Australia: Stop the shaming of boys in schools

Article here. Excerpt:

'Another week, another shaming of boys in schools. Last Monday a teacher at Como Secondary College in Perth stormed into a change room and told boys celebrating a soccer win that they sounded like ‘a bunch of testosterone-fuelled misogynistic boys.”

It was encouraging to see the extensive media coverage of this event as well as the recent shaming of boys in two Victorian schools, where boys were required to apologise for men’s violence and denounced as male oppressors.

It is odd that so many react with surprise given that shaming of boys as toxic, violent and dangerous has been happening for years in Australia and is part of school curriculum in many states. With all the interest in the new national curriculum and concern about the growing influence of identity politics in schools, it is telling that no one is focusing on the widespread infiltration of feminist ideology into school programs with male-bashing now part of school teaching across the country.'

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We need to stop the systemic, institutionalized abuse of boys.

Recklessly calling young boys' behavior "misogynistic" is disheartening, to say the least.

At this point, I nearly 100% reject the terms "misogyny" and its derivatives "misogynist" and "misogynistic" as having become meaningless due to gross overuse and abuse. Those words appear everywhere these days and seem to apply to almost anything an individual female or groups of females do not like. That seems to be what happened in this situation.

Men and boys are not perfect, not even close. However, neither are women and girls. I like to think that we humans are all trying to improve, knowing that I am probably offering the benefit of the doubt to various characters--female and male--who don't really deserve it.

In situations like this news story, I believe it's time to start labeling as "misandry" and "toxic femininity" the attempt at shaming schoolboys by referring to them as de facto misogynists.

I followed the links in the top story down to the detailed newspaper articles that quoted some boys involved in the incident and reported eyewitness accounts of what happened. Even taking an expansive view of the word "misogyny," I couldn't find any examples of behavior that deserved that label. Again, it's an instance of behavior that a particular female did not like.

I have experienced such rowdy behavior. When I attended my boys' high school in Chicago, the homeroom period was not a favorite time for us students. One day, our class of about 30 boys was especially rowdy. Our teacher, Mrs. F. (a usually patient woman in her thirties) could stand it no longer and required our entire homeroom class to return after classes for one hour of detention time.

The other guys were not happy. I was not happy. Listening to the complaints, I heard a variety of them: "I need to get to work. This will make me late;" "I can't miss football practice;" "My parents are going to be mad when they find out about this;" and various other grumping and groaning. One thing I did not hear was any mention--or even suggestion--of dislike for Mrs. F. because she was a woman.

Indeed, the following school year, I was a student in Mrs. F's American Literature course and I loved it. I never thought poorly of her because of her sex. We boys learned to cultivate an attitude of respect and deference toward all of our teachers. In the unlikely event that a student made any anti-female remarks about a teacher or any other staff member, I am certain that he would be reporting to the Dean of Students' for some "counseling" and probable after-school time in the penalty box.

We need to make our schools better and safer for boys. It will take time, but we can do it.

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