American boys are troublesome so of course they get blamed for being disobedient, but let me speak up for them because they have been locked out of the discussion. By the so-called objective measures of their teachers they are twice as bad as girls, but why is this the case? The cause is obvious – the teachers and administrators are measuring boys against a scale designed to measure girls. If instead they measured the girls against a scale designed for boys the results would be just the opposite. Boys are naturally more physically active, more aggressive, more competitive physically and intellectually and less willing to be physically confined by arbitrary rules of proper behavior. Because nearly all teachers of children are women they are the ones doing the rating and it is natural for them to judge boys by their own standards. These women are immersed in a totally female teaching culture and so they are reenforced in their own natural feminine biases. Boys in America are being raised to be girls! They are expected to be polite, non-competitive, instantly obedient to authority, quiet almost all the time, docile with each other and even when outdoors in physical education they are expected to sit in rows and columns most of the time.
This is so against the natural inclinations of boys it amazes me that any of them make it through school. The aim and attitude of these female teachers is to raise good citizens, which by their understanding means men who act like nice girls. As if the classroom isn’t confining enough, the school yard is typically enclosed in a high cyclone fence. There are rigid time constraints as well. All of this might be tolerable to girls, but any normal boy should hate the constrictions and loathe those classmates who knuckle under to those constrictions.
Boys like challenges! They like academic challenges as well as physical ones. Of course they want challenges in which they can win a reasonable percentage of their encounters. Not always winning but frequently winning. Always winning soon gets as boring as always losing and equally unpleasant. That’s why they seek out competitions which are measured so they can prove themselves and then be challenged by outside people who have risen to a similar level of accomplishment. Even those people who don’t rise very far in the competitions can continue competing because they will be competing with people of their own level, and that’s what makes it interesting.
Boys intuitively know this and they seek out competitions in fields where they can succeed much of the time, but not always. Girls and their more mature representatives, lady teachers, don’t intuitively recognize this trait in boys, and because it conflicts with their natural female understanding of proper behavior they suppress it, and being in positions of authority they wield the punishments. Boys aren’t usually misbehaving if they are being measured against the naturally more rambunctious standards of boys. If the boys are being too physically active in the classroom, the simple answer is to get them outdoors and exercise them in some competitions. Doing things which require considerable physical effort on their part and various types of competitions. Try to find each boy’s superior ability and have him compete on that ability so he can win some of the time. Do this early in the day, and perhaps again in the early afternoon, and the boys will be much more ready to sit for a classroom lecture. Academic classes should also be set up as a competition for the boys, but also again it is important to find activities at which each boy can beat most of the other kids. Even the slower boys can usually excel at something relative to some other boys and they should be put into situations where they can display those abilities. Every boy should be a winner at something, no matter how trivial it might seem to outsiders.
The flattening out of competition by women teachers to where everyone is a so-called winner at every activity is debilitating to any and every boy. It becomes a totally meaningless activity; it’s boring and soon painful and therefore it is resented and soon hated. Any boy is going to get out of that situation at first opportunity. Find some activity in which a kid can succeed in the eyes of his peers and he will work hard to get skilled at that activity.
Girls and their adult representatives don’t intuitively understand these things. They may say the words but they don’t have much of a feel for them. That’s why I say boys are smarter than their teachers and girls – at least on this issue.
[This idea came out of a conversation with Rob, Pat and Kay. Thank you.]