Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Monday, July 15, 2013


First frame: "I have a hammer!"    Second frame: "I can put things together!  I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while!"    Third frame: "Ah, it's great to be male!"
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            We’ve all heard the French phrase, “VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE,” which implies long live the difference between the sexes.  There are obviously innate differences, despite attempts by some to blur the distinction.  These differences should be celebrated.  After all, if it didn’t work that way, you wouldn’t be reading this.

            When I was six or seven years old, I got beat up almost daily by a red-headed kid down the street.  I was a wimp and that little sucker was tough.  In fact, years later he was a champion wrestler at San Jose State College.  My mother didn’t want me to fight, so I didn’t know how to protect myself at that early age. 

            Finally, my dad got tired of watching me stagger home with black eyes and a bloody lip, so he got down on his knees and showed me how to throw a punch.  He was a tough Irish guy with a fantastic muscular build and was probably taught how to fight by his own father, who was a boxer.

            The next time the kid went after me, I put my dad’s training to use and got the kid’s mind right.  I never had a problem with him after that and we became good friends.  But that was then.

            Many boys today channel their natural aggression vicariously by fighting characters on computer games.  But who can blame them?  Boys aren’t allowed the physical freedom to let off steam.  Unfortunately, too many are raised by single mothers, most are taught by women in their formative school years, and our culture discourages masculinity, which sometimes contributes to confusion over sexual identity.  A scientific study recently stated that testosterone levels in boys are lower today than in the past.  There must be estrogen in French fries.

            I’m not including violence by youths in the “hood,” gang violence, or behavior outside of our cultural norms.  There are other dynamics involved with these problems.  I’m only talking about “middle America” and the unisex trend foisted on kids.

            When I was in school, it was natural for boys to have harmless fights during recess or after school. No knives or guns.  Just fists. Today, boys in the classroom are taught to behave like girls with no outlet for their natural male inclinations.  They are expected to sit quietly, do their work, and refrain from turning snakes loose in class.  If a boy draws a picture of a gun, he’s immediately incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.  His Gitmo education will teach him to wail in a weird, high-pitched voice, eat a goat, and blow things up. 

            A.D.H.D. and other labels are attached to kids who can’t focus.  So when boys act like boys in the classroom, we drug them into compliance with Ritalin or Adderall.  Running laps around the track or banging heads on the football field would help.  Boys in my generation played outside, constantly seeking adventure and physical challenges.  Sadly, that’s not realistic anymore.

            Today, television cop shows depict “macho women” beating up huge bad guys.  Women are the heroes, judges, bosses, karate masters - besting men in all categories of brain and brawn.  Women in the military are shown crawling through an infiltration course.  TV shows depict the woman as the head of the family and the man as a wimp who can’t do anything right.  (Gayle will tell you that I melted a screwdriver changing a light switch with the power on.  Don’t believe her.)

            I guess I’m from the “old school” where women were women and men were men.  I still instinctively walk on the outside near the street when walking with my wife.  That’s something else my dad taught me.  It stems from an archaic practice back when people tossed garbage out of their windows onto the street, resulting in men being covered in coffee grounds and watermelon rinds.  "There is nothing new under the sun . . . "

            I’m waiting for boys to come to school in leotards, tutus, and paper angel wings.  If it’s an androgynous Peter Pan world, where is Tinker Bell?  As I recall, she was pretty good looking. . . and very feminine.


  1. Hi Ralph....I'm in your camp! :-)

    Gen.1:27 "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; MALE and FEMALE He created them." Gen.1:31a "And God saw all that He had made and behold, it was VERY GOOD,..."

    If you know anyone who is currently raising boys I'd recommend the book written by Dr. James Dobson, "Bringing Up Boys". (If the price is an issue, they can probably get a copy on E-Bay for less!)

    1. Jacki -

      I agree that God's plan was "...very good."

  2. I had a comment to write but I need a timeout.....

    .......my tutu was too too tight!

    I, too, got beat up every day in grade school. She was really one tough girl!

    Funny thing - years later I married this girl! 50 years later she is still one tough bro..!

    Another timeout needed - she wants me to take out the garbage! I hope she lets me back in!

    1. Ed - You in a tutu is a terrifying thought.

      Regarding Darlene and her tendency to beat up on you, don't let her watch NCIS, where Ziva can whip ten guys at once and throw a car five blocks. My wife thinks Ziva is great. That in itself is scary.

      If your wife won't let you back in the house, keep your tutu on and do a pirouette on your tippy toes. She'll want to protect you or at least get you off the street.

  3. Today I was involved in withcraft. I shot my age and for me that was a miracle. Mind you it was not a regulation course--10 short. Nevertheless in the Abbotsford heat (80) I endured until the end. You should be proud of me bro.

    1. Since we nick-named you "Warlock" I understand why you beat the ground with a stick. But I don't know how you Canadians find enough sun to do anything outdoors.

  4. I'm pretty sure Peter Pan wore tights...and fought a lot too! Personally, I'm not much for men in tights, (or most women), but I do think those new man-skirts are kind of neat.

    It's interesting that boys are fighting less (a good thing in my book), while girls are fighting more !! - thanks to U-Tube, I guess, and it's not a pretty sight. I'm pretty sure releasing snakes in class was always discouraged....

    For both girls and boys, let's bring back physical ed to the schools, and after school turn of computers send them outside!

    1. I'm all for physical ed in school, but it should be strenuous enough to drain energy.

      I've never heard of "man-skirts," unless your talking about Scottish kilts.

    Very well written. I'm so with you on this one. Men are men, and women are women. I am a woman and like to be treated like one. When a man opens the door for me or walks on the outside down a street, he is my Hero.

    I don't understand little boys playing with girl dolls, and girls fighting. As children, the girls in our family were taught to be feminine. And the boys were taught as you said, to be masculine. We didn't make that decision!

    I won't even get into how the Armed Forces are now disciplining the enlistees. If you don't like what the CO is yelling at you, just raise your red card and he has to stop.

    No more said....

    1. Sharon - Is that "red card" thing really true? That's the first I've heard, but I can believe it, since we are also feminizing our military. Sad.

  6. Ralph, it is true. In fact, my Son was talking to a new recruit on leave, and he verified the red card is being used.

    The discipline they receive now is pretty much only 'drop and give me 50'. "Pink Bellies" are also now illegal.

    The PT which used to be out in the elements, whether it be freezing or roasting, is now performed in the gym.

    You know, after I digested all of this, it makes sense due to the fact parents are very limited in the type of discipline they can use, so those going to boot camp and receiving the old physical treatment, could be suicidal.

    In fact, a young man from our church was given a medical and sent home from boot camp for that very reason.