Inviting boys into girls only spaces to make a difference

Article here. Excerpt:

'How do we get in front of this? How do we protect girls and women from predators? How do we raise boys to do better?

“We’ve been having a lot of conversations about masculinity and how we move forward in this #MeToo movement,” Warshaw told me. “How do we involve men, and where do we put the ownership in making change?”

“When girls are empowered, it’s a win for everyone,” Carey added. “Sometimes, when boys see girl-power spaces, they think it’s a girl thing, solving girl problems. They don’t see themselves as part of a portrait where girls and boys are shoulder-to-shoulder equals. This might be an opportunity to say, ‘Boys, you can be a partner in solving this problem.’”
"I think that no one should be separated because of their gender,” a girl named Maeve said. “Even in the smallest things like volleyball and baseball or the big things like being the president or working at a candy shop.”

At the end of the assembly, Warshaw called a delegate from each group to the front of the gymnasium to drop a paper vote into a “yes” (include boys) or “no” (keep it girls-only) jar. Carey and Warshaw tallied the votes later and will consider them alongside feedback from other gatherings. It seemed, based on the Hamilton girls’ discussions, that votes would lean heavily toward inviting boys.'

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OK so there's a school. It decided that an empowerment club for girls needed to be created. It needed to be GIRLS ONLY because the presence of boys was somehow... disempowering. Or toxic. Or something.

Then after some time passes wherein girls do yoga, chant stuff like "I take up space!" and eat snacks (ok, that much I get... life's all about the snacks, let's face it.. ), someone decides that the club actually should be co-ed so the girls can "feel supported" by the boys.


Ok, maybe I'm warped by toxic masculinity here but my idea of empowerment includes self-determination, independence, and self-confidence that comes from inside a person. If one's "locus of control" or "center of confidence" comes from outside of him or herself, then it is something that really isn't part of a person. It relies on external influences. This reliance on external support for one's sense of confidence is not a winning strategy.

If I were going to train kids of either sex in how to be self-confident, I'd take a rather different approach from yoga. But I'd keep the snacks, that's for sure. :) Among other things I'd teach them how to say "You're entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to mine. And my opinion says you can go fuck yourself at my earliest convenience, which just happens to be right now." Now I'd stress that actually speaking these words may not be well-advised in every situation but I'd make sure they practiced saying it so they do it effectively when the time comes.

I'd also teach them Krav Maga so the next time some punk fucks with them they can floor the fucker.

Really, I should teach pre-school.

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