Feb 04 2006

Boys’ Failure Directly Linked To Women’s Movement By Presumably Uneducated Colorado Teen

“Social philosopher and corporate consultant” Michael Gurian, the Dr Phil of boys’ rights activists

The “boys’ achievement gap” in education–you know the one where too many girls are on the honor roll?– is now a bona fide phenomenon, and the cure for it appears to be allowing the young excrescences to swing from the chandeliers at school. At one Boulder elementary school, requiring boys to act “like girls” is a thing of the past; educators now “honor [boys’] neurological strengths.” Which means cultivating their inner Genghis Khans, letting them “write essays” entirely with drawings, and suggesting they do “reports” on such historically significant dudes as Tony Hawk.

“Girls tend to be more compliant and willing to sit down and do what they’re told. Boys are less tolerant of that,” [the principal] said. “If they don’t have control and they’re not interested, they’re less likely to buy in. So we really need to approach it that way, and not make everyone act and behave like girls.”

Focus your keen analytic powers on that last sentence. Note the whiff, however faint, of the principal’s disdain for girls, who, even though they are perceived as the superior scholars in this context, are still considered weird variants of normal. “Everyone” should not be made to behave like them.

If this were really a call to abolish the feminine, I’d be all for it. But “everyone” doesn’t mean everyone, it means “boys.” Apparently girls, those freaks of nature, are still expected to behave “like girls.” Do not expect them to be doing reports on Kathleen Hanna any time soon.

Now that the national kid debate has shifted to the horrible plight of broken-spirited boys forced to conform to degrading girl standards, the ability to “sit still,” once thought of as a virtue in a child, is now attributed specifically to the female, and, like everything “feminine,” is instantly devalued. All these teachers can talk about, all of a sudden, is the egregious pain inflicted when a boy is made to sit at a faggy feminizing desk. His “15% more spinal fluid” makes this an unthinkable torture.

In Lowell, Mass, academic achievement itself is reviled as feminine. There, boys are “not liking school. They are dreading going. They have decided this is girl stuff, [girls] are the ones getting the good grades. The whole male structure is set up to be hierarchical, to be at the top of the mountain. If you’re climbing a mountain and you don’t think you’ll ever get to the top, you’re going to find another mountain, which really is a sad commentary on education.”

Or maybe it’s a sad commentary on the person doing the sad commentarying. The chump lamenting this tragedy of boys’ difficulties in maintaining their god-given upper hand is Kathy Stevens, spinal fluid expert and co-author of the book that started it all: The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and in Life. Stevens accepts without hesitation the notion that anything girls are good at automatically acquires an undesirable feminine taint. She takes it for granted that any boy in his right mind would rather drop out and pursue a career of baby-impaling than acquire that dreadful taint. She neglects to conclude that perhaps it’s the “whole male structure” itself that’s screwing over these boys.

You know the structure to which I allude. Patriarchy.

Stevens’ boss, co-author, co-crisis instigator, and co-patriarchy-enthusiast is Michael Gurian. Gurian has manufactured his crisis on the basis of his “discovery” that boys and girls “learn differently.” His thesis is that boys suffer, not because of social factors like absentee parents, poverty, or social conditioning, but from their natural genetic antipathy to being forced to “act like girls.” Having successfully promoted his genetics-based boy-crisis in national media (Newsweek, People) he is pleased to hawk his institute’s educational materials to schools that live in fear of rocking the patriarchal boat by matriculating too many chicks, and to families who feel confident getting their parenting advice from corporate consultants featured in magazines that alternate between cover stories on Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.

Parental “training packages” start at $80.

Stevens, meanwhile, is not alone in her conviction that boys should automatically reject anything stinking of Girl. Such as scholarship. A Colorado curriculum director wants to introduce comic books (whups, I mean “graphic novels”) because her boys chafe at “girl books.” “Girl books,” apparently, are the ones with words in them.

How did our nation’s school system descend to such a deplorable girl-friendly state? Like any underachieving young male prospective college dropout who has done absolutely no research, Lowell High School senior Luis Guitierrez blames the women’s movement for “hurt[ing] males.” To advance his argument, this degraded victim of America’s pathological girl-centricity employs the crafty Sitcom Gambit: Everybody Loves Raymond, a show that epitomizes Hollywood’s famed undying allegiance to radical man-hating feminism, promotes a misandrist worldview in that Raymond is dumb and his wife is smart. Feminism, Guitierrez intimates, invented sitting still at desks, and created the Doofus Dad. Whether Guitierrez holds the the women’s movement responsible for crappy TV writing is unclear.

Girls. Is there any crisis they haven’t caused? Abortion, poverty, teen sex, disease, feminism, prostitution, porn, pedophilia, and the mutha of’em all, sexy cheerleading–you name it; some castrating, conniving bitch of a loose-moraled slut is at the bottom of it.

The Twisty Solution: single-sex classrooms. Let the girls read books, and let the boys jab each others’ eyes out with pointed sticks. It’s only natural.


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  1. A White Bear

    Absolutely, Twisty. I’ve been thinking about the same topic at the collegiate level and wondering why no one suggests that while feminism has maybe led colleges to be more open to females, it’s sexism that has made us so flexible. No one has ever catered to “the learning needs of girls.” They catered to the learning needs of boys until boys became stunted by it, and now they cater to them even more. How is reading comic books going to help young men deal with my class when I assign them Les Liaisons Dangereuses to read? Growing up female is a long, long lesson in learning how to shape one’s self, both physically and intellectually, for what other people want us to be. Fellows are being screwed by their own kingliness and don’t know it.

  2. A White Bear

    Sorry. The relevant post is actually here.

  3. Burrow

    I must say I go for the Twisty solution. It is only natural.

    What are these people smoking? While reading those articles I just couldn’t believe that someone out there was writing it, and NOT as a joke. I guess I must be some sort of freak because I must have the dreaded 15% more spinal fluid as evicenced by my childhood school days of constantly being fidgety (energetic) and in trouble. I say YAY! Finally the boys are getting in trouble because in my experience if I made as much of a ruckus as the boys they weren’t punished, but I was. Little girls, apparently, don’t behave like boys.

    How can anyone not blame it on our culture that encourages “boys to be boys” i.e. aggressive, hurtful, dominant assholes who realise that they can get away with anything they want b/c “it’s their nature.” How can they blame this on the schools? Don’t they notice that school hasn’t really changed that much and that no one cared when it was boys who were on top? Oh right, we must not have transformed books into girl books yet.

    If they’re really concerned about this then they should do what one of the schools in BC did (although it could have been elsewhere in Canada, it was the evening news and I was only half paying attention): they took away the desks and chairs, put out tables and gave all the kids yoga balls to sit on. Apparently the kids (these were like 1st or 2nd graders) are concentrating better at the task at hand, all of them: girls and boys. And they’re promoting good posture. I wish I had a big ball to bounce on all day in grade school. Damn

  4. Cass

    Wasn’t it just a short time ago that these same people were informing us, non-stop, of how all our standards and self-discipline had melted away with the advance of liberalism, and unqualified women and negroes had been allowed to run riot through society? How children that acted up were being treated with “understanding” instead of being taken outside and caned? How in the good old days every 12 year old boy sat for ten hours a day on hard wooden benches in a windowless room and learned how to read Virgil in the original Latin?

    The dark comedy of this of course is that most any boy educated in a school based on these people’s ideas is going to turn out a moron. As the leadership of this country proves, though, that won’t necessarily stop them from rising to the top, or from making up laws to restrict the rights of women who are their superiors in every way.

  5. Jodie

    My 16-year-old son would prefer the girl classes, thanks. He does JUST FINE and always has at sitting still, reading books of whatever stripe (although he prefers Terry Pratchett), and getting words onto paper without egregious use of drawings.

    But then, I actually took time to help him with homework, read aloud to him, and explain things when asked. When I didn’t know, we’d take the time to look things up together.

    Boys don’t need the school to bend over backwards; they need Dad and Mom to actually, gee, pay them some attention and show how important learning is. Kids who understand the importance will learn. My kid may hate school (most kids do) but he knows exactly what he needs to do to succeed and takes pride in being able to do just that. I see too many kids (mostly boys) who are pushed to do well in sports so they can get a sports scholarship. What the hell good will that do if the kid can’t actually do the scholarship?

  6. Emma

    If sitting at a desk and reading is such a stress for penis-wielders, then why is academia chocked to the gills with them?

    My (entirely unsupported) theory on why boys are failing at school is that primary and secondary teaching (K12? is that right?) is increasing a stereotypically female occupation. Women flood into teaching, it seems to me, because it’s one of the few place that you can get flexible working arrangements that enable you to care for your children during school holidays. The only reason that boys do less well under a female regime is because society tells them that anything women do is bullshit and not worth excelling at.

  7. A White Bear

    Cass wrote: “How in the good old days every 12 year old boy sat for ten hours a day on hard wooden benches in a windowless room and learned how to read Virgil in the original Latin?”

    That was also back in the good old days when reading was a “boy thing” and girls were far too stupid and dangerous to learn how to use knowledge. (And if they did get their hands on books, the next thing they were expected to do was cuckold their husbands.)

    Aren’t there a bunch of anthropological studies on cultures who weave baskets and throw pots? If I recall correctly, in cultures in which pottery is a male thing and baskets are a female thing, pottery is the “high art.” In cultures in which baskets are a male thing and pottery is a female thing, baskets are the “high art.”

  8. Christine

    So we need to educate boys differently. Does that mean teachers have to teach thing twice, one way for girls and another for the boys? Isn’t it hard enough to be a teacher?

    Seperate classes would be the only way. And what school district has the budget nessecary to purchase materials for two different currulums? So many are struggling to keep going what they have, what’s left to cut to fund this crap.

    Is it to female to think that boys should be offended by these so called experts that think they are dumb and incapable of learning with traditional methods. Good going patriarchy! Get back at the females by dumbing down everyone!

  9. AoT

    “not liking school. They are dreading going. They have decided this is girl stuff, [girls] are the ones getting the good grades. The whole male structure is set up to be hierarchical, to be at the top of the mountain. If you’re climbing a mountain and you don’t think you’ll ever get to the top, you’re going to find another mountain, which really is a sad commentary on Patriarchy.”

    There fixed that. Because we know that these people are not worried about boys education except as a means to ensure continued domination.

  10. Jezebella

    I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but: the one really good thing about the Catholic high school I went to was the lack of boys in the classroom. In my co-ed junior high I learned by 7th grade that boys did not like smart girls, so I tried to hide my smartness. Ineffectively, of course, but if I had stayed in coed schools, I’m sure I would’ve gotten better at it, to my eventual detriment. In all-girl classes I wasn’t distracted by boys, wasn’t bullied by boys, and nobody grabbed my ass in the hallways or the playground. We wore uniforms and most of us didn’t bother putting on makeup until 6th period, and only then if we were going to see boys after school. I hated the uniforms then, but kind of miss them now, just because it meant not having to think about what to wear five days a week.

    There were a LOT of things about Catholic high school that were unbelievably moronic, patriarchal, and soul-killing, but they did get this one right: girls and boys in a high state of hormonal dudgeon will probably learn better when separated from each other.

    The boys at Catholic schools I knew, however, were not reading comic books and bouncing around the classroom and poking each others’ eyes out. They were learning Latin, Calculus, and stuff they didn’t bother to teach at the girls’ school. It *is* possible to teach boys to sit still and learn stuff, but maybe only if you make it sound exclusive and manly to do so: “Hey, the GIRLS don’t get to learn Latin, but YOU do!” They ate it up. Plus they started in 8th grade, taking 9th grade level classes, so they could be in all-AP courses by senior year. NONE of the girls’ schools was set up like that.

    I think the reason I had lots of dates in high school was none of the boys knew I was smarter than them. They just *assumed* they were smarter than me, having never been in the classroom with me and been proved wrong. I’m not sure where this falls on the good/bad spectrum. I thought it was a good thing at the time, for sure. Now it kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    It always comes down to: can separate be equal? Catholic single-sex schools are separate, but not equal, but I still fared better academically and socially than I would have at a co-ed school. (And I hear they’ve finally started teaching Latin in the girls’ schools back home).

  11. Susan

    I think same-sex classrooms are a good idea, too.

    But there’s a more serious problem here. This asshole associates “Everybody Loves Raymond” with the cause of elevating women and deflating respect for men? Please. If anything, it’s an ad for the fucked up marriages women stay in. If Debra Barone had an iota of self respect she’d leave that man-child and his children and move to the city.

    Not to mention it’s a dipshit show to start with.

  12. Cass

    I see I wasn’t being entirely clear above, so let’s try again. Aside from males recoiling in horror from anything smacking of “feminity”, we’re being told by these people that such ADD-like symptoms as being easily distracted, unable to sit still, and unable to read more than a page and a half at one sitting are clear signs of male virility and virtue… though just yesterday they were signs of the stupidity and lack of self-discipline of today’s children, caused of course by our permissive, feminized society.

  13. jami

    “…not make everyone act and behave like girls.”

    ack, my poor sticky craw. gorgeous dissection of this guy’s hideous assumption that “everyone” does not include “girls,” twisty.

    this boy’s problem is not gender-specific. you bet there are girls in bad classes who hate it that the teacher’s idea of teaching is reading aloud for the entire period. it’s appalling that this boy and his adult champions take dull teaching personally and assume teachers are stupid for the sole benefit of girls.

    the girls are sitting there quietly because the patriarchy insists we let the boys who were too busy playing video games to do their reading catch the hell up. if this boy’s lawsuit results in more challenging classes for everyone, great. but he should stop blaming girls for his dull teachers. i blame the patriarchy.

  14. Violet Socks

    I said this at my place, and I still agree with myself, so I’ll just say it again:

    The boys’ rights guys always take the line that the reason boys lag behind girls is because it’s just so hard for little guys to sit still in class and pay attention. The fact is that sitting still and paying attention are always things students have had to do, from the very beginning of school (I shit you not — read sometime the student exercises of ancient Egyptian and Sumerian kids.) That is, long before females were even allowed to be educated, even allowed in the fucking classroom, boys were being required to sit still and pay attention.

    Well, now females are in school and have perhaps reached the point where they feel free to shine scholastically, and whaddya know? Girls are really good at sitting still and paying attention. So the pro-boy/anti-girl faction gets all up in arms — obviously the school setting unfairly favors girls! Then they convince themselves that sitting still and paying attention are wacky feminist requirements that only crept into the school system in the past 30 years, and that the only way for boys to be given an equal shot is to revamp classes so that running around like wild Indians and shooting spitballs are the preferred behaviors.

    It always boils down to the same thing for these male apologists: if girls do better at something, then obviously the system is skewed in their favor. If boys do better at something, then obviously it’s because boys are innately superior in that area.

  15. Nancy

    Well, Twisty, as always it’s hard to improve on your rant. Equating anything “feminine” with inferiority is the engine that runs the Patriarchy.

    This shit is the result of evolutionary psychology filtering into the popular culture. We can thank Steven Pinker and Lawrence Summers for that.

    But the real question is – why are so many people SO OBSESSED with discovering male-female differences? Is it because feminism is starting to make the Patriarchy nervous? Because if men and women are too similar, it’s more difficult to degrade anything associated with women.

  16. Nancy

    I don’t think same-sex schools are a good idea. Unless you’re preparing for a same-sex world. Which might be possible if we go with Twisty’s stick-jabbing concept.

    And girls’ achievements that are making Patriarchy lovers so nervous don’t happen exclusively in same-sex schools, so obviously girls are able to achieve in non uni-gender environments.

    And I really doubt that girls are “naturally” more able to sit stil. Kids behave according to social expectations. And boys and girls are treated differently from birth as Elizabeth Spelke demonstrated in a debate with Pinker:
    – and these differences show up even in people who claim to be in favor of gender equality.

  17. antelope

    If they do implement these programs to make teaching more boy-friendly, then next will we hear the great public outcry about how these poor boys that were never required to so much as IMITATE mature behavior just can’t find anyone to marry them?

    Also, I’m curious if anyone will tie this in with another favorite media education scare-topic & wonder why it is that asian-american boys don’t generally have these problems? Surely they’ve got that extra spinal fluid going too.

  18. Sunya Harjis

    Personal confession time: I was a very bad girl when I was in school.

    I was a very bad girl. Not like smoking in the boys’ room bad, more like “she gave him hairline fractures in three ribs, Mr. Harjis, so you tell me why a girl like that should go to a school like this” bad. Bad like “three boys kicked in the testicles today” bad, and also bad like “never turns in homework”. “Late to class”. “Skipped class”. “Shows no interest in the subject”. “Pretends she isn’t listening to you”. I’m taking these off the very reports teachers and pricipals sent home to my parents.

    I was a violent, disobedient, and extremely willful girl!

    Do you know what happened?

    They put me in a special school program, laden with onus, for “troubled” kids. The only reason I wasn’t expelled completely in 7th grade is because I was a very bright destructive, violent, disobedient, and extremely willful girl. I didn’t get out of the Troubled Kids Program (the term they used was “Behavior Disordered”) until high school, and even that was based less on failure to get into trouble than some achievement test or another that they gave me that said I should be in graduate school. What did that have to do with it? I have no fucking idea. Please, bear with me, this isn’t about what minor government bureaucrats thought about my intellectual ability and how special I am. This is about two different lines of argument:

    1. The things girls are “naturally” good at doing are not things girls are “naturally” good at doing. They are things girls are naturally ordered to do, with stiff penalties if they don’t perform, while simultaneously they are things boys are not naturally ordered to do, and face much less intense punishment when they don’t perform.

    2. School achievement and placement is the province of minor government bureaucrats. Why are minor government bureacrats, who generally are not very happy about misbehaving kids, being told to treat misbehaving boys in a special way? My guess: there’s something very fucked up going on with The Force.

    So here’s point 1: girls are supposed to obey. Female role models who aren’t feminists, and even a lot who are, obey. They obey ALL KINDS OF THINGS. They obey traffic rules and fashion rules, they do what God or Daddy or the Government tells them to, they stay pure, they clean up after themselves, and they put their best foot forward. Because they just naturally are that way?

    Can anyone literate naturally read?

    It’s easier for some than others, of course, to pick it up. But girls are taught to be obedient earlier and harder than boys are; studies show that teachers punish girls for much more minor obedience infractions than boys, and use stricter punishments. The reasoning some teachers give was that they expect the girls to behave and in fact need them to behave so the teacher can concentrate on corralling the boys. There is much more time and energy put in to making girls ready for a future of submission and people-pleasing. And even after all that, the dark demons in a girl’s heart are not purged so much as deeply repressed: it’s hard for me to look back on the girls who would do in large packs things I would never dare to – torture their Barbies, engage in rape fantasies with My Little Ponies as men, sabotage each other, stage ostracizations, kiss up to popular girls and shit on unpopular ones – and realize that I was the one they thought was disturbed.

    You can feed me any statistics you like, but don’t give me a line of bullshit about how girls are “naturally” nice little pink-wearing hair-brushing robots. They obey when it counts, because it costs them when they don’t, and then they go home and play out nightmares with their dollies and each other.

    Point 2: Going off my own personal experience, raw measurable intelligence and knowledge were enough to buy me out of being a disruptive little shit. But I still don’t understand why. Teachers and counselors would walk through hallways with me speaking raptly about how powerful my emotions must be and how deeply I must feel things and how I was so very, very, very smart, no wonder the ordinary day-in day-out schoolwork bored me blah blah blah blah blah. After I stopped beating the shit out of boys… and let’s take a brief break here to clear up that I only played D, I never went out of my way to pick a fight, I just didn’t back down from them, and boys thought they could give me shit because I was a girl and I was always alone, and it just never really worked out for them… it went even more smoothly. Even in high school, I got to sleep through biology class – really! with the teacher’s permission! – and then she excused me from the final, since I was too smart to take it anyway! The chemistry teacher introduced me to her senior class and told them I was the next Einstein! I’m not making this up! We won’t even get into the plush excesses of English teachers!

    I’m not that fucking smart! And I never fucking was! All those teachers were telling themselves a beautiful story!

    Here’s my provisional hypothesis: minor government bureaucrats can basically only fail. Sure there are Good Teachers who get Good Teacher awards and what have you, but they’re still making $22,000 and bagging groceries over the summer break. Believing in a child’s potential means that, despite the fact you work a loser job for a loser paycheck, you could do something that would have an enormous and important effect on the world. Someone was Feynman’s third grade teacher. Someone graded Bill Clinton’s freshman English essays.

    So extending that kind of credit to an entire gender which appears to be falling behind means a little less stress in the lives of minor government bureacrats – less policing to do, more comic books to read, and, the possibility, even if it’s just a million to one shot, some young man will be saved by this change of rules and will grow up to create the next UPS or Samsung or Microsoft or whatever. A delightful side effect is that it clearly shifts the burden of raising America’s Young Men to teachers, rather than parents, AGAIN.

  19. Twisty

    “ack, my poor sticky craw. gorgeous dissection of this guy’s hideous assumption that “everyone” does not include “girls,” twisty.”

    Not that it matters, or maybe it does, but the school principal who uttered those words is a woman.

  20. Liz

    Sunya! That was magnificent!

  21. Dustin

    It never ceases to amaze me how little grasp of history some people have. It wasn’t all that long ago that things like sitting still for lectures and reading books was considered beyond the capacities not just of girls, but of women. The various feminisms of the 19th and 20th centuries have allowed women to show their ability to master these “masculine” activities, and to excel at it — so now the view is that these things must have been feminine all the time? Was Thomas Jefferson, who had a thing for books (his library formed the core of the Library of Congress when the original collection was destroyed) some kind of ponce then? Generations of male book collectors, booksellers, and writers — total Mary-boys? Harold Bloom, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Charles Barkley — all men known to read a book now and then — somehow deviant girls-in-boys-bodies?

    The British school system used to be explicitly based around this sort of assumption — that little boys were “savages” that needed to be civilized. I don’t want to defend the ultimately racist notions that la behind this view, but the point is, the British recognized that, however much boys resisted the benefits of education, they *were going to get* an education. Now the same beliefs are resurfacing, and supposedly reasonable educators are throwing their hands up in despair? If little boys are wiggly, then why even bother teaching them to read?

  22. Ms Kate

    In Lowell, where I attend uni, there are a lot bigger problems that make boys not want to go to school or excel.

    Start with the culture of their parents. Parents who sometimes marry them off very young to prevent running around. Parents who glorify work and denigrate education, as sixteen year old boys should be working for money paid to their parents.

    Talk about polyglot oversimplfication!

  23. Ms Kate


    I surrender my trailer trash don’t fuck with her she’s the tazmanian devil uber bully arm and rib breaking straight-A student athelete >1500 SAT crown to YOU!

  24. Carpenter

    My question is, in the godhelpus event that boys are allowed to run around screaming all day and learn out of comic books, whilegirls learn to do math, what will the future look like? Part ofmethinks that such an education for boys would result in even lower college enrollments and the inability to devolpe skills for the real world, either to get a job or interact in a semi intellegent way. I wouldthink this is to be to boys’ detriment. Except for the fact that sinceboys are more valued ir would probably just make the world even more exclusive to women as females with abilities in science/writing/economicas will be passed over for jobs for the breed of more competative go gettem’ violent 3 secondattention span males the system would no doubt create. I see in this alternaterealiry a deline in the general quality of everything, cause who needs reading really and an even more dangerous world for femality in general.

  25. Les

    Is it morally wrong that I find the idea of raising a generation of illiterate, helpless males to be funny? Heh. No, don’t bother learning to read. Just ignore that stuff. It’s all for girls. why don’t you pay more attention to football while we seize the means of production and the government.

  26. tigtog

    I’ll be interested to see how this sitting-still-is-feminised meme plays out when some provincial idiot tries to import it to Australia, because the elite schools here are single-sex private schools which are renowned for both their strict discipline and their high test scores. So how can they spin it that sitting still and reading is bad for boys in public schools but not in the private schools?

    The difference is obvious apart from simply better facilities: private schools pay more, so they lure the best teachers. The higher pay attracts more male teachers, so boys don’t get the “education is girly therefore useless” message reinforced there. And the girls’ private schools get the same advantages, without having to pretend to be dumb around the boys.

    Somehow though, I don’t think the obvious solution of paying public school teachers more so that higher quality applicants stick with the profession is going to be what is applied.

    We have the advantage here in dealing with the worst of this fringe-educational-theory-du-jour crap that our education is funded and administered at the state level and not as amenable to being gamed by local godbags and MRAs as the USAn district school board system. I hope that it’s advantage enough.

  27. sarah

    Surely it has always been the case that school was about sitting still, being quiet and listening to the teachers. It’s only now that girls are doing so well that it becomes a problem. If anything modern-day classrooms are *less* focused on sitting quietly and concentrating than they used to be, there’s far more group-work, interaction etc.

    It’s already been said, but it’s weird that it doesn’t seem to occur to these people that maybe girls are better at sitting still and obeying orders because they’re strongly socialised into this behaviour for their whole lives, boys not so much. If there is an inequality here, it starts long before the kids reach school-age, and maybe it’s at that stage that it needs to be addressed.

    Single-sex classrooms tailored to the needs of each gender are an interesting idea, however they don’t take account of the children who don’t fit into their “correct” gender role.

  28. Carpenter

    What really gets me is that everyone should be glad girls are raising the acdemic standards. Before when girls were encouaged to dumb it down and were denied accessto education that kept standards lower for everyone. Now that the pool of educated children is greater of course there will be more pressure on boys and everyone else to do well, just like somecountries elite distance runners train in groups so everyone pushes themselves to improve beyond thier peers. These girls are raising the bar. This country has some dismal academics- poor math and science scoring in international rankings-ever increasing stat ecollege tuition effectivley assing out kids who can’t afford private school-intellegent design casting kids heads further up thier asses- we should get down on our knees and thank these girls for increasingthe talent pool.

  29. Chris Clarke

    A delightful side effect is that it clearly shifts the burden of raising America’s Young Men to teachers, rather than parents, AGAIN.


    I mean, come on. I was a problem student with a limited attention span and enough smarts to get into trouble VERY creatively, and even I want to tell such parents to get a fucking grip. I guaranfuckingoddamntee you that maybe half a percent of the boys were talking about find it harder to sit still and pay attention than I did. (And I would be glad to detail at some length my pet hypotheses as to how teachers should deal with kids like I was – which practices would likely aid every other student in the class.)

    This isn’t about addressing the special needs of a certain subset of students, which I am all for.* It’s just entitlement parenting, coupled with the expectation that raising their spoiled brats is someone else’s job.

    * “all for which I am,” for you terminalprepositionophobes.

  30. AndiF

    Reading all these feminized things that boys shouldn’t be forced to do has made me realize that the most feminized institution in the U.S. is the military.

  31. Heo Cwaeth

    Amazing how hegemonic beliefs can be adapted to respond to specific social emergencies, like girls actually being educable (surprise!), all while holding firm in the belief that hegemony won’t ever change. “This is just the way it is, girls. Especially when we make sure it’s so.”

  32. Mimi

    I’m so angry about this that I can barely thing straight. So, if boys can’t sit still and concentrate for many hours at a time, why is it that my nephew and his friends, all middle school students 11 – 13 years old, spend 6 and 7 hours a day playing video games all weekend? (Other than poor parenting, of course.) In the summer these boys sat on their eer-widening butts, sometimes 10 or more hours a day, 7 days a week, concentrating on mayhem and domination . He’s being socialized, meaning he’s learning how to view women as objects solely for his use and pleasure, learning sick sex, and all various disgusting attitude, in these anti-social games. At 12. There’s no hope that he’ll ever ovecome this indoctrination and become a human being.

    Although I wish my 10-yr-old niece would take more interest in computers, she wastes her days writing stories, plays, songs; drawing, painting, doing all kinds of creative things. Creativity must be another of those abhorrent girl things. They both watch too much tv (again, the abdication of parenting), so it won’t be long before she learns that starving and wearing tight, albeit unbecoming, clothing is more important. I read your blog, Twisty, because I need encouragement and reinforcement to be a better examle to her than that.

    Both of them think reading isn’t “cool.”

    (For any of you who think I’m too hard on their parents: no, I never had kids. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them and don’t want the very best for them.)

  33. emjay

    When I taught, I remember how surprised my students were to figure out that I was SMART. It boggles my mind to imagine how anyone thinks that the seventh grade math teacher who had to pass Calculus 3 to get her license, or the teacher who speaks three languages (me) could be anything but super-smart! They were amazed that not only could I help them with foreign language homework, but I also understood geometry, genetics, the causes of World War I, and when to gamble with the onsides kick in football. Alas, I left after four years for a higher-paying job with better health care and retirement benefits and the availibility of more than one box of folders per year. (Seriously. If we were going to use more than 100 folders, we had to buy them ourselves. I had 160 students! Even paper clips were carefully rationed.)

    Both boys and girls can sit still when they need to, and both boys and girls benefit from kinetic activities that allow them to manipulate objects instead of just reading or hearing about how something works. Boys and girls both benefit from singing songs with vocabulary instead of just memorizing it. (For years I would sing the song that spelled out “encyclopedia” to myself to remember how to spell it.) The problem is that our teachers are so overworked with giant classes, teach-to-the-test curricula, non-teaching duties, and lack of resources that they cannot employ the creative methods that will benefit both boys and girls and help them all become critical thinkers. As a manager in my company, no one expects me to spend part of my time serving as a security guard. As a teacher, I had do hall duty and detention, during time I could have been using to plan lessons and create materials.

  34. sunny in texas

    i home schooled my kids for many years.

    my son wouldn’t sit still, but then neither would my two biploar girls. he grew out of this in about the third grade. which is when the home educator theorists i tended to follow suggested ALL kids SHOULD start school.

    just like way back when public school started.

  35. SisterJ

    “Girls tend to be more compliant and willing to sit down and do what they’re told”

    I remember at least one little girl who wasn’t so compliant or willing to sit down…

    And we know what happened to her.

  36. Ms Kate

    Oh, but there is something that has not been mentioned here.

    This isn’t about what kids learn or how – it is about GRADES.

    Yep, that’s right. Grades. You see, the parents are not bitching that the boys are or are not learning, nosiree. They are bitching that their sons are not given high grades by virtue of their having been divinely blessed with an Appendage of Privelege!

    If they aren’t performing. If they aren’t learning, well, we don’t care. What we care about is that our sons are not bringing home the grades to which they are entitled! THAT is the SCHOOL’s fault for not rewarding them for running around like bonobos on LSD, bonobos with sloppy pants, that is.

    Of course, we can’t expect the schools to prevent them from running around like speed monkeys – running about like speed monkeys is their nature! So, they should get rewarded for that, right?

  37. jezebella

    AndiF, you ROCK! You are so right: if being a girl means sitting still, memorizing, and taking orders, well, it’s just one big fag army, isn’t it?

    still laughing….

  38. aeonsomnia

    So these people are going to give boys graphic novels to read as assignments?

    I’m waiting to see what the “boys are suffering in school” crowd does when they realize that half of the persons reading graphic novels are actually vagina bearers (i.e. the same girls who’re excelling in school). Ask any bookstore owner just who comes in to buy all the manga he/she has to offer; I bet the owner will say that the buyers are female. I’ll even go out on a limb & say that more & more women & girls are buying good ole’ American comics (in graphic novel form), too.

  39. Caja

    What is up with the stupid sitcom stereotype of the dumb, boorish husband and the smarter, long-suffering wife? They’re legion, and I hate them (even though it’s been years since I watched any of them). Especially that the immature character – the man – is usually the main character, the hero. Why? Why glorify that kind of immaturity? Why say, “Yes, you will be loved and put on a pedestal as the man of the house, even though you’re a clumsy, inconsiderate, oaf, who never thinks of others, whines when he gets into trouble, and then gets bailed out by the smarter, more decent people.”

    I guess I have a personal hatred of this cause a long-term SO (now an ex) was just a little too much like one of these fictitious characters, and he thought some of this behavior of his was cute or something.

  40. AyMayZed

    What is up with the stupid sitcom stereotype of the dumb, boorish husband and the smarter, long-suffering wife?

    It’s always seemed to me that the ill-educated prick is television’s warning to women that if they have a brain and use it then they will be relegated to caring for these oafs for the rest of their days.
    The daylight soapie has the other side of the the indoctrination coin. Simper and wear high heels and you get to be looked after by a kind and clever man.
    I’ve seen through the false threat; even if you hide your light under a bushel it’s likely that you’ll get lumbered with a representative of oafdom if you choose partnering.
    So I’ve stayed unhitched.

  41. Betsy (the other Betsy)

    If boys are so bad at sitting still, maybe they should be prepared to wear themselves out with a lifetime of digging ditches. Maybe our “feminized” society needs to get a clue, stop making them “act like girls” by staying in school and learning out of books, and treat them to a boy-friendly, real-world, hands-on, physically demanding apprenticeship that will really utilize their superior ability to not sit still. Like breaking rocks for 5.15 an hour.

  42. lisa

    The Twisty Solution: single-sex classrooms. Let the girls read books, and let the boys jab each others’ eyes out with pointed sticks. It’s only natural.

    If it comes to that, I’m demanding that my son stay in the girl class.

    I don’t give a damn if he’d rather be playing video games and watching cartoons than going to school and doing homework. Tough titty. Part of growing up is learning that sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do.

  43. Donna

    So these patriarchal fuckwits claim that the natural boisterousness of boys is being cruelly tamped down to accomodate and reward the innate obedience of girls. Okay, but that is in direct contradiction to an equally vocal concurrent theory of patriarchal pedagogic fuckwittage that claims that boys are losing out because there’s not ENOUGH discipline and militaristic rigidity in our schools. Well, which the fuck is it?

  44. Christopher

    You know, my only nit to pick here would be that there’s really nothing wrong with using comic books in classroom.

    In terms of your humanities class (Or whatever they call it these days) surely Art Spiegelman’s Maus is an appropriate choice of reading material?

    I also think they could be useful in science, where by the nature of the material it’s almost always necessary to use pictures anyway.

    I also suspect that they could be useful in early foreign language teahing, for a great number of reasons. I mean, they utilise everyday slang, so you get an idea of how people talk outside of language class, they have pictures to help you get the meaning of difficult words, they let you see how a foreign culture views itself, and their about fun things like robots and samurai and secret agents instead of Jean-Claude meeting Michelle’s family.

    Of course, the idea of using them asa a substitute for “real” books is stupid and damaging on any number of levels.

    Oh, the other thing I wanted to say is that even good parenting doesn’t rest entirely on the parents. At my last job, most people worked every 10-hour shift they could, because they needed the money. Those who had kids usually needed their spouse to work too, to make ends meet. They usually worked the night shift while their spouses worked the day shift so that somebody would be with the kids at all times.

    So, in those kinds of conditions, it’s pretty hard to lavish tons of attention on your kids.

    In some ways, I feel as if I may be letting some parents off the hook to easily, but it’s still true that even in terms of parenting it’s not just simply a choice the parents have.

  45. Mickle

    Emma – you are so right on the money.

    To all the idiots who claim that boys aren’t doing as well because they read too many “girl” books in school, etc. I have to ask: Is Harry Potter a “girl” book? The Boxcar Children? Holes? Eragon? ‘Cause I have tons of girls coming into the store to buy them – but no boys willing to come within ten feet of Caddie Woodlawn for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

    Somehow I think part of the problem is that girls are willing to read about boys, but boys aren’t willing to read about girls. (Hmm maybe that has to do with everything feminine being devalued?) Seems to me that would be enough to make girls better readers and give idiots the impression that schools read more “girl” books than “boy” books.

    Oh, and I second what Christopher said, and I’d ask if these idiots also ever heard of Babymouse? Fruits Basket? Kare Kano? except aeonsomnia beat me to it.

  46. Wordlackey

    I haven’t read the Newsweek piece but that didn’t stop me from excoriating it purely on patriarchy-blaming grounds. I harbor the strong suspicions that this is all a ploy to redefine what “education” is all about and incidentally place males back on top (so to speak, no offense meant) of the pile.

  47. Twisty

    SisterJ, I remember that kid. I wrote a little blog piece on the horrific responses at AmericaBlog to her story, eg. “I would have torn the little bitch a new one!” I was amazed that such supposedly liberal dudes could utter such vile pronouncements on a 5-year-old girl who was getting manhandled and handcuffed in her own school by about 53 white cops while her teachers just stood there. My god, it wasn’t like she had a bomb taped to her chest. She was having a fucking tantrum. She was five.

  48. Kate

    I enjoyed this post so much I’ve posted a link to it on the discussion forum used by newly qualified teachers here in Manchester. While I was doing my training, this was a common debate and the focus of some people’s assignments.

    I think I’ll put a sign on my classroom door:

    Girls – come in and read!
    Boys – take a stick and poke away!

  49. DrSue

    I am the mother of an 11-year-old boy who is basically compliant, a good reader and learner–and who has trouble sitting still. I know girls who have the same issue in school, though it does seem to be more of a “boy problem” for whatever reason. The schools’ “solution” has been to try to medicate these kids. What is ignored is that in the “golden past” of sitting on hard seats and memorizing Virgil, these activities tended to take up a smaller part of a kid’s day. There were physical chores, mindless running around, and, in many schools, athletic, art, and music programs. Boys and girls didn’t have equal and fair access to all of the advantages of these programs, but any kid who had too much energy to “sit still and learn” could drain it off, and everyone got to exercise the right as well as the left side of their brains. In our district, arts and athletic programs have been cut mercilessly, and unsupervised running around outside is dangerous. So everyone is overweight, restless, and cranky. Individual parents try to compensate the best we can, but as Christopher pointed out, in families where both parents have to work long hours to pay the bills, the kids tend to be stuck in these schools until dinnertime. We insist that our son adhere to the standard of discipline and scholarship his school requires, because we don’t want him to grow up to be an entitled sexist idiot, but really, it’s a complicated problem.

  50. Luckynkl

    About 15 years ago, when I lived in Boulder, I remember reading in the [i]Boulder Daily Camera[/i] that if the current trends continued, it would take women 2,000 years to reach the equality of men.

    This apparently must frightened the boys in Colorado, who obviously think it best that they make it 3,000 years.

  51. Luckynkl

    P.S. Well besides excusing my grammar in the above post, which apparently I can’t edit, please do not insult bonobos by comparing them to boys. Bonobos are our nearest living relative in the animal kingdom and share 98.4% of the same DNA as humans. They are much more intelligent and more graceful than chimps, and except for humans, walk more upright more than any other species on the planet. They are a very sensitive and affectionate primate who solve all of their problems by having sex. Pissed at your mother-in-law? Just have sex with her! That’s right. Bonobos have same-sex relations as well as hetero-relations, while taking care to avoid incest. They are also the only other species on the planet, besides humans, that have sex fact-to-face. Oh, and one other little detail, which I suspect is the main reason why the patriarchs have kept bonobos all hush, hush all this time. Bonobos live in a *matriarchal* society. Which blows the boys’ theories all to hell. You can imagine the boys’ embarrassment over this teenie weenie little detail. Especially since bonobos are our close living relative. So the boys’ thought it best to shove chimps down our throat. Because chimps live in a patriarchal society.

  52. Cyanea

    Now that the national kid debate has shifted to the horrible plight of broken-spirited boys forced to conform to degrading girl standards, the ability to “sit still,” once thought of as a virtue in a child, is now attributed specifically to the female, and, like everything “feminine,” is instantly devalued. All these teachers can talk about, all of a sudden, is the egregious pain inflicted when a boy is made to sit at a faggy feminizing desk.

    You are right on Twisty. This is classic “male flight.” Anything girls get good at, boys have to avoid as “icky.” Because the thing that is of utmost importance in a male’s life is not to be “a girl.”

    Reading. Art. Teaching. Humanities. Some specialties in medicine. Psychology. Social Sciences. “Easier” sciences such as biology as opposed to math and physics. All of those used to be the exclusive province of Boys/Men and have become devalued as Girls/Women have become successful in them.

    Unfortunately for boys, the girls are getting in everywhere. Part of me can’t wait for the days when math, physics, and construction work are “girly” and the boys are stuck standing on a tiny little island of manliness poking each others eyes out with sticks.

  53. kathy a

    it’s funny how school not being good for boys hasn’t translated into women dominating everything. politics aside [obviously, braininess and education are not necessary qualifications], men are plenty represented if not dominant in most fields requiring academic preparation: medicine, law, sciences, academia, and on and on.

    lots can be done to improve schools, beginning with giving teachers better resources and smaller classes. i’ve got no problem with creative ways of conveying information and sparking thought. it is good for all students to break up the day with active times and creative times.

    but the idea that learning and achieving is “girlish” is ludicrous. why any adult would coddle this delusional excuse is beyond me.

    a kid who can’t read and analyze written material, can’t do the math, can’t write coherently, can’t refrain from constantly disrupting the group, and doesn’t want to do requirements like community service — that is a kid who is not qualified or ready to move up to more serious academic studies, such as those offered at the college of his choice.

    if the real problem is developmental readiness for serious academic work — then the solution is not to lower standards for more advanced work, but perhaps it might be to make it more acceptable to do something else for a while. flip burgers, do construction work, sort boxes for UPS, bus dishes, work the machine at the copy service. having to earn one’s way sometimes has a tendancy to make school look like heaven, and it can also develop a healthy respect for actual labor.

    historical aside — women have only become important in academics and professional ventures during my lifetime. my mother graduated college 50 years ago, and she was the first woman in any branch of the family to do so. women graduating law school in that era were often offered secretarial jobs in the law firms to which they applied. when i began law school in 1979, i knew many lawyers who were family friends, but had never met a woman lawyer. i blame the patriarchy.

  54. Erin

    And we wonder why the rest of the world is overtaking us in every field?

  55. Indigo

    I teach in England where we’re hearing a lot about tackling the achievement gap.
    After spending yet another day at a seminar aimed at consciousness raising regarding helping boys do better – only to be twarted by statistics that show that everything we do to help boys also benefits girls, my colleagues and I decided the only way we can narrow the achievement gap is to stop teaching our girls.

  56. thebewilderness

    At first I thought if you give a three year old a video game and turn him into an adrenalin junkie it is not surprising that he can’t sit still. Add to that the fear of allowing children to play outdoors unsupervised. Combine with the slow spread of the idea that it is not debilitating for girls to use their brain. Now add the cultural imperative that stifles male intelligence.
    I suspect this is going to get really ugly when the “permanent republican majority” turns the godbag eye to education reform.

  57. cinder

    Institutional education is essentially a prison with the mandate of stripping children of thier dreams, passions and imaginations and re-forming them in the image of workers and consumers. What needs to happen is not for the boys to learn how to shutup and learn, it’s for the girls to remember that they are autonomous individuals and are capable of rebellion. Then all the kids can go play tag in the sun rather than sit in a florescent lit square learning abstraction and repression. And hey, the kids that don’t like running so much can climb a tree with a good book and learn because they desire it, not because the curriculum dictates it.

  58. Ancrene Wiseass

    Funny, ain’t it? Used to be, people insisted that girls were un-teachable and just not all that bright. Now that they’ve been given a chance to succeed and have taken to learning like ducks to water, boy-friendlies are finding ways to make learning itself an undesirable, femmy trait.

    True kindness to boys would recognize that they are quite entirely capable of sitting still long enough to learn things, that they don’t need the kinds of “special accomodations” for their superfluous spinal fluid which result in their reading little more comic books and the subsequent mushifying of their brains.

    But then, that would defeat the whole point of an ethic which proclaims, “If your priceless wittle nubbin isn’t performing well, it must not be Wittle Nubbin’s fault. Goodness gracious no. It must be the evil teachers. Or the evils of post-feminist society. Or something.”

    As a college instructor, I see the results of this kind of parenting all the time, in both male and female students. And those results are kids with an over-inflated ego, under-developed work ethics, and a hyperbolically negative reaction to anybody in any kind of authority who tries to help them improve. In other words, spoiled brats who don’t have the skills they need to make something of themselves.

  59. Burrow

    Cyanea-I am porud to say that I myself am doing everything I can to make Physics girlish. (But if you look at the gender makeup in my classes I think I should start recruiting.)

  60. Aussie Liz

    A truly amazing fact of nature, is that the natural order of things gets squashed and reversed the INSTANT these kids leave school.

    Those poor boys end up trapped behind the biggest desks in the biggest offices, with their carefully measured spinal fluid yearning for unstructured play with technology, like the coffee machine and photocopier.

  61. M

    Much as I loathe leage tables:

    See that letter just to the left of the grey column? G is girls only; M is mixed; B is boys only. Lookit all the boys in the top achieving schools!

    Personal experience. I loathed my girls school, and have since concluded with other friends who went to other single-sex schools that we would advise anyone against it. My brother went to the boys school; there they sat down in lessons and learned stuff. When he transferred to a mixed state school, the boys also sat and learned stuff. He much preferred the mixed school (but this may be because there was no rugby).

    “Bill’s New Frock” by Anne Fine was a fantastic book I read when I was a child. Bill goes to school in a pink dress, and is forced to behave as a girl, play nicely and write neatly. Should be required reading for all children.

  62. Joolya

    Dudes. No one likes to sit still. And back in the good old days, when school was for boys, they made the boys sit even stiller and read books in funny languages that no one even speaks anymore and if they acted up they got beaten with sticks.
    Are the boys of today too big of pansy-arses to handle a little discipline?
    Whinge whinge whinge.

  63. Joolya

    Also: I was in a co-ed school but was mostly in the honors classes, with people who generally enjoyed learning and were intelligent and hard-working. There was very little acting up or gender-distinct behavior, and intelligence was prized in both boys and girls. There was also very little in the way of sexual harassment. Coincidence? I think not.

  64. Twisty

    I went to an all-girl school from 3rd grade on. I credit it entirely for producing the awesome genius that is Twisty.

  65. Sean

    I went to private school, for 4 years. I played rugby, soccer, track and field, I marched and achieved rank in the cadet force, (sports and cadets were mandatory) we were school from 8 a.m. to 12:25. Lunch was a sit down affair, then a period of resting and then attendance for the mandatory afternoon sport, chapel at 5, supper at 530 and from 7 pm to 10, “prep” (homework, study period) which was in the classroom, supervised in silewnce for the most part by prefects (senior classmen) and that included Saturday morning too. 6 days a week, and 5 evenings a week – school.

    We attended regular dances with the girls from the other private school, which were chaperoned and we were expected to act properly . We would attend at the girls school on SUnday afternoon for an hour’s supervised visit, where we would walk and talk and make plans for meeting sometime outside the school environment (where there’s a will)…We went home or to friends houses for long weekends.Often the girl that we had arranged things with would stay in the same town at a friend’s house. Naturally we had the occasional hook up.

    4 years, the equivalent of grand 9 to 12 …. the best experience for most of us there could have been.

    Why ? we were boys becoming men, and from the Chapel to the playing field were were treated with the maturity and responsibilities boys becoming men are supposed to take on, and we were punished in a dispassionate manner with detention or caning (on the bum baby , that’ get yer attention) when we went too far over the line.

    We had female and male teachers, it was a place of learning, philosophical and otherwise, we had healthy relations with the girls, it wasn’t a jail, and most of us have done very very well in life.
    Thank you .

  66. Erin

    I went to a single-sex school for high school, and my feelings are similar to Twisty’s. I’d also like to say, no duh we all have to live in a multi-sexed world, but all of my fellow students and I lived full-time in a world made for and run by men and boys, and it was nice to be in a place where we ran the show, and with only one men’s bathroom in the entire building.

  67. Vera Horiuchi

    I graduated from a women’s college (since gone co-ed). Being in an environment where half the faculty was female and the other half couldn’t get away with being disrepectful put me in the fast lane to radical feminism. So different from my high school, where smart girls were regarded more or less as freaks. Now the older of my two daughters is attending a women’s college, and I’m seeing her blossom into a radical feminist. The next generation of patriarchy bashers, growing up right before my eyes. It does the heart good.

  68. Rob

    “three boys kicked in the testicles today”

    Ouch, I remember when girls did that. Y’all are so lucky not having any.

  69. Pony

    laffin’. I spent more time kicked out of class and standing in the halls, sitting in the principal’s office, on suspension … running through the bush playing hooky than both my brothers did, and they did some good down time too but it was boys will be boys for them. Right now I’m looking at the still-enlarged knuckle of my right hand which I broke when I clocked the schoolyard bully who kept sticking his hand up my skirt. But ahh well. He was my size and I could more or less handle him. I stayed book smart, continued to get the best grades for a bit, but mostly what I learned was to hide, keep the light on all night and sit up until dawn when it was safe cause *he* had gone to work. And run fast. Rape at 7 and again at 11 kind of derails your smarts.

  70. Rob

    Seriously, girls have no idea how much it hurts. And I think girls do it more now. Nutcrackers are the bane of lots of boys. This girl Amy must have nutted me 15 or 20 times in middle school.

  71. Twisty

    So Pony reveals she was raped twice before the age of 12, and your remark is that it hurts when you get kicked in the nuts? What is the matter with you?

  72. Rob

    Well, in my defense, she started out w/ laffin. And it does hurt.

    I certainly did not mean to disparage anyone’s pain after sexual assault. Especially someone who experienced it as a child. That’s unimaginable.

    Pony, if you took that as an insult, I’m very sorry.

  73. Pony

    Absolutely didn’t take it as an insult. But. It’s odd how we can intelliectualize these topics; it’s in Nepal, or Utah. They’re foreign, or mutant. It’s great we’re talking about them, but why do these things by and large stay intellectualized? These stories could have any date on them. They’re all the same. We’re heard it before.

    Read them carefully, the newspaper and tv stories. They are slanted so the reader is getting off on them.

    It’s titillation. Wonder what the ad carry is for each of them. Eh?

  74. Kate

    Alright, I’m going to cut to the chase here and then stop my incessant blogging today.

    If people think its ok for boys to not learn, then fine by me. Let the girls sit still and read their girlie books that have words in them and write their little girlie essays and do all that little girlie thinking.

    Let the boys out in the playground. Let them wrestle, chase squirrels, pelt eachother with rocks, urinate on the jungle gym and whatever else their boyish charms compel them to do.

    May they sit alone amongst eachother, on the floor during lunch time, have the food thrown before them on the floor where there will fight eachother forthwith for a morsel. Meanwhile the girls will stand in line and obtain their food on plates and dine in their girlie way at tables whilst they talk to eachother about homework, or dumb boys.

    Then also may those same girls go to those girlie colleges and learn from professors, whether male or female, who grew up in another time when education was shared among all. May these same girlie-girls start businesses, run for government and generally take over the country because the boys can’t read their memos, can’t read their papers or edicts and well, don’t care because they are too busy hunting and drinking beer to give a damn.

    I really don’t see it as that bad. I wouldn’t have asked for such extreme roll over of power so quickly, and I was dreaming of a shared world, but all’s fair in love and war.

  75. Pony

    Twisty my post to you earlier today didn’t make it. I blame the patriarchy.

    I live with it. She was a little girl who doesn’t visit me too often anymore. Not quite so blatantly anyway but I guess part of my point was; oh yeah we, the little girls and boys used this way, we live with this all our lives.

    Being a newbie I give Rob one. and anyway, I really couldn’t tell what or who he was responding to.

    It’s very complicated. I think abused children, young boys and girls do know something is wrong, try to defend themselves. But mostly you just use up a lot of energy getting through.

    One other thing not mentioned here, at least not that I’ve noticed, is that when you do confess this thing, you carry the dirt. Yes you do. Any child or young person I’ve known who has sought out help, eventually, they are abused by some helper. Sick sick sick.

  76. mythago

    If people think its ok for boys to not learn, then fine by me.

    It’s NOT fine by me. These fuckwads don’t speak for me and they aren’t doing my son any favors.

    You know how these morons react to a girl who doesn’t act “like a girl”, right?

  77. Rob

    Do you all think kicking guys is a form of sexual assault when girls do it? I mean, its certainly a gendered assault because of anatomy, but is it sexual assault?

  78. Pony

    It’s self defense. And you’re beginning to make me wonder if there isn’t a *virtual* handy somewhere.

  79. rob

    A virtual what?

    And it is not always self defense

  80. ehj2

    i’m with kate on this.

    let’s let the women run things for a change.

    i am totally not kidding.

    evolution isn’t “fair” and our species is about to be obliterated unless we do a bunch of things very correctly and very quickly.

    testosterone and adrenaline have proven themselves unequal to the task of fueling a sane stewardship of this fragile world. forty-five centuries of unending brinkmanship, destruction, chaos, slavery, and genocide should provide all the footnotes this thesis requires.

    long live the reign of the feminine! long live the environment!

    as a wiser person than i once wrote: “there is no way to peace; peace is the way.”


  81. Kate

    “It’s NOT fine by me. These fuckwads don’t speak for me and they aren’t doing my son any favors.

    You know how these morons react to a girl who doesn’t act “like a girl”, right? ”

    Oh mythago, don’t pine for your son, you have control over how he is taught and raised. I raised a son also and let me tell you, I was working overtime against the patriarchy that be that wanted to poison his mind and set him up to live in macho-empty headed land and be confused, lonely and unfulfilled. Your son as I know my son also, would not have any desire to follow the herd.

    And our little girlie girls, being all full of the concept of human rights and equality and all will definitely allow them in with them to study and pontificate.

    Yes, I know very well what the patriarchy does to bad girls. I was raised by one of the best and that’s why I have no problem the concept I posted above of letting the machos chase eachother on the playground while those with half a wit do their studying.

    May the dogs eachother alive!

    I also have had first hand contact with the Father’s Rights People and they are mysogynists of the first order always looking for new young blood to bring into their fold of hatred and narcissistic whining.

    We who have sons must equip them with the tools of feminist thinking, of the concept of equality, human rights, justice and humanism. Because if anything, boys are inundated continuously with directives to take the patriarchy path post – haste.

  82. Mario

    I would take issue with acting as if comic books aren’t worth studying.

    What is true, however, is that the comics most young boys would be interested in reading aren’t worthy of assigning in class (Superman or Iron Man or what have you). V For Vendetta, Persepolis or Maus would be worth teaching, I think. But they’re also not easy to read flights of juvenile fantasy, and even cover topics that might raise complaints from “good Christian parents” or what have you (why, that comic book you assigned suggests that homosexuals are humans with relationships of value!).

    Other than that, yeah, I agree with what you said. I don’t know what those boys’ problem is with reading, I didn’t have that problem as a boy. I loved reading books as a young’un. Then again, I’m also a homo, and because I didn’t have much of an interest in sports (among other things), I got called gay and other names not infrequently.

  83. fidelbogen

    “The Twisty Solution: single-sex classrooms. Let the girls read books, and b>let the boys jab each others’ eyes out with pointed sticks. It’s only natural.”

    Single sex classrooms would be a good idea. Seriously.

  1. Is there no sin in it?

    Nobody does it better

    Twisty Faster handles the media response to the “boys-education crisis” quite nimbly here.

  2. rad rant of the week at Buried Voices

    […] Boys’ Failure Directly Linked To Women’s Movement By Presumably Uneducated Colorado Teen […]

  3. / musing / struggling / dreaming /

    Gender bias?

    I Blame The Patriarchy makes some good points about how some people are trying to address poor performance at school.

  4. Is there no sin in it?

    More BS at the NYT

    Women have always gotten this patriarchal line that if we ever could figure out how to become great, we wouldn’t be discriminated against. Now it seems that no matter how great we get, there’s always a slot reserved for white boy fuckups.

    See here…

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