Wednesday, January 25, 2006

How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Young Men

Wherein I pass along an interesting conversation

I've been remiss in not passing this along. Readeriam has a wonderful post about her son and how the educational system treats boys. Read the whole thing as there are links to follow for more information.

Short quote:
Our son, despite whatever innate abilities he may have, at age 5 is primarily about being, well, the classic little boy. He's interested in aliens and battles and knights and asteroids and taking things apart (ahem!) to see how they work inside. He's active and wiry and full of energy and very physical (though not particularly athletic, in the team-sport sense) and hands-on. It's not so much that he won't sit still and pay attention for long stretches of time, it's that it's an immense struggle for him to do so. When he succeeds at that struggle, there's not much energy or focus left to do the actual task at hand.

Especially if it bores him (like teddy bears) and he wants to learn about something else (like the 10th planet). Especially if it's coloring, which he's never, ever liked. (Now, drawing--and copying figures and forms out of art books--that he enjoys.) And most especially if it's filling out handwriting sheets to precise letter-forming specifications, which he hates and, understandably, being a boy of his age, struggles over.

I mention the letter-forming specs deliberately, because he has openly asked us--on a number of occasions--why he has to write them in just one way for them to be right, when he sees them in different fonts all the time. (And yes--he knows what a font is--regular readers may recall all of my allusions to him watching me work on the computer too much.) To which we say, "Because the teacher says so; it's just something you have to do." What else can we say?


Blogger reader_iam said...

Thanks for the link!

And your comments over there.

1/25/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ahistoricality said...

I'm not going to disagree with your or her assessment of the educational experience. I don't think, though, that "feminism" is really the issue here, in any meaningful sense of the word. An unnatural emphasis on age-inappropriate developments, yes. A rigid (most feminists would say: patriarchal) approach to knowledge and to behavior, absolutely.

I never learned how to write properly: I moved from a "cursive in third grade" district to a "cursive in second grade" district between second and third grades, and didn't hand in any homework (which had to be done in cursive) for weeks until my teachers noticed, and my handwriting never really recovered. I did relearn how to print (and managed to turn that into a decent half-cursive, eventually) by taking drafting in HS, but boy am I glad I learned to type in ninth grade.

1/25/2006 05:20:00 PM  

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