Thursday, January 26, 2006

Boys Will be Boors

Okay, now of course I realize that "Hey, did you hear about that crazy lawsuit?" is about as boring and banal a topic for conversation as "Hey, what about that crazy weather we've been having lately?" And yet...

A 17-year old has sued his school board, claiming that it is biased against boys. Apparently, one big problem is that "girls are rewarded for abiding by the rules, while boys' more rebellious ways are punished." Ahem!

''The system is designed to the disadvantage of males," Anglin said. ''From the elementary level, they establish a philosophy that if you sit down, follow orders, and listen to what they say, you'll do well and get good grades. Men naturally rebel against this."

Right. This is why you don't see a lot of males in the military, for instance.

According to the boy, and his lawyer father, boys should be given class credit for after-school sports and should not have to do community service, because boys are "naturally" lazy. Apparently, nobody gives orders in team sports either.

Do you see the problem here? It's not that boys are rambunctious. They are, and they always have been, and somehow education has always found a way to get them to "simmer down". The problem is that we've come to the conclusion that the needs of the individual, no matter how unreasonable or fleeting, or just plain stupid, always outweigh the needs of other people. Moreover, we live in a society in which boys are, somehow, convinced that they are "naturally" lazier, stupider and more boorish. This is held up as what an adult male becomes: either Ray Romano or Fifty Cent. And this idea that males (at least straight ones) cannot be cultivated, intelligent or... well, adults is what's truly the sexist slander against them.


Hiromi said...

That's fabulous. I should be exempt from any interview process, since Asians are by nature inscrutable.

Rufus said...

I've just heard about this inscrutable stereotype recently from the discussion on your page, and it amuses me to no end. What is it put in contrast with? Are peope eiter loudmouthed or inscrutable?

Hiromi said...

You've never heard the "inscrutable" thing? I think it's in contrast to the "openness" of Westerners (esp. Americans), and also implies that Japanese people are sooooo weeeeird and their minds work in such strange ways that no one can figure them out. There's definitely negative connotations in the word - it's not saying that people who share a culture have an easier time decoding each other.

Oh, and speaking of gender stereotypes, women were elected to the highest office in Liberia and Chile based on them. Well, more specifically, maternal stereotypes.

Rufus said...

I can see it being negative with our emphasis on openness and transparency and so forth. It's interesting because the Enlightenment celebrated those ideas, but also produced secret societies like the famed Illuminati. I think we need more secret societies- both Tong and Illuminati! Confound the populace!