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LostOne4Ever

Profile Information

Gender: Confused
Hometown: Somewhere in Texas
Home country: USA
Current location: What part of lost do you not understand?
Member since: Sat Apr 20, 2013, 02:29 AM
Number of posts: 8,139

About Me

Hi I am Lost. In fact, I am pretty sure I made a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Anyone know the way to Cucamonga?

Journal Archives

The real boy crisis: 5 ways America tells boys not to be “girly”

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Mocking boys for doing "feminine" things leaves them ill-equipped for life, and makes America a worse place for all
BY SORAYA CHEMALY

The ability to feel what others feel has many well-documented benefits, including, for empathetic people, greater psychological and physical health. The real and socially significant positive impact of empathy, however, is the ways in which it affects behavior toward others. People who are empathetic are less aggressive and prone to denigrate others; they are predisposed to act with care and compassion; they have increased egalitarian beliefs and act with less prejudice and stereotype-based hatred. Empathetic behaviors, however, are associated with being female. And weak.

The stereotypes that plague our lives teach that the characteristics of empathetic understanding are feminine: listening, sensitivity, quiet consideration and gentleness. Empathy is feminized and boys learn quickly that what is feminized is, in a man, the source of disgust. While parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents and others whose ideas shape children aren’t sitting around telling boys, “Don’t be empathetic!” they are saying, in daily micro-aggressive ways, “Don’t be like girls!” The process of “becoming a man” still often means rejecting almost any activity or preference that smacks of cross-gender expression or sympathy.

Expression and empathy are closely related for children. When boys are taught that they can’t “be like girls” it has the threefold effect. First, it alienates them from core aspects of themselves. Second, it portrays what is feminine as undesirable and inferior. Third, it forces boys into a “man box” from which emotions and empathy are excluded. An upcoming documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” carefully examines, from the perspective of boys and men, what this feels like and means in their lives.

While more and more parents are openly grappling with how to handle “non-conventional” gender behavior in children, many others won’t even consider the behavior as remotely acceptable. The policing of boys’ gender expression doesn’t require parents who yell, “Stop crying, you sound like a girl!” or homophobic classmates hurling some variation of “Don’t be so gay!” (which is, sadly, still a serious problem). A whole range or rules, traditions, daily interactions and media content come together to narrow boys’ options and, ultimately, abilities. Consider these five everyday ways that boys are taught first not to look like girls, not to be like girls, not to do “girly” things, and then, ultimately, to lose the ability to feel compassion...

More at link.

I found this article very fascinating. America has come a long way from where we were when the first wave feminist came and demanded their rights, but I think we have a long way to go.

I think this article displays that while we have had a large amount of success in advancing the role of women before the law (at least in comparison with where we were when our government was founded), we still live in a society that values "masculinity" over "femininity," and we need to work to fix that.
Posted by LostOne4Ever | Fri Oct 4, 2013, 12:39 AM (7 replies)
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