Society has been fighting for decades to erase the constraints against women. We’ve taken major strides to convince girls they could be smart and nurturing, inspiring and inspired, that they had the power to define who and what they would become based on their likes and preferences and nobody else’s. But we haven’t afforded the same privilege to boys.
It might seem ironic to use that term. Privilege. Men own privilege around the world. They’re the first hired, the last fired and the highest paid. They’re often given opportunities without pause when women have to prove their mettle, and studies show men are often judged more positively than their female counterparts as well.
That doesn’t make it healthy for society to generalize men and hold them to unreasonable standards.
Heroism vs. Health
The phrase “boys will be boys” has taken on dark connotations over the past few years. At one time, it wasn’t synonymous with sexual assault. It focused instead on the wild and daring, rough and tumble attitude of many boys who brush off danger in search of fun. It’s an attitude encouraged much more with male than female children. And for what reason? So they grow up to fit the model of the ideal man.
Now, two experts tackle the subject of boys who are consistently pushed to put their safety at risk for the sake of their manhoods.
The Boy Crises: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It by Warren Farrell and John Gray explores the disposable nature of men and its implications on society.
Historically, men have been the protectors of the human race. Bigger. Stronger. It’s no surprise bravery remained one of the most desired masculine traits. Similar to the nurturing benefits a stereotypical mother provides, the idea of the hero limits men in unnecessary ways. This problem begins at birth, leading to significant problems in childhood our society is ignoring.
In elementary school, more boys than girls are diagnosed with learning disorders.
More of our most vulnerable men are placed on medication without reason.
More boys than girls drop out of school and go on to lives of crime and imprisonment.
At the heart of this crisis is a skewed view of masculinity and the struggle to “be a man” in today’s world. Though members of both sexes are expected to suffer and sacrifice, the ways these stereotypes play out often leave fathers on the wrong side of custody and parenting time, hurting new generations of boys and girls.
The book contains helpful advice for parents of boys for raising young men who value themselves enough to stay healthy and out of harm’s way.
To get a copy of this important book, buy The Boy Crises: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It on Amazon.