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Boys And Education

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I was reading through the NY Post this morning on my way to school, when I came across this Opinion Article: http://www.nypost.com/seven/01242008/posto...1868.htm?page=0

After reading it, I couldn't help but wonder whether or not he had a point. So I sat down and wrote out a list of titles of works we had covered, starting in middleschool and working my way through high school. (College was left out, as we had dealt mostly with essays, rather than fiction pieces.) Wouldn't you know it? He was right! Everything from Shakespeare to Herman Melville, all had unbalanced, mentally troubled, or unethical male centers. The only two books which didn't have troubled men in it were the ones which had strong female leads. Apparently if a guy is the lead, then he has to have problems with his identity and/or morals, yet its ok for women to be perfect!

I was curious if this was something that held true for others, and what people might have to say in response to the article.

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Wow, excellent digging dragon dude. It brought up several salient point I hadn't considered before. I mean, I noticed them, but yeah, makes sense doesn't it? Elementary school teachers don't get paid a heck of a lot though, that may be why there aren't so many male elementary school teachers...they also get promoted to Principal faster than the women.

When you mentioned the books you had read, I began reminiscing about Tess of the D'Ubervilles. (Man that book ...it scarred me). It wasn't exactly about a strong woman at all, but yeah, look at the media, the movies, strong women who kick butt...mind you, I do like looking at Vin Diesel's shoulders....maybe I shouldn't complain. I think I rambled a bit.

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(Boys advocate Joe Manthey reminds us that "when girls were behind in math and science, we said there's something wrong with the schools. But now, when boys don't do well in school, we say there's something wrong with the boy.")

That is exactly how I feel. Just getting out of school, myself, I can relate with the entire article. (Guess what! I dropped out!)

I think through my entire life, I only had about....Six male teachers. Four of which were my first year of highschool. Well... I guess seven, if you count P.E. teachers.

The thing I complain about the most to people I talk to, and the thing I'm most often called sexist for, is my views on the media. I'm TIRED of the movies being made, and I know who will survive at the end of a movie.

There is always a strong female role, and she will always, ALWAYS survive, yet every man besides possibly one that she saves will be killed off. Appealing more to women then men, obviously, television shows like Desperate Housewives (Never really watched the show, myself.) show women taking charge, and men as pigs.

More and more commercials are directed specifically at women, in the last ten years. I've yet to see a commercial for a college that is directed to men.

Examples:

There's this commercial for an art school currently airing here, it shows a woman designing women's clothing, showing a business run entirely by women (Not a man in sight.) that seems to be very successful.

There's one for a law school, showing a bunch of female lawyers, even the judge is female, but the defendant is a man, and the, the 'plaintiff' or whatever being a female. (Yes, I notice these things.)

Cooking school (I'm actually very interested in cooking.) showing a male teacher, but a dominantly female classroom.

Not related to schooling, or anything... This is a personal problem that I have with the fact that everything in the media is directed at women, or against men.....

Car commercials: They'll show mainly women driving fancy new cars, not your average soccer moms, mind you, but model style women in fancy clothes, and lots of jewelery. Often, they'll show a man by the side of the road with car problems, and she'll just smile as she drives passed him.

STD commercials: Possibly the worst thing to hear while you're eating, some of you may have seen these commercials. They start like this, there's a man and a woman holding hands or kissing, then the man will look at the camera and say "I... Have genital herpes." And the woman will go "And I don't."..... This bothers me... A lot, but I don't think I need to say why.

Magazines: This is probably one of the worst forms of media for teenage girls to get their hands on. Walking through the Safeway checkout stands, you'll see magazines with covers that say things like "40 Ways to dump that loser!" or "Is he cheating on you? Ten easy ways to tell!". This is entirely negative against men, how often do you see a manly magazine (Never) with something on the cover saying "Is she cheating on you?"?

Hell, even the newspapers. They always have a man on the cover for something like rape, or murder. But I've checked the prison website for my city, and checked the people who were in jail, at LEAST 50% of the women are in for things like rape, child molestation, even some for child/spousal abuse. Yes, women abuse their husbands.

I think I'll end my rant here....... But now you know my views, and why my TV has been turned off for over a month.

Edited by DarkInuLord

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This disparity has been ongoing for a number of years. I even remember when the book lists changed a fair bit to this sort of thing, if you can believe it. :lol:

In any case, I can remember when as a kid in grade school, the books we read had heroes and heroines, but slanted more towards the men. As I got a little older (think about 5th/6th grade) and the ERA movement became so prevalent, the book lists and such changed (for lit classes and whatnot), with the focus becoming more so towards strong women, but nowhere near to the degree it is now. If I asked my mom about it, I'm sure she'd tell me the high school lists were vastly different from when I was in high school, and she was in high school. I noticed that the book lists changed AGAIN when my own children were in school.

So, how to fight such a thing? It takes proactive PARENTS who take a genuine interest in what their children are reading. It also takes a parent who encourages a child to have a broad area of reading interests, not focusing on just what the schools say they can and cannot read for class. I was lucky in that respect. My parents never agreed with the published school book lists, and encouraged me to read whatever I enjoyed within reason (age appropriateness applied :o). I did the same with own kids (funny how you apply to your own what your parents did with you). But, that's just a small drop in the bucket, so to speak.

Regardless of WHEN in time you're talking about; in education, those book lists for allowed reading have always been a bit skewed. Whether to promote an administrator's personal views and beliefs, or whatever. They've certainly never been tailored to an individual CHILD'S needs.

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I countered the crap they were trying to shove down my throat by rebelling. In fact, English classes were the classes I had the lowest grade in. I think I had a 0.02% in my last English class.

I also took to reading online stories, and fanfiction as opposed to books. My grammar and spelling also 'matured' more quickly than the other kids my age, because of the material I was reading... Though, it didn't help my grades when I got caught writing one of my stories during class. Words like "Sensual" will get you suspended, in my town. >>

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This is what happens when feminism and political correctness are allowed to go too far for too long. I grew up in the US by the way, all of my mandatory schooling took place there.

I'm going to start off by saying my latter two years of high school were pretty good. I managed to get straight A's in my last year, which although plenty of people (girls) pulled off for all four years or more than one year, I'm quite proud of. I buckle under competitive pressure, especially when the person you're "competing against" taunts and jeers and jests and throws in your face that they won and therefore are superior than you. But I know that's a boy thing and they actually work better with those humiliating things.

I wouldn't want to be placed in classes where I'm forced to face that, but at the same time I don't think boys should be deprived of that. It might be a wise idea for schools to have less coed classes, though I know that'll never happen especially with very flamboyant and ruthlessly annoying feminists. But, if there were less coed classes (that don't necessarily mean girls and boys can't take the same classes that they want to) then more classes could be geared towards stimulating their audience.

It's too bad that most school systems work ass backwards and are full of stupid politics.

I'm really sorry to the men that are effected by this. Especially because no one gives a damn because it's not minorities of women being effected.

And I strongly dislike überfeminists.

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Guest Zyx

Yeah, everyone dislikes feminists, yet they're always there. That article was actually so right it would have made me cry if it hadn't first reinstated my pride.

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Going off of the competition thing.

In elementary school, though it's not hard, I had straight A+ grades in all classes (Minus P.E.). This was because in each year, I had another person to compete with, both of us would get perfect grades, but race to see who could finish a test first.

In sixth grade I sort of lost that, there was no need to compete, the classes were all centered around 'finding a partner' to do work with, and I hated that. Even so, for the first quarter of sixth grade I was doing great, after that I just got bored. I need competition in everything, that's why I play online games and find single player games boring, it's why I played Snake freaking four hundred times to try to beat the high score, and it's why I 'quit' school.

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Not reading any of the other comments, I want to get out my opion first before I lose it. >.<

I think, the reason why women are portrayed as a strong character, even if they have issues, can still deal with them, is because women have been bashed and victimized so much throughout history, literally in the real life and in fiction. Women have always been the vicitim one way or another, metaphorically, physically, ficticiously or any other way. Even if it's not plainly obvious right away.

So I think perhaps, when women are written in fiction, they are often given rolls that they could never hope to acheive in real life. It's basically a way to make the impossible, possible. And further more, since the men are always the heros and rescuers and protectors and providers, once again, in real life or fictional life, sticking them in roles that would usually be the place of a woman in a ficticious world is more attractive. Once again, making the impossible possible. People want to see roles reversed and things that would normally never happen, happen, hense the reason for role reversals.

Pretty much, the man becomes the damsel in distress while the woman become the rescuer and hero. That even goes as far as making men gay, or more femanine than usual. Giving them issues and vices that the average poster male would supposedly never have.

But also, that brings up another debate of whether the typical male really is the strong silent, providing hero or is he really a weak, scrawney deprived boy with issues like anyone else? Perhaps the authors are TRYINGA to make the male characters realistic--really real, but because those types of characters are never portrayed as such, it isn't realistic or the norm. People have become so used to what is fake, that they no longer recognize what is real anymore.

People don't like what is different. They want boring, cookie cutter lives and nothing more. They are cattle and sheep, and so when the big bad wolf comes out and throws a story at them that is not of the "norm" they "freak" out and that story only gets more attention because it is different.

Of course, I could just be blowing all this out my ass any may not be true, but meh. That's how I see it anyway.

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Basically, this isn't just about the books being written with strong female roles. It's about the literature that kids are made to read in schools, doesn't show BOTH sides of the coin, so to speak.

Ugh, I have to get this out there, before I start anything. Being a "proud" or "strong" woman, DOES NOT MEAN YOU NEED TO BE A BITCH. Honestly though? I don't know a single feminist who isn't just a bitch, they aren't "strong" in any way, they're just bitchy and rude to everyone.

That out of the way... There was a book we were made to read in fifth grade, I don't remember the name of it though. It was a bleeding hearts story about a girl who ran away from home. Before I go further, she lived in an all female household, and her father did something that made her mother divorce him, probably the stereotypical man cheating on woman scenario.

Anyways, we were made to read this book in fifth grade, the basic plot of the entire story was, she was a lesbian who hated all men, so she ran away from her all female household to prove she was 'strong' enough to survive on her own, like any man.

I never actually FINISHED the book, I probably burned mine. (Not joking, the school made me pay for it.) But from what I remember, she ended up back at home with a "I told you so.". BUT SHE WENT BACK HOME. The book proved nothing.

Yet, right after this, many of the girls in my class wanted to be like her. They started getting bitchy all the time, talking about how boys were evil or something. Keep in mind, this was all in fifth grade, we shouldn't have been made to read this in the first place.

I don't really remember much else about it, just that the book portrayed something entirely unrealistic, and was basically a book written by a woman, for women, but the entire class was MADE to read it. I would have no problem with books like that, if they weren't required reading. Keep them in the library, let kids check them out if they want, but don't MAKE them read them.

I think I might have mentioned it before.... We had an "Allowed reading" list, for taking reading tests and things. Probably the only book on that list that I enjoyed, and wasn't either a child's book (Like Goosebumps) or one of those long women's novels (I think my teacher brought those from home just to torture us.).. Was Master Blaster. A book based on a NES game, or... The NES game might have been based on the book.....

Anyways, that book didn't have a 'weak' female role in it, it was just a guy who falls through a big hole in the ground, finds a tank, the tank talks to him, he kills things.... Nice story...

Anyways, I think I'm rambling now. xD

I guess what I was saying was.... The required or allowed reading for schools now, is directed at books with strong leading female roles, and depressed, violent, and or dumb (Comic relief roles possibly.) for men.

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I think it has more to do with unrealistic scenarios in things that kids are being made to read these days, and have been made to read in the past, and how it influences their behavior.

People are people. People are FLAWED at best.

I grew up in a family full of strong people, men and women. Strength is determined by how you handle things, especially adversity, more than it is by some silly book on a reading list, and how a fictional character behaves.

The PROBLEM is portraying unrealistic behaviors to impressionable youngsters. If the schools really want to show good examples of strong humanity, they should be having them read about real people that have overcome problems, reached their goals in spite of those problems. THAT would be something that they could benefit from. No fairy tales, no uber bitches, no mega princes. Just real people who've achieved something.

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That article actually really put me off. I completely disagree with the entire thing, that boys are being attacked in literature and English class these days. Sure, it all depends on what books you are reading and how you are being taught to analyze them--and I will bet you my car that 95% of the public school teachers have no idea how to properly analyze literature. The best English teacher I had, hell, the best teacher I had period was a male teacher who really knew his shit. The English department in my high school is split evenly half and half with male-to-female ratios of teachers.

As for the literature people are reading that are "bashing males," it all depends on what you are reading how you are interpretting it. With most of my reading list that I had from middle school through now was male dominated, although it had its share of female characters too. Both genders in the stories had their set of problems to overcome and distinct personality defects. Here's an overview of most of the books I've read over the years for school:

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene: Actually one of my favorite books, and it has a male main character who is a Jesus-figure! The only prominant female character is a little girl who is affected by the whiskey priest... but many other characters, including male children, and mainly male adults are affected by him as well. The book is about free-will and standing up for your convictions--something anyone can do, gender non-withstanding.

Life of Pi by Yann Matel: Male main character who is stranded in the ocean on a lifeboat with a tiger. Pi, the main character, is great hero with amazing attributes most people should strive to have. The book is about the inter-connectedness of humanity through all of the major religions of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Atheism. The only female character is Pi's mother, who is murdered.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Oh no, the main character is a male who is a tragic figure! Does that instantly make this book bad and an attack on males? Of course not! The book is about how we create these "great expectations" for ourselves and become overwhelmed by visions of greatness, when in fact we should be complacent with who we are, even if we are not "great" to most people's standards. The father figure of Pip, the main character, is Joe, who is a great paternal character and role model for anyone. Nearly all of the women characters are cast in a bad light-- Mrs. Haversham is a woman who wasted her life waiting for a man to come back to her who never really loved her in the first place, and would take the lives of young people and try to mold them into beings like herself; the love interest of Pip strings him along and then completely breaks his heart and in a sense, "making women look bad."

The Once and Future King by T. H. White: This is a novel about an ideal society and explaining the glory of King Arthur. His wife Guenevere, is promiscuous and overall not a very appealing character.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: A horror-vision of the future, where everyone has become sheep to society, with no standing relationships, are born from test tubes in a predetermined caste system, take drugs to clear themselves of any deeper thought processes or problems or live in a primitive world where only violence and brute strength are understood. John, the main character, is again the christ-like figure.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding: What happens to Humanity when morals and laws are stripped from civilization. There are no women characters in this novel and the main character, Ralph, is the only one not to "revert back to his savage stage or cater to the beast within."

Other books include Shakespeare, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath which was an awful book, Beloved by Toni Morrison, All is Quiet on the Western Front, Heart of Darkness, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby and other such novels. I can discuss those texts too, if you really want me to.

I guess before I denouce any more about the article I should ask you guys what books you read in school. And like I said before, it's all how you are taught to read and analyze the books. My English teacher last year was a woman who taught us how to read books with a feminist sort of view. The only problem is that she wouldn't admit that, and thought she was just teaching us how to analyze the books in general. She wasn't a good teacher at all, but that doesn't mean I'm going to disregard a feminist way of looking at books is completely bad, nor am I going to believe it's the only way to read books. My sophomore English teacher (a male) taught us to analyze books in a very nihilistic and fatist way; doesn't mean I should dump the view in the trash or act like it is the only way to read.

Maybe it's not the books people are reading these days, but how the teachers are teaching us to analyze them.

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