Monday, December 19, 2005


Raping Boys' Minds

DrHelen has an excellent post regarding a classroom assignment where "a 13-year-old boy who was first abused by his mother and then by the school system who treated him as a criminal rather than a victim of abuse." A must read.

This is a fairly extreme case of psychological abuse of a boy. In my observations boys are usually denigrated in smaller, more incremental ways.

When my first son was born, being Catholic, we needed to find godparents for him. For the godmother, we asked a lady that worked with my wife who was Catholic and a good friend. We knew she was a feminist and liberal but she was a good person and did't seem radical. For his first birthday she bought him a story book, a story book about how girls can be fireperson, policeperson, doctor, lawyer, Indian Cheif, etc. Ridiculous. This would be a perfectly fine book to give a girl. A year old boy doesn't need a book on how girls can achieve. Since my son was young, I simply "lost" the book.

While such instances are "minor," over time, just as small drops of water will wear away a stone, the impact builds up and teaches boys they are inferior and worthless which is what the title of Maureen Dowd's book, Are Men Necessary? implies. (And she wonders why she can find a male partner.)

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