the family is. . .but when my aunt speaks, people listen. after hearing her say it, everyone is supporting homeschooling now.
post #84 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post
insulting boys to empower girls is not the best way to create change but i think that the girl power stuff is just a backlash against our "man's world." it's a (feeble) attempt at teaching girls to be proud of being girls and to teach them to never consider themselves as "below" boys/men. it's a shame it's not done in a better way but nothing in this world is ever done perfectly.
:

That's really what the "insulting boys" thing is all about. It's immature on the part of the adults who are passing on that attitude. But I think it's a backlash -- ineffective, but a backlash.

Bsides, being "treated like dirt" works both ways. How is it helpful to girls to assume they're all sunshine, sugar, and giggles? Isn't that just as harmful by reinforcing the notion of what it means to be a girl -- to be sweet, pretty, happy, etc??

The t-shirts are wrong and I wouldn't let my girls wear one because it's disrespectful to another human being. Use it as an opportunity to teach your kids about what is true and appropriate. With the other moms and adults you can gently open up a conversation about it, as well. Most people probably haven't considered the ramifications of insulting boys.
post #85 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprildawn View Post
:

Use it as an opportunity to teach your kids about what is true and appropriate. With the other moms and adults you can gently open up a conversation about it, as well. Most people probably haven't considered the ramifications of insulting boys.
so true. we can raise a different generation of boys and girls. that might lead us toward true equality.
also, you're right. it is best to gently try to educate others. they might learn something if we find the right moments to bring up the topic. sometimes just raising your beliefs in conversation, very nonchalantly, can make ppl think and perhaps change their minds.
perhaps we can raise a new generation and raise awareness!
post #86 of 128
I have two boys, I can't say I get too much of the negative boy stuff. Maybe I'm just lucky. My boys both get confused for girls a lot, I'm not sure why, a hairdresser mentioned yesterday (just matter of factly) that they have finer features and not very masculine, but that's okay with me. We do generally buy boyish clothes, my kids really like clothes with animals on them, but I have recently picked out a couple of onesies from the girls section, one with a little pumpkin on it and one with a christmas cross stitch. No one has batted an eye...maybe because they think he's a girl?? lol

I am however prepared to deal with the negative boy stuff. Any coach who has the cajones to tell my little guy to suck it up will face my wrath. DH is prepared to back me up on this as well, since he's more familiar with that turf. I am prepared for the unofficial diagnosis of ADD from armchair psychologists because I have an active preschooler-so far my first is in a small school and while an active little monkey has been thriving.
post #87 of 128
Ok I will put my flame retardant suit on for this question…..

Can someone explain what is wrong with dressing boys in “boy” colors? DS does not have pink or purple clothing. He mainly has brown, blue, grey, green, red and black. I don’t see the big deal that he isn’t wearing pink?

If I had a girl, I would dress her in reds, purples, greens, yellows, etc. (I don’t personally like pink.) I would probably not buy her many “boy” colors and I would shop in the “girl” section at the store.

I just can’t seem to understand where this thread is coming from on that issue

I guess I’m just not getting it.

I do want to say that I don’t like hearing things like “Suck it up princess” or the shirts with “boys stink”. That is just rude. Every child deserves to be treated with respect.
post #88 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanidFL View Post
Ok I will put my flame retardant suit on for this question…..

Can someone explain what is wrong with dressing boys in “boy” colors? DS does not have pink or purple clothing. He mainly has brown, blue, grey, green, red and black. I don’t see the big deal that he isn’t wearing pink?

If I had a girl, I would dress her in reds, purples, greens, yellows, etc. (I don’t personally like pink.) I would probably not buy her many “boy” colors and I would shop in the “girl” section at the store.

I just can’t seem to understand where this thread is coming from on that issue

I guess I’m just not getting it.

I do want to say that I don’t like hearing things like “Suck it up princess” or the shirts with “boys stink”. That is just rude. Every child deserves to be treated with respect.
Why should the access to color be based on ones gender?
Who decided pink is "girl" (and BTW it wasnt' always that way...pink used to be the boy color)
What if your DS wanted to wear something pink? What if he wants to wear flowers? What if he wants to wear a ballerina on his clothes? Why should anyone's life be limited b/c they were born one gender or another?
post #89 of 128
I like my boys to dress like boys too. Because that is part of who they are. They ARE boys. And while society is not perfect in perception and stereotypes I don't feel strongly enough about it that it has to be my boys who have to change everyone's minds. When they chose their own clothes or things (ds has a pink hair brush and a pink and purple doll stroller) I will not object.

I will always address negative comments like the "noise with a little dirt on it" comment- my little guy is way more than just that! Or even "boys will be boys" I hate that one : but I don't care if someone wants their girl to always be in pink and their boy in blue.
post #90 of 128
[QUOTE=ann_of_loxley;12620128]What bothers me is the sexual steriotypes.

I also hate the attitude of 'suck it up! - Be a man'. The way boys and girls are treated differently from day one about their emotions.

I actually have a theory about this.
You know how men get 'man flu'? Like they overexaggerate any illness whilst woman tend to move on (we might be ill but we still have to take care of the children, take care of the house, go to work, etc)...I think this is their way of making up their lost affections in childhood because of the countless times they were expected to 'suck it up' and 'be a man'. (does that make sense? lol...It does to me hehe)[/QUOTE

That is brilliant! I will now have a new outlook and tad bit more sympathy for my husband next time he is sick. Many thanks!!
I try to treat my son with compassion and make sure my husband doesn't push the suck it up/be macho crap (that's an on going battle). But in light of this new outlook, I hope to be less annoyed at the whining, can't do anything attitude of a sick husband.
post #91 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post

I actually have a theory about this.
You know how men get 'man flu'? Like they overexaggerate any illness whilst woman tend to move on (we might be ill but we still have to take care of the children, take care of the house, go to work, etc)...I think this is their way of making up their lost affections in childhood because of the countless times they were expected to 'suck it up' and 'be a man'. (does that make sense? lol...It does to me hehe)
That does make a lot of sense!
post #92 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
Why should the access to color be based on ones gender?
Who decided pink is "girl" (and BTW it wasnt' always that way...pink used to be the boy color)
What if your DS wanted to wear something pink? What if he wants to wear flowers? What if he wants to wear a ballerina on his clothes? Why should anyone's life be limited b/c they were born one gender or another?
I am not the person this post was addressed to but I sort of agree with CandidFL. I would have no problem with my son wearing pink, flowers or a ballerina on his clothes -- if he wanted to. He does have a pink t-shirt that DH bought him, who incidentally prefers more feminine colors -- his closet is full of pink, lilac, turquoise, mint green etc and bemoans the fact it is hard to find clothes for men in those colors. DS's shirt does, however, say "It looked orange in the store" on it! Even though my son's father dresses in so-called feminine colors, it is not the colors he prefers for himself, he would rather wear navy, dark green, camo, brown, red etc, let alone flowers or ballerinas; so out of respect of his choices, these are the colors we buy his clothes in.
post #93 of 128

More examples and some strategies...

I have also felt the frustration that the OP feels with regards to how boys are treated. It really came to a head for me one week when I was feeling particularly vulnerable with regards to how people were treating my husband (a SAHD) and my son (a normal, but active boy) AND I came across a letter to the editor in our local newspaper about parents whose baby boy was being refused day care spots just because he was a boy AND on another message board I was on, women were going on and on about how it isn't safe to leave your children to be babysat by teenage boys or by men because they are likely to abuse your kids. I was really worried for what that meant for my child and also what it continues to mean for my husband (e.g. other parents aren't comfortable having their kids come over to play when I'm not home because my husband is a man, which isn't fair to him or to my kids who then have to forego play dates when Mommy is at work).

Anyways, I got so frustrated and mad that I put all that energy into a long blog post about the Bias Against Boys (you can read it here: http://phdinparenting.com/2008/07/12/bias-against-boys/), including thoughts on some of the myths/perceptions of boys:
Our boys as hyperactive
Our boys as sexual predators
Our boys as violent
Our boys as uncaring

I also talked about the real and perceived differences between boys and girls and concluded with some thoughts on what we can do to help get rid of this bias against our boys:
* Teach our boys to be nurturing - give them the power of emotional intelligence.
* Give them a healthy diet, to avoid excess hyperactivity
* Give them opportunities to roughhouse and wrestle in a safe environment by engaging in physical play with their parents
* Give them plenty of opportunities to play outside, run around, to explore and to use their energy
* Limit access to television and Internet and ensure that materials are age appropriate and do not include images of violence or unhealthy sexuality
* Teach them about healthy sexuality and encourage them to ask questions
* Encourage them to express their emotions and rather than keeping them bottled up inside
* Teach them to respect people, including teachers, women and girls, those that are weaker than them, those that are different from them
post #94 of 128
I have an 8 month old boy and the gender conformity brigade gets on my nerves. We pretty much buy him mostly gender neutral type clothes and gear because we want more kids and want the items to be re-usable.

I would not have a problem dressing my son in something like this
http://www.boutiqueforbaby.com/catal...80/4417696.htm if he said "Momma, I want pink." I probably would not give him a tutu and high heels, even if he asked, because I am the parent and I better understand the social consequences of making certain choices than he does at a young age. As he got older and understood the possibility of teasing, reputation, and has decided for himself the importance of "fitting in," and still needed these types of items to express himself I would not fight it.

I think at least in my family/social circle gender is used against boys to limit their access to enriching activities, for fear that partaking in the arts, caring for animals, or, god forbid, playing with non-violent non-aggressive toys will make said boy "GAY." And it seems so arbitrary, so insidious, like the real goal is something else. Fear of "GAY" is so evil, it oppresses little children. I have had to argue 1 too many people down about the importance of music education, I was shocked to find out that so many consider playing the piano so feminine that boys should not do it. "You want your SON to play the piano." Yes, and I will be buying my baby a toy piano for Christmas and he "watches" a music education video every day too. To me, music itself is gender neutral, and all instruments are as well, although you could say that instruments with a higher register might be considered more girly, I think that is very limited and should not keep kids from playing their preferred instruments.
post #95 of 128
I don't think it does any good to try and figure out who has it "worse". Just that it is all unacceptable regardless of the gender or stereotypes. As a mother of a son I see what a lot of people on this thread are saying about discrimination/stereotyping that negatively impacts boys but as a woman, I can't say that girls have it any easier. It's not like a girl power shirt or getting gold stars in 2nd grade because you are ready to sit in a desk etc makes up in any appreciable way for the ongoing impacts of male privilege in this society.

My son likes a lot of traditionally girl and traditionally boy things. Does it bother me people assume that they can determine the sexuality of a 5 year old child because he likes pink or likes flower gardens? Of course. But I truly don't feel the need to tell moms with girls that their children have it better..because they don't.

In fact I think focusing on if girls or boys have it worse distracts from everyone, as people, working against bias based on gender.
post #96 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
I have an 8 month old boy and the gender conformity brigade gets on my nerves. We pretty much buy him mostly gender neutral type clothes and gear because we want more kids and want the items to be re-usable.

I would not have a problem dressing my son in something like this
http://www.boutiqueforbaby.com/catal...80/4417696.htm if he said "Momma, I want pink." I probably would not give him a tutu and high heels, even if he asked, because I am the parent and I better understand the social consequences of making certain choices than he does at a young age. As he got older and understood the possibility of teasing, reputation, and has decided for himself the importance of "fitting in," and still needed these types of items to express himself I would not fight it.

I think at least in my family/social circle gender is used against boys to limit their access to enriching activities, for fear that partaking in the arts, caring for animals, or, god forbid, playing with non-violent non-aggressive toys will make said boy "GAY." And it seems so arbitrary, so insidious, like the real goal is something else. Fear of "GAY" is so evil, it oppresses little children. I have had to argue 1 too many people down about the importance of music education, I was shocked to find out that so many consider playing the piano so feminine that boys should not do it. "You want your SON to play the piano." Yes, and I will be buying my baby a toy piano for Christmas and he "watches" a music education video every day too. To me, music itself is gender neutral, and all instruments are as well, although you could say that instruments with a higher register might be considered more girly, I think that is very limited and should not keep kids from playing their preferred instruments.
I would love to see my son play the piano. In fact, he will be starting next year at school and I am thrilled about it and so is he. He also has a pink polo shirt and has said he might like to be a fairy or a queen next year for halloween (although if past experience dictates the future, he will probably change his mind 50 times before then).

Here are some interesting posts on raising a feminist boy, that talk about some of those issues (one is mine, two are by others):
http://penguinunearthed.wordpress.co...feminist-boys/
http://community.feministing.com/200...inist-son.html
http://phdinparenting.com/2008/11/02...ng-a-feminist/
post #97 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.
This infuriates me!

No wonder men are loathe to pick up the slack - gee, they can't cook, clean, talk, negotiate, parent, love, do anything according to popular media/advertising!
post #98 of 128
I have a boy and a girl and they both have crappy things happen, especially based on gender stereotypes, but I have never seen boys treated as sub human.
post #99 of 128
With respect, I agree with the other posters at the examplse kldliam gave are more generally abusive or poor parenting examples. I don't think I would be feel sorrier for a boy than a girl whose parent took a pair of pliers to their teeth. And I have seen parents scream and smack kids of both genders when they're annoyed, and have read about probably otherwise excellent parents *here* brag about going mama bear and chasing off people who dare to speak to their kids.

Here, too, I have seen other mothers defend their position that they will always look at any male school age and above as a natural rapist, and sometimes won't even allow them to earn trust, because they're inherently untrustworthy. I had no idea that such extreme views existed (and yes, I have been raped, being part of survivors groups was very important in my life for a time, and even THERE I never heard the kind of things that I have read here) until I joined this site ages ago.

To me, it's that kind of attitude that is the most disturbing. "Don't cry" bugs me, but it doesn't hit me in the gut like someone implying that because they have a penis my boys should be proactively treated like sexual offenders. To me, that IS treating a whole class of people as subhuman, as much as I have a great deal of empathy for the trauma that must have happened to make people feel that way.

The thing is, people say stupid crap. Always have, always will. I don't get mortally offended by it most of the time, because if I did I'd get a martyr complex. (I have multiples. Multiple boys. The age differene between my singleton and my multiples is 18 months. Trust me, people cannot help themselves but open their mouths and let stupidity flow out copiously, though it's gotten a lot better now that the kids are older and in different activities.)
post #100 of 128
I've seen the whole 'boys don't cry' my IL's are big on the 'sissy boy!' bull crap. My MIL tried to call DS that for some reason and I turned on her and said "That had better be the LAST time you say something like that about my son." I hate it, boys are 'allowed' to have emotions too!

HOWEVER, you will hear me telling my DS to 'rub some dirt on it' or 'shake it off' when he falls and isn't really hurt. Just like when my DD is older I'll tell her to 'rub some dirt on it' or 'shake it off'. Not because I don't want them to be emotionless, but because I don't believe it's necessary to react to every little bump/fall. I know when DS is actually hurt and when he's just putting on a show for attention...sometimes I just gotta say "James, you're FINE. Shake it off."
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?