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"Don't teach boys to be like girls" - really interesting article

(93 Posts)
zog Wed 09-Jul-08 10:52:05


I agree with every word. Sue Palmer talks so much sense - can't she be Minister for Education??

megcleary Wed 09-Jul-08 10:54:31

i did enjoy that yesterday very sensible how i miss sensible ....

ButterflyMcQueen Wed 09-Jul-08 11:01:24

hmm dont really buy it

if boys have so much energy and testosterone - let them

1. walk home from school
2. when they get there dont let them sit infront of screens for however many hours - problem solved

ChazsBarmyArmy Wed 09-Jul-08 11:12:18

I have sent ds to a boys only school partly for some of the reasons in this article. They have playing fields, a jungle gym, climbing frame, sandpit etc. My son didn't get a medal at sports day because he was 4th in his race. Additionally, there is a higher proportion of male teachers. Robust play is understood and dealt with accordingly. Equality of treatment and opportunity is not necessarily the same as identical treatment.

pigleto Wed 09-Jul-08 11:14:28

I have just been to sports day. all the sports were done in relay teams so that it was impossible to see who won. They tally up the scores and announce which team won following day. Ds summed it up as "pointless and boring".

He is very male. He likes machines and sums and jumping on his friends and farting. He likes superheros and war stories.

Why are primary schools so set on worshiping Florence bloody Nightingale and ignoring Douglas Bader? I am all for positive female role models but there does not seem to be any balance.

zog Wed 09-Jul-08 11:21:46

BM, that's fine at 10, but aged 5?

ButterflyMcQueen Wed 09-Jul-08 11:23:41


my five year old does

zog Wed 09-Jul-08 11:25:25

What, on their own? Just wouldn't happen around here.

ButterflyMcQueen Wed 09-Jul-08 11:26:23

no not on own with dad

zog Wed 09-Jul-08 11:27:13

FWIW, I agree with you - I wish they could walk home by themselves, play a bit of footie or go for a ride on their bikes, climb a few trees etc. Rather than being driven about and plonked in front of the TV. But we don't live in the age of freedom for children.

elmoandella Wed 09-Jul-08 11:28:04

whats wrong with girls running around doing all these competitive things too.

not only boys suffer from being wrapped in cotton wool.

margoandjerry Wed 09-Jul-08 11:33:24

I hate this kind of stereotyping. All children like competition in the things they are good in and don't like it in things they are bad at.

You telling me the speccy weedy boy who can't catch a ball likes sports day? No he doesn't.

pralinegirl Wed 09-Jul-08 11:34:31

I read this - it was so true! I was very close to my neice when she was little but her brother was so much harder to entertain at home if it rained and if we went out he just wanted to move, quickly. Now I have my DS it is just the same. I think there should generally be more little breaks and exercise at school anyway. At his nursery they have confiscated all weapons, even things that only faintly resemble weapons or were being used by the boys as weapons, honestly I laughed so much when I tried to imagine what they were! But its a real sex difference - I personally am not in favour of little kids with toy guns at nursery but it seemed a bit much.....I plan to tire him out with sport when he starts school and comes home.
Actually would suggest more breaks and exercise at work too, am having one now.blush

maretta Wed 09-Jul-08 11:35:31

How paranoid is this bloke who comments at the bottom

Women stay in teaching jobs because it gives them the power to (try to) change the boys' behaviour. It's how feminism operates - anything that doesn't conform to the feminist ideal must be irradicated and little children are seen as the most maleable. The result - problem boys
Bob Finbow, Haverhill, England

AtheneNoctua Wed 09-Jul-08 11:37:15

Couldn't agree more, Elmo.

My girl is competitive and physical and has the attention span of a gnat. And she hates reading. She also can be a real drama queen and loves princesses and new clothes.

My boy is passive and cuddly and loves to read at age 3. He also gets physical runs around smacking things like a typical boy.

If I had to pick the child who most thrives on competition it is definitely DD. She will take competitive sports after school because they are great for her self esteem when she wins. I don't get too work up about reading progess iin reception because the school/government get worked up enough for the both of us. I focus on the things I think they are not providing. And competitive sports is high on my list for her.

DS is a bit too young (3.2) to tell if competitive sports are for him. Or maybe he will be my scholar blowing all the sterotypes out of the water.

margoandjerry Wed 09-Jul-08 11:41:07

Jesus, maretta. That comment is scary.

There's a special place in lunacyland for people who post comments on newspaper articles (not on MN obviously grin)

They start off ok but inevitably end in "There are no feminine women anymore. I had got go to Thailand and buy a Thai bride in order to find a truly feminine lady" (and that's a direct quote from one loon who posts on Timesonline).

Gizmo Wed 09-Jul-08 11:46:18

This article rang a big bell for my two boys, particularly DS1 who is extremely male - high systematic, highly energetic.

LOL at Thai Lady Bride man. The comments on Times Online are one of the reasons I really don't want to read the Times anymore!

Tortington Wed 09-Jul-08 11:47:38

margoandJerry "I hate this kind of stereotyping. All children like competition in the things they are good in and don't like it in things they are bad at.

You telling me the speccy weedy boy who can't catch a ball likes sports day? No he doesn't. "

that is the crux. i absolutley know that no one will take notice - this thread will continue on its on "how very dare they" route - but if fundementlly you are good at something - the reason you are considered "good" is because the majority of other children aren't.

and that can be ANYHING.

my dd is better than ds ( twins) in different subjects academically

and they are competetive about their difering skill sets in diferingarenas

so they fight for my praise by sayin that they are better than the other in history or maths or science - and each can outdo the other depending on the subject.

ds can bea the shit out of dd at BMX and skateboarding - they share the same (ish) peer group and therefore he is better than she a those thing when wanting peer group praise.

i do believe that girls and boys learn diffrently, but i swear on my anjo dropping off - its all about the home environment and parenting.

Tortington Wed 09-Jul-08 11:48:48

fanjo not anjo

i don't posess the latter

bozza Wed 09-Jul-08 11:49:47

DS (at age 7) is definitely an academic type. He reads/writes well and is good at maths. He would not win much on the sports field although he does have a great love of football and spends lots of time kicking a ball around.

I feel this article does rather stereotype boys. Also DD is a more competitive child than DS.

SheherazadetheGoat Wed 09-Jul-08 11:54:28

this sort of article pisses me off. it is essentially anti-woman. any female environment is bad for boys, any feminising of society is bad for boy. i would bet my fanjo that behind alot of 'problem' boys smashing up classrooms there is a set of parents who constantly worry about their ds not being 'girly' or 'gay' or 'weak' and generaly fecking up their boys quite nicely by themselves.

LittleMyDancing Wed 09-Jul-08 12:04:39

You see I think a lot of her points have nothing to do with gender but are relevant to a discussion about how schools and parents have become risk averse and the effect this has on our children.

And this will affect both boys and girls, but in different ways. Making it all about boys does girls a disservice.

DrNortherner Wed 09-Jul-08 12:10:49

I think this article is spot on.

I have ds who is 6 and teh author could be talking about him. In reception we had major issues with school as he had a HUGE competetive streak that they just did not like.

"It is a biological necessity that boys run about, take risks, swing off things and compete with each other to develop properly." I would agree with that in the whole.

At ds's school at home time the majority of teh boys don't wlka through the gate they climb over the railings on the pushchair ramp just beacuse they can. A mum (of a dd I must add) commented last week in a loud voice that the boys were being very naughty and they should not climb.

Me? I couldn't give a toss. Let them climb it I say.

Crystaltipsandalaistar Wed 09-Jul-08 12:15:41

my son always walks along the wall when he comes out of school, always! Never the gate!
And if there is a tree, he will be up it!

Gizmo Wed 09-Jul-08 12:15:48

hmm Scheherazade - I'll try not to take your comments personally...

All I know is that I have spent two years working with school to try and help DS1 fit in. Despite my best efforts he is not always well behaved in class, particularly struggling with circle time. If I could talk him into being a bit more 'girly/weak' I would do so like a shot, it would make his life so much easier!

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