why are so many boys treated as sub-humans? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-17-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by acannon View Post
Wow. I personally think all children are treated as less than human and it seems that boys get the short end of the stick with some people, especially older people and people who like girls better than boys, for whatever reason.
Personally, "those types of people" exist for anything you can think of. My cousin's grandma, (not the one we shared but the other one) like her brother and sister better because they were blond with blue eyes. She treated my brother and I better than my cousin for the same reason as well. My cousin who was her actual blood granddaughter she treated like crap cause she had brown hair and brown eyes. This woman was from Portugal. She too had brown hair and brown eyes. (she was born in the 1890's) So it doesn't matter if someone dislikes someone for being a boy, being a girl, or because of their appearance, it has nothing to do with sex but rather the persons personal prejudice.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
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.
I'm acutely conscious of the fact that many mothers advocate for their daughters to be able to run wild if they want and are accepted for who and what they are, but are more reticent about speaking up to allow their sons to meet their full potential. I have one daughter, three boys, and I can see the places where they're trying to fit her into a neat little pigeon-hole. I would say, though, that my daughter constantly surprises me by how long she will stay focused on a task for.

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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
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.
Absolutely. The school system over here isn't set up for boys either, but I gather its better than it is over there in the US. My sons are 8 and 9 now, and they're just coming to the point where they're coping really well with the classroom environment.


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Originally Posted by kijip View Post
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.
This is my point though: that an awful lot of feminists are working to allow their daughters to reach their true potential but aren't advocating for their sons in the same way. So what if a little boy wants to grow his hair long, wear pink and play piano (or even sing strewn across the top of it like Michelle Pfeiffer in the Fabulous Baker Boys?) As long as its his choice and he's not doing it because he feels pressured into it, it's all good- just as it's all good if he wants to spend every waking moment chasing a pigskin bladder around.
Something that hasn't been touched on yet is that we're the first post-feminist generation, and there's a lot of children growing up now whose fathers have been totally and utterly unable to rise to the challenge of parenting them. There's a lot of fathers who have walked away from their children or relinquished parental rights- and a lot who haven't, but who aren't doing their jobs. There's a lot of conflicting pressures on men- they have to be strong, healthy, in touch with their creative and artistic side, athletic enough to play sports, able to provide for their families- often working more than one job- but also able to keep going for several hours after they come home working a third shift cuddling the baby and easing some of the pressure on mum, and that's hard work too. I don't think we're giving our sons an education and a raising that would accurately prepare them for this if we let them off with "boys will be boys" and a shake of the head.
Obviously, life is tough for the typical adult woman too, that goes without saying : I just think that the stereotypical boyhood is poor preparation for manhood nowadays.

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Old 11-18-2008, 06:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kijip View Post
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.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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I think flapjack makes very good points. Great post!

The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Sommers deals with some of these issues. I didn't think it was as well-researched as her previous book, but it made some very interesting points about the education system. It's def. worth a trip to the library

Aspiring to 1 Thessalonians 4:11.Wife to Dh, 2004. Mother to DD 3/07.
So thankful for our healthy baby boy, born Easter morning, 2010!
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
This is my point though: that an awful lot of feminists are working to allow their daughters to reach their true potential but aren't advocating for their sons in the same way. So what if a little boy wants to grow his hair long, wear pink and play piano (or even sing strewn across the top of it like Michelle Pfeiffer in the Fabulous Baker Boys?) As long as its his choice and he's not doing it because he feels pressured into it, it's all good- just as it's all good if he wants to spend every waking moment chasing a pigskin bladder around.
Something that hasn't been touched on yet is that we're the first post-feminist generation, and there's a lot of children growing up now whose fathers have been totally and utterly unable to rise to the challenge of parenting them. There's a lot of fathers who have walked away from their children or relinquished parental rights- and a lot who haven't, but who aren't doing their jobs. There's a lot of conflicting pressures on men- they have to be strong, healthy, in touch with their creative and artistic side, athletic enough to play sports, able to provide for their families- often working more than one job- but also able to keep going for several hours after they come home working a third shift cuddling the baby and easing some of the pressure on mum, and that's hard work too. I don't think we're giving our sons an education and a raising that would accurately prepare them for this if we let them off with "boys will be boys" and a shake of the head.
Obviously, life is tough for the typical adult woman too, that goes without saying : I just think that the stereotypical boyhood is poor preparation for manhood nowadays.
I agree especially with the part I bolded. I think we can agree that it's hard both ways and we all need to make a great effort to eliminate these stereotypes so our children can just be who they are with out being forced into restrictive and harmful gender boxes.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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nak

I also wanted to add, a pediatrician at the hospital (not our pedi) said "Oh he's your first boy? Watch out for him, boys always use Mommy as a pacifier." (Said as I was nursing him.)

Um, what?
I am totally my DD's pacifier. which, after 21 months, makes me feel both and

Two of my friends' sons self weaned before 12 months. (or maybe it was a misunderstood nursing strike, I don't know.)


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Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
I'm going to give birth to my third boy soon and also cannot believe how many people have asked me if we were trying for a girl or are going to try for a 4th to get a girl. I really feel sometimes that little boys are just not valued in society.
I think that if you were about to give birth to your third daughter, instead of third son, you would have just as many people, if not more, asking if you were going to try for a boy to complete your family. Everyone keeps telling us, you have a girl, you should try for a boy now. Everyone seems to think that you need "one of each" or you're not complete.




It seems to me that boys not being valued in our society is a new (past 20 years or so) thing. Aren't there are still so many cultures in our world that will abandon thier children because they were born a girl and not a desired boy?

It doesn't excuse "boy abuse" in my mind, not one whit, but perhaps all this is happening because of a back-lash? I don't know, just wondering about it a bit. I do not intend on teaching my daughter that "boys stink" but I do want her to be aware (not now, she's still too little, but eventually) and cautious of the prevelance of violence and abuse against women. (Maybe I'll make a shirt that reads; "Violence stinks".)

I just read this:
Quote:
Worldwide, the U.N. says one of every five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime, and at least one of every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way.
It seems like a bad cycle to me. If we nurtured and cared for our boys in the same way that girls are coddled then perhaps the above statistics wouldn't be so depressing, right? I want women (and girls) to find their strength, but without feeling the need to bash men (and boys). It is no soloution to the problem if the oppressees (sp?) turn around and become the oppressors.


I want to go find a boy to hug.

-- Miss 1928 -- and Opera Singing Mamma to Eloisa -- 12 Feb 2007
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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ITA. MY ds and dd wear the same clothes and hand me downs and dress up as princesses and ballerinas and animals and everything together. I wouldn't have it any other way.
awwww that's so cute! they're both boys but i hope my LOs get along that well!

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Old 11-18-2008, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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FlapJack: This is my point though: that an awful lot of feminists are working to allow their daughters to reach their true potential but aren't advocating for their sons in the same way.
I've always known that being a TRUE Feminist means advocating for both sexes. Not just females.

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Miss 1928: I just read this:

Quote:
Worldwide, the U.N. says one of every five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime, and at least one of every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way.
Miss 1928 con't: It seems like a bad cycle to me. If we nurtured and cared for our boys in the same way that girls are coddled then perhaps the above statistics wouldn't be so depressing, right? I want women (and girls) to find their strength, but without feeling the need to bash men (and boys). It is no soloution to the problem if the oppressees (sp?) turn around and become the oppressors. I want to go find a boy to hug.
EXACTLY! Yes. LOL.

The sexes are so intertwined with one another that whatever hurts one side also hurts the other. We are really the same coin with two different sides IMO. Boys need to be handled with just as much respect and kindness and concern as girls are if we ever expect to achieve true harmony and justice for all.
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