Skip to main content

Being Hard On Boys





I am not a soccer mom. The reason being that I think I am actually put to better use doing things rather than sitting around while my kids practice and living the life of a limousine driver. So, I am kind of taking all of this in from an outside perspective. My girls are playing soccer this year, on the same team, with the YMCA. My kids played on a team once when they were very little and they had no interest in it at all, it is not until now that they have convinced us to let them try again. I have been to two practices. The first one scared me silly because of the gross amount of people that were there. I did not expect it at all. Yesterday, I went to their second practice and noticed something very disturbing.

I ended up sitting closer to a boys’ team that was practicing on the same field. My son had run off to play on the playground, so I decided to stay in the place where he thought I was, rather than moving closer to my girls’ practice. The week before I had gotten to see them interact with their coaches and I really liked them. The coaches were kind, and encouraging, and supportive. My girls were working, and practicing, but they were also having a really good time and getting exercise in the fresh air…in my opinion this is the main purpose of any sport. The boys that I was observing yesterday were actually a little younger than my girls. I would say that they were second and third graders. They were having a vastly different experience from my girls.

The boys that I observed were not having fun. The reason for this was because they were being pushed extremely hard, and in my opinion berated by their coaches. Why in the hell do we think that to get successful results out of boys that we have to bully them into performing well? What is with the double standard? I am perfectly happy to let my girls play with their coaches treating them respectfully, but there is no way in the world that I would allow my son to continue playing on a team where the coaches believe they need to treat children, children who are smaller than my own, as if they are in boot camp. No result of any sporting event means anything. They equal to zip, zilch, and zero. Nobody is depending on a child’s soccer win so that they can eat this week. The children are supposed to be getting exercise and having fun.

Boys and men do not have fewer feelings than women. They do not hurt less and they are not less affected by negative reinforcements. And yet, even today we continue to treat them differently than girls. We are still teaching boys that it is a weakness to show emotion. We call them sissies, and pussies, and girls. I did not hear the coaches yesterday calling the boys names, but I did hear them reacting with exasperation to less than ideal results. I heard them stripping down the confidence of the players rather than building it up, and unfortunately, I did not see a single parent step up and tell the coaches that it was unacceptable behavior. Boys and men are not immune to this sort of crap, and it happens over and over again to them throughout their lives. There are very few adult men out there today who don’t suffer residually from the effects of being bullied into acting like a man. It makes me absolutely livid! We seem to be getting wiser about treating all of our children equally, but it is obvious that in some arenas we are still missing the mark by a big margin. We need to fix it and we need to fix it before we damage more young men, because damaged young men are more likely to turn into mentally unstable adults. What on earth are we doing?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

The Power Of Willful Ignorance

I watched a woman say these words in a speech a few moments ago and nothing could be more true...willful ignorance is insanely powerful. Willful ignorance is the reason that good German people allowed their neighbors to be dragged off by the Nazis in the middle of the night. It is the reason that American people choose to believe our homeless are lazy and irresponsible instead of facing the reality that their situations have arisen because of widespread mental illness and cooperate greed. It is the reason that you will pick up a steak on your way home from work tonight, not bothering to find out where it came from, because you just don’t want to know. The truth is too disgusting.
I have gone on about the meat industry quite a bit and my goal here is not to do that. I love to eat meat, I will state that again, but the example that comes from our consumption of factory meat is so powerful when it comes to explaining willful ignorance that I want to use it. Out of ALL of the many, many,…

Resolve to be Happy

1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks