|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
. His Gitmo education will teach him to wail in a weird, high-pitched voice, eat a goat, and blow things up. Guantanamo Bay
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.