This is the repost of my weekly Da Tech Guy Column: Boys, Interrupted.
By A.P. Dillon
For quite some time now I’ve been watching the assault on boyhood. I’ve been kicking around observations of how boys are being treated in school, how other parents treat their children, the realities of having sons and considering the lives of my own sons.
A recent PJ Media video, Boyhood Under Attack: Why Boys Can’t Just Be Boys Anymore, hit a number of chords with me. The video is just under 17 minutes long and I recommend watching the whole thing. It is this video that has prompted me to finally write about boys today.
Bear with me while I trace my thoughts. Keep in mind that I am writing from the perspective of a mom with young boys – elementary school-aged and younger. One is in elementary school and the other has not yet entered Kindergarten.
Moms of boys are a different breed. We display our Lego scarred feet like badges of honor. We know when it is too quiet in the house that something is afoot; usually requiring towels and cleaning supplies on our end. We know that unless we’ve spent several hours outside, bed time will be a disaster.
Moms of boys also know it is not all bugs, fart noises and little feet running through the house that sounds like a herd of elephants stampeding. They love toy cars and somehow know how to make a wide array of explosion noises before they even turn 4.
Boys are tough, or so they want you to believe. They will always look to their mom for strength and direction. Be a loving mother who is a source of strength, not criticism.
Being a mom of boys is also about that little person wandering into your bed in the middle of the night and setting up camp in the crook of your arm.
We see our sons eye their cuts and scrapes through a mix of tears and curious pride. Our sons slay monsters. They like to shoot the bad guys and play the hero. They build towers just to smash them to see what happens.
Boys are largely ‘hands-on’ creatures; trial and error teaches them about expectations and roles they will play as they grow into manhood.
With all their adventures, boys are learning about themselves. This is how they find their character and their confidence. Their activities are a means of both defining one’s self and following what they are hard-wired for at the same time. This is boyhood. It is primal and instinctual.
Moms of boys see all of this and more, yet inexplicably some of us seem to relinquish protecting our son’s boyhood once school starts. Well, not this mom.
Boys are boys. They are not girls.
Boys in general are movers, not sitters. They are explorers, not sedentary watchers. Their social interactions are less verbal than girls their age and are more physical.
This is who boys are and they are being interrupted. I’ve noted that school tries to make them act like girls; sit still, listen, don’t fidget, etc. The shortening of recess and interactive play in school is exacerbating the situation — Gee, thank you, Common Core.
Boys have labels applied to them like ‘hyperactive’ and ‘disobedient’ along with notes to that go into their school files. Some of the labeling and note taking is followed by a suggestion for an ‘educational intervention’ and questions about ADHD. Too often, parents comply.
This is not to say that boys shouldn’t pay attention to instruction or try their best in the classroom. Having an expectation for boys to learn is not the problem, rather, boys shouldn’t be expected to behave like their female counterparts.
I’ve also watched as young girls are rewarded for exerting their independence and entering into activities taken up by mainly by boys in the past. Yet, the boys who engage in these same activities are herded, marginalized and told their actions are inappropriate.
This marginalizing represents a form of picking winners and losers; one that is predetermined based on sex and in my opinion has its roots in ‘modern feminism‘. Modern feminism’s drive has been to enshrine the concept that ‘all things female’ automatically trump ‘all things male’. This has done more to harm gender equality than the actions of any man ever has.
Modern feminism has become a twisted parody and it is continuing to ignore biology and common sense and instead opting to apply their will and make males second class citizens by brute force. Oh, the irony.
Be their mom. Be their dad. Let them be boys. What you do and say means more to your sons than anything else. Stop giving in to those who would marginalize who boys naturally are. Start standing up for your sons.
Stand up for their boyhood — and their future manhood.
A.P. Dillon resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com.
Her current and past writing can also be found at IJ Review, StopCommonCoreNC.org and Watchdog Wire NC.
Catch her on Twitter: @LadyLiberty1885