Monday, February 22, 2010

A response to Mr Chips

Mr Chips wrote: "If you notice youth culture fashions, you will see that,
despite the extreme sexual promiscuity of song lyrics, some books, and
computer games, the clothes boys now wear go to great lengths to hide
and conceal, long and baggy, with shorts that go down to the ankles.
It's as if there was some kind of a tacit fear for a boy to show himself off."

Here is part one of my response:

Before: Boys were expected to be or to become aggressive, dominant, try to rise to the top of the pack (though this usually takes the most social skills, not the hardest punching power), successful, masculine, sexually assertive, hard working, reliable.

Boys were expected to be tough, able to fend for themselves, able to look out for danger and deal with it. If harmed, boys were expected to take it like a man, get up, move on, build a bridge, get over it.

The threats to boys before were massive. There were more active wierdos, murderers, rapists, molesters and you name it in most of history, at least in many Western cultures. Out on their own, shepherd boys, farm boys, runner boys and every other kind of boy faced down and overcame, or were overcome by, many threats.

That, anyway, was when men ruled the world. Survival of the fittest.

Of course, men could have done a better job. The world was too dangerous, then.

Then women achieved political power. Women are, on average, more likely to be mother bears. Someone threatens children? Lock the children inside and kill everyone outside. Put the wierdos in jail for life. If they deny being a wierdo, don't believe them. Play it safe. Err on the side of caution. Safety first.

Politicians must respond, if they want votes. Every new law, pass it. Every new punishment or restriction, pass it. Forget freedom. Security and doing what looks to be safety-centered is what matters. Be child centered. Praise every child infinitely. All life for children must be covered with big baby bumpers. Pushing children to succede is child abuse. Living life vicariously through your child's academic or sports or social success is a psychosis.

Boys are taught that they are young men and going to be men, soon. But men are very bad and all men want to molest you. "Sex" they learn, at age 5, 6, 7, and 8, from their mommies or others who would protect them, is a bad thing done by bad men lurking everywhere to any boy stupid enough to go outside and walk down the street.

Boys are taught to be defensive. To assume every adult male is a pervert. A dirty old men. Adult men are the scum of the earth. Every boy dreads becoming one.

But boys do crave acceptance, and where do they find it? Some find it from peers. Some are so desperate they would do anything to get it. Anything.

Is Junior really safer in this new world? Will he be ready for the challenges of life?

Reminds me of how one young man, true story, was a rebel, and his parents could do nothing to him to stop his crimes for fear that social workers and the police would remove him if they "taught him a lesson". When he turned 18, the police taught the lesson, instead. Permanent criminal record AND they beat him to a pulp for his attitude. And with recidivism rates (because we use the insane method of imprisonment to "rehabilitate" - which it does, 5% of the time) being what they are, Junior will now be a thug, ex-con, and a permanent criminal.

1 comment:

  1. I'll throw in a slightly different slant here.

    In the middle and late 40s when my memories begin, there were children everywhere -- armies of them. My own group of 4 sibs was about average, definitely not a huge family. We knew many families with more kids than that, and even they weren't weird. What was pretty strange then was an only child - strange and to be pitied.

    I'm not going to get into the population explosion and birth-control arguments here, Soime of what is said seems to make a kind of sense, but I think the current oppression of children is one side-effect of this change in views.

    Today one can drive through the suburbs for hours and see few or no kids out. Why? In part because there aren't very many any more. Some couples marry, planning not to have children at all or to put them off as long as possible. Many couples want only one (just what we all thought so sad back then). Very few want to have more than two. Thus there are far fewer kids than there once were.

    These kids tend to be overprotected, as parent programmed to bring children into the world are not doing so to the extent that instincts encourage, and thus put all their energy (often too much energy) into protecting their kids from everything -- and especially from all the bad things they could do to themselves by roaming free.

    Back then we were actually ordered out of the house to play, and large groups of kids roamed the woods, used imagination to play-act, and had fun while learning what the world was like.

    Today kids are allowed, encouraged, even forced to stay inside, wrapped up in one-person (and occasionally two-person) video games and other pre-programmed "play".

    Does any one else find all this to be desperately sad and unhman? I sure do. Oh, for a world filled with active kids?