White working-class boys at the bottom of the class

(36 Posts)
aceofflower Sun 15-Sep-13 01:31:38

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236472/White-working-class-boys-the-class-aged-just-five.html

Is this the fault of the evil feminists? Or is it more likely because girls are now given equal rights their intelligence is coming out and exposing boys as how stupid they really are?

mathanxiety Wed 18-Sep-13 04:02:31

I agree

zippey Wed 18-Sep-13 01:59:56

I think the OP's post is crass and makes her sound like a man hating feminist cliché.

Is this the fault of the evil feminists? Or is it more likely because girls are now given equal rights their intelligence is coming out and exposing boys as how stupid they really are?

It doesn't do anyone any good to hate men, or classify them as stupid. A lot of feminists are married to men or have children who will become men. And just because you do not do well in school does not mean you are stupid.

mathanxiety Tue 17-Sep-13 07:17:33

The UK has the largest gap between high and low achievers in Europe. It also has the highest level of correlation between social class and achievement or non-achievement.

Chotter Mon 16-Sep-13 21:00:02

What do you see as the major reasons kim?

kim147 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:55

It's real. White boys on FSM don't do very well. So many reasons.

Chotter Mon 16-Sep-13 15:20:29

I wonder how significant this 'failure' is. If we take the education system as a whole, we could divide the participants up in many ways - by gender, social class, geography, ethnicity, religious beliefs etc etc. Whichever way you slice this cake, it is highly likely that a group will appear at the bottom of the table each time. Question is, how do we know if it is significant? How far away are the bottom group from the mean or median? I am sure there are some statisticians here who might be able to clarify this. I don't know.

Abra1d Mon 16-Sep-13 13:44:30

I suspect some (not all) of the problem with the achievement of white working class boys lies with white working class men.

I know of families round here where the fathers never ever attend an event at the boys' primary or secondary schools. No parents' evenings. No sports days. They do not read to their boys. They do not listen to them read. They regard school and the family's relationship to it as their wives'/partners' 'work'. They think it's acceptable to take their sons out of school to spend a day on the X-box. We are friends with a family where the boys' success in getting good apprenticeships in sought-after companies is entirely down to the mother's efforts over 14 years and despite the lack of interest from the father.

Perhaps, for the reasons Math gives in relation to Northern Ireland (thanks for that--very interesting), this will change as fathers realise that jobs in apprenticeships or in the local car works are now very rare and precious things and more educational qualifications are essential.

Lottapianos Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:33

'Early Years education favours the way boys learn, by being more fluid, learning by doing etc etc, so surely, if EY is so very important, then boys should be doing better?'

The way boys learn? Not all boys are the same. Not all girls are the same. It's downright dangerous to assume that children (or adults for that matter) will behave and learn in a particular way just because of their biological sex.

JakeBullet Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:50

Hoping and praying that the OP does not have any sons...if she does then I pity them. sad

Yes we do Chotter, but imagine two scenarios for a moment:

The first is that you glance at someone briefly, take in their physique, hairstyle and coat and address them using a female pronoun. They are silent, you look again and realise they are male. How much of a faux pas do you feel you've made? How awkward is the situation now?

The second is you hear a few words in a strong regional accent and address the person as...uh... oh. There are no words that convey their status as either posh or well off, is there. You don't need to categorise them just to talk to them. Yet we need to know someone's gender so we can talk to them using the right mode of address.

See what I mean? Gender is THE category. It seems to me.

Chotter Mon 16-Sep-13 11:37:39

We judge by gender. We judge by clothing. We judge by accent. We judge by language and grammar. We judge by what car they drive, where they live, what tv they watch, what magazines and books they read, what school they went to, etc etc.

I do anyway, but then I am a judgemental snob wink

everyone judges people by their gender. They can't help it, society is set up to judge people by their gender. You know, that's why we're colour coded, so that everyone knows whether we like shopping or football hmm

BringBackBod Mon 16-Sep-13 10:10:02

boys are stupid because they judge people by their gender.

Aren't you doing the same thing yourself sydlexic?

mathanxiety Mon 16-Sep-13 00:24:56

There are lots of white British boys who do very well in school. It might be useful to see what the differences between them and the white British underachievers are.

CaptChaos Mon 16-Sep-13 00:20:21

Ummmmm, ace are you having a bad day or something?

Girls are not more intelligent, nor are boys stupid. Education has always been about sitting still, being quiet and being attentive, or did everyone studying history get given the wrong information? Early Years education favours the way boys learn, by being more fluid, learning by doing etc etc, so surely, if EY is so very important, then boys should be doing better?

Maybe feminism is partly to blame by raising girls' aspirations. From having a fairly narrow set of choices, girls now have as many choices as boys (on paper).

Even if the title of this thread is correct (and given it's source, I bloody doubt it) the OP can rest assured that those white working class boys will still end up better off than their female counterparts and working class males of colour in the end. So, that's nice hmm

sydlexic Sun 15-Sep-13 23:10:39

Boys are stupid, because they judge people by their gender.

KaseyM Sun 15-Sep-13 23:03:15

Bringbackbod- of course not! It was at the OP that I was directing my annoyance, not at you!

It's the framing of feminism as being anti-boy that makes my blood boil ....

BringBackBod Sun 15-Sep-13 21:14:19

KaseyM. I hope my post didn't come across the wrong way.
I certainly don't think of boys as stupid.
The op seems to think that though.

mathanxiety Sun 15-Sep-13 20:59:53

NeoMaxi I agree with SummerHoliDidi -- it's the culture of the families and their wider community that is failing the boys. Being interested in books is seen as the sort of thing only girls do. Vanity demands that boys hold themselves aloof from what girls do lest they be seen as effeminate.

Traditionally all that the men in these communities had going for them was that at least they weren't women and could bring in a man's wage even though that wage was low and even though it was won at the cost of a life of dreary physical labour even if skilled.

The male identity still depends heavily on being 'not a girl or woman'. Traditionally, all that the protestant working class in NI had going for it was that they were 'not Catholics' -- with all that entailed: dominance of the police force and judiciary and the expectation of their voice being heard on city councils to some extent.

Protestant and Catholics working classes both lived in tiny, grim, two up/ two down terraced housing with outdoor plumbing. Men and women alike shared the same miserable working class existence in industrial Britain. But there were perks to being a man or being a protestant that women did not have, or Catholics in NI.

It is hard to drop the illusion of superiority that went with being a man or being a protestant and play an unfamiliar game now that things have changed - in NI, Catholics share power and the police and judiciary are monitored, local government services are doled out fairly, and Britain is now a post industrial country, with the service sector replacing the industrial.

Homophobia and bigotry and misogyny account for the failure of boys in some sectors of society, to put it very simply.

KaseyM Sun 15-Sep-13 20:38:33

"boys finally exposed as stupid" - what a stupid thing to say.

Not fault of feminists - fault of messed up culture that teaches boys that learning is for geeks and that anything associated with girls (which education increasingly is) is to be avoided like the plague.

Feminists believe neither of those things IMO.

BringBackBod Sun 15-Sep-13 17:25:33

So what do you think is the reason aceofflower?
Do you think it's the fault of the evil feminists, or that boys have finally been exposed as stupid?
sad

rosy71 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:57:43

The report appears to be about boys on free school meals. That is not the same as working class.

kim147 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:02:42

"Not cool to learn"

This. I had an interview at a school recently. I was interviewed by the school council and asked them what made the school good to learn at. They said that at other schools, being successful is seen as "geeky" but at their school, success was celebrated and was seen as positive.

Aspirations and seeing a need to recognise that education is useful and will get you somewhere. But the curriculum needs looking at as it might not be suitable / motivating for people who are not academic.

The statistics are worrying and something needs doing about them.

Childrenofthestones Sun 15-Sep-13 10:48:26

poster aceofflower
"Is this the fault of the evil feminists? Or is it more likely because girls are now given equal rights their intelligence is coming out *and exposing boys as how stupid they really are?*"

Yes.......why not throw rocks at them while your at it.

SprinkleLiberally Sun 15-Sep-13 09:55:37

I never understand the argument that coursework has made the difference. Most subjects are still 75% exam. Still favouring "boy preferences" if you believe that. Cultural attitudes are the main cause IMO. Not cool to learn.

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