Have the classes become so wholly feminized that males just don’t belong there any more?
VIDEO: [BBC News] Traditionalist Jordan Peterson assails the assumption that masculinity is ‘toxic.’ [Aug 7, 2018]
Much is being made these days of the fact that males are steadily falling behind females in the public schools and the arts faculties of the universities. Our vast sociological industry, led of course by educators, is being summoned to deal with this, and one study after another seeks to explain what has gone wrong with boys and young men. They are dropping out of school in numbers that far exceed the drop-out rate for women and they are staging what amounts to a mass exodus from the humanities.
“We need to validate boys’ feelings, when they experience negative emotions,” writes one authority. “We need to trust that if we show compassion for boys’ tender sides, it won’t make them fragile; it will enhance self-acceptance… When boys inevitably come up short in the manhood-code department, it can lead to depression, conduct disorders. isolation, even violence.”
The possibility seems nowhere seriously entertained that what’s gone wrong is not with the boys and young men at all. They’re much the same as they ever were. What has changed is the educators. Is it not possible that their new version of pedagogy and curriculum content leave young men and boys bored to exasperation and certainly not worth the thousands upon thousands of dollars of debt in which they must immerse themselves to acquire this dubious standing at the university level?
But why are so many more males than females dropping out? This introduces what might be called “the feminine factor.” As one commentator noted: “Forty-three per cent of boys are raised by single mothers. Seventy-eight per cent of teachers are female. So almost fifty per cent of boys have one hundred per cent feminine influence at school. Toxic masculinity isn’t the problem. Lack of masculinity is.” (That observation, by the way, was made by a woman who writes under a pseudonym “Miss Stirr.” I have no idea who she is, but I’m sure her diagnosis is correct.)
In general, the solution being advanced to counter the excessive female presence in male upbringing is to make it more female than ever. A recommended documentary, for instance, deplores what it calls the Boy Code — “the requirement that boys be stoic and independent, macho and athletic, powerful and dominant, and phobic of anything close to feminine (e.g. warm, empathetic, or sensitive). If they are not, they are wimpy losers.” Another recommended documentary describes “the way boys suffer from our culture’s narrow definition of acceptable masculinity.”
“We need to trust that if we show compassion for boys’ tender side,” says yet another feminine expert on masculinity, “it won’t make them fragile; it will enhance self-acceptance.” Her book is entitled, “How Boys Suffer.” When I read through all these recommendations, it struck me that they all concerned things that society should be doing for boys and young men. There’s not a single mention of what young males should be doing for society.
Now please note this sharp contrast. When the traditionalist commentator Jordan Peterson addresses much the same audience in his book, “Twelve Rules for Life,” it’s all about how the young can best equip themselves to serve the society that produced them. Above all, they had to make themselves effective. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back,” orders Peterson. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)… Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie… Be precise in your speech…” And behind it all, runs a general rule: Assume real responsibilities on behalf of your community and make sure you fully carry them out.
Again and again, young men respond to Peterson in a common vein. “Nobody,” is the oft-repeated response, “has ever talked to me like this before.” The audience for his scores of public appearance are totaling in the tens of thousands, with young males a distinct majority. For his steady appearances on YouTube the audience will one day total in the tens of millions.
This disparity between what the modern professional educator recommends and what the traditionalist commentator recommends certainly makes one thing clear. The former depicts male youth as a victim in need of help and reassurance, the latter as a servant in need of a place to serve and something to serve it with. The first, I believe, is a female response, the reaction of a natural care-giver. The second is a male response, the quest for a challenge, for the cast-down gauntlet. Show me the truly righteous cause and get me into the fight. Like it or not, that has always been the male attitude. Which one is right?
The fact is they are both right. The first is right for females, and the second for males. And here is the problem: The only one now on offer by the educators is the female one and that’s why the males in their thousands are opting out. A waste of time and money they say, and I believe they’re absolutely right.
But what can be done about it? Here is a suggestion that will draw only scorn today; but in two or three years serious curiosity, and in five or six years — when the calamitous fate of our education system has become common knowledge too awful to conceal — it will receive solid support.
In bygone days, the schools used to separate girls from boys for what were called “P.T. classes” (physical training). Many schools, I’m told, still do this. The theory is that by their teens boys have become so much physically stronger than girls that a different physical regime is required for them. So for the P.T. girls and boys were split. Would it not be possible to make the same division for classes in history and English literature? Boys would be taught these subjects by male teachers, girls by female. The course content would also vary, in line with male/female subject interest.
The response to this from the education professionals is wholly predictable. They will regard it as preposterous, forgetting of course that the split is already well under way. The girls are staying in school and the boys are opting out of school altogether. The educators’ solution — more tender loving care for boys — just isn’t going to work. It never has.