Schoolboy-A Critique

I just read a blog post from Susan Dench about how schoolboys aren’t being allowed to be treated like men and how they’re becoming more like women. If you haven’t seen it already, I’ll post the link here-

Now, while I’m still growing up and spent the vast majority of my school years in the 2000s, I can say that there are several things that need to be discussed revolving Dench’s article. I won’t say that Dench is wrong or not entitled to her opinion but I have several things I need to point out. That’s not what I’m here to do.

First of all, since when is being sensitive, caring, nurturing or as Dench describes as feminine-bad? I have male friends and female friends-I actually think because I’m what one would call ‘sensitive’ is the reason why I have friends who are girls. I’ll be 21 later this year so I guess that means I’m an adult male-or a man. I care about other people, I’m sensitive to other’s feelings and this is a large part of what makes me the person I am today. So those traits are feminine? I don’t think so. Call me biased, but I like having those traits.

Dench also complains about school systems, how they don’t treat kids, particularly boys, like kids anymore. She complains about how boys get worse grades and don’t go to college as much as girls do. What does that have to do with the feminization of boys. Funny, in all of Dench’s article, not once does she mention anything about parents.  It should be the parents’ responsibility to teach the child how to be a functioning person when they aren’t in school. My parents influenced my wanting to go to college since I was about six or seven. The boys that Dench says the schools are failing are not just the school’s responsibility.

What about sports? I love sports and I love to win. Winning is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Dench complains that we have a ‘everybody is a winner’ society. Perhaps we do, and perhaps we don’t. But isn’t one of the most important things to get out of sports is having fun? While I never actually played on the team, I managed high school baseball and I hated losing. So did the rest of my team-but when we lost a couple games in a row, we realized it was our attitudes that needed fixing. When I have kids, I would rather them learn about sportsmanship, teamwork and have a good attitude than have a bunch of winners who didn’t have good character.

As a 20-year-old, I have several guy friends who I try to see every couple of weeks. Given that we’re all in school and have commitments, this proves to be difficult. The ‘manly’ things we do aren’t what Dench calls ‘manly.’ We go to movies, go out to eat or to bookstores. We all have different hobbies and we respect each other’s differences. It may not be macho, but it is something that we will continue to do as long as we possibly can.