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Feminism: chat

Sexism and teenage boys - what do they think?

146 replies

wiltonism · 21/08/2021 14:50

It's there, of course it is. My friend's very bright daughter was told to 'get back in the kitchen' by a boy in her class last year. And obviously I can't get what happened in Plymouth out of my head.

But what do teenage boys think about this? Is there any research? Where do I look?

OP posts:
AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 00:55

[quote CBUK2K2]@AssassinatedBeauty I think its you that's missed the point, you're the one randomly making assertions about sexual assault in an entirety unrelated context.[/quote]
Not just me. The uk government also,

www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges/review-of-sexual-abuse-in-schools-and-colleges

So, not a random unconnected assertion. There's a connection between a sexist environment created in schools, and sexual assaults/harassment. Sexist language directed towards girls isn't just an "idea they don't like" and not tolerating it isn't a sign of a monoculture of thought or opinions.

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 01:01

@AssassinatedBeauty I'm going to take that with the massive pinch of salt it deserves, given it's written by the same ideologues who've created the whole ridiculous environment in which school children learn today it's hardly unbiased.

ChaneySays · 06/09/2021 01:08

Yes, it's not surprising they want to focus on sexism when one of the objectives seems to be to remove the distinction between biological sex in favour of 'whatever you feel like'.

Justilou1 · 06/09/2021 01:20

I think that one of the worst thing you can accuse a teenager of is not being “woke” these days, but they all know the theory of equality, they all know what to say, etc… However that isn’t going to stop them from taking every advantage when a female is disadvantaged due to their sex in the workplace. (To get ahead in their career or financially.) This doesn’t stop them from manipulating and pressuring girls to have sex in the same manner as generations have done previously - “If you really loved me, you would do it”/“I will find somebody better who does.” They know how to play in the insecurities of girls/women to get what they want just like they always have. There are abusers and bullies from this generation in the same proportion as there has always been. Anything else is naive.

ChaneySays · 06/09/2021 02:22

@Justilou1

I think that one of the worst thing you can accuse a teenager of is not being “woke” these days, but they all know the theory of equality, they all know what to say, etc… However that isn’t going to stop them from taking every advantage when a female is disadvantaged due to their sex in the workplace. (To get ahead in their career or financially.) This doesn’t stop them from manipulating and pressuring girls to have sex in the same manner as generations have done previously - “If you really loved me, you would do it”/“I will find somebody better who does.” They know how to play in the insecurities of girls/women to get what they want just like they always have. There are abusers and bullies from this generation in the same proportion as there has always been. Anything else is naive.

Exactly. That's why individuals need to be able to stand on their own two feet, because there will always be people who knowingly try and bully or intimidate others to further their own ends. These people don't need 'educated' because they already know they're wrong and probably don't care.
AlexaShutUp · 06/09/2021 06:55

[quote CBUK2K2]@AlexaShutUp Unless you know some magic way of ensuring these young people will never be subject to any form of difficult, stressful or unpleasant situation it seems they'd be better served in learning to deal with adversity than trying to hide them from it.

There generally isn't a teacher to go and tell in the real world and as much as some seem to want to you cant ban anything that isn't 100% aligned with your beliefs.[/quote]
I absolutely believe in teaching kids to deal with adversity rather than hiding from it. That's why I have taught her to call out sexist or racist behaviour and challenge it head on, rather than believing that she just has to suck it up and minimise it. That's what I would expect people to do in the workplace too.

Theeyeballsinthesky · 06/09/2021 09:29

twitter.com/womans_place_uk/status/1434789115145375745?s=21

Sex abuse cases between children double
9 in 10 of the alleged abusers were boys and 8 out of 10 the abuse was perpetrated on girls

It’s all part of a continuum

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 10:53

@Justilou1 Again, this view is another product of teaching kids there are no winners and looser in life, when in the real world is one big competition.

As an employer, if you want to continue to have a business to employ people you need to favour the people who give most value to your business. It's not personal, it's not about peoples feelings, it's survival in a very tough world.

Statistically men work 20% more hours than women and are willing to sacrifice more kids sports days etc in favour of work.

Anything else is like suggesting that we should all take turns at the Olympics or playing for Chelsea.

You can keep blaming sexism, arguing men should stand aside and let women have jobs or you can work out how to be more valuable than your male colleges.

Justilou1 · 06/09/2021 11:18

@CBUK2K2
I came back to say that while I will not deny that sexism exists in schools, or anywhere, I think the overriding problem is entitlement … I feel like I am constantly telling my kids that a lot of that fluffy stuff they are taught at school is bullshit, and they have to be empathetic while remaining resilient and safe. (I have had the recent experience of becoming further enlightened by commencing an entirely new course of study as I had towards my 50’s and am deeply concerned about the entitled, young borderline psychopaths I am frequently encountering who are straight out of school. They are openly racist, sexist (both male and female), but what stands out even more is the disproportionate level of entitlement and an unwillingness to accept constructive criticism (or even worse, failure without revenge!)

LobsterNapkin · 06/09/2021 13:13

I do think it's a bad idea to give students the sense that people saying things they don't like, or expressing opinions they think are sexist, is the same as assault or even harassment. It's just not.

On the other hand, there can be an extremely stressful environment in schools because of what amounts to verbal harassment by other students. Some of it is just idiots being smart alecs, some is intentionally intended to isolate certain students. My daughter was very much subject to this last year in school.

My observation there and elsewhere though is that it's not usually just sexist stuff, it's all kinds of comments from male and female students, directed towards certain kids. Middle school seems to be the worst time for it. And I think that often, the sexist or sexual comments are closely related to the other comments from girls - they are mainly designed to be belittling.

RubySlippers123 · 06/09/2021 17:42

I heard a lovely account by Deborah Frances White of her talking to teenaged boys in a school about feminism. It was very hopeful:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2h9F3X6w4UPpuYV997q6ZL?si=riVoL39tRimmxBpyQ70mSQ&dl_branch=1

(Sadly the man in the episode was a bit annoying though)

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 17:59

@RubySlippers123 I've got to ask why boys would want to support feminism? A cause that solely promotes females. I could see them getting behind equal-ism or fair-ism but to expect them to get behind what's currently sold as feminism is going to be a stretch.

AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 18:50

@RubySlippers123

I heard a lovely account by Deborah Frances White of her talking to teenaged boys in a school about feminism. It was very hopeful:

[[https://open.spotify.com/episode/2h9F3X6w4UPpuYV997q6ZL?si=riVoL39tRimmxBpyQ70mSQ&dl_branch=1]]

(Sadly the man in the episode was a bit annoying though)

Thanks for that Ruby, it sounds very interesting.
AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 18:52

@CBUK2K2, oh, I don't know, maybe they support feminism because they recognise that women and girls are fully human and of equal worth to men and boys? Just a thought Wink. Nothing in feminism is about denying boys and men equality, and indeed the goals of feminism will benefit society as a whole which is a win/win.

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 19:38

@AssassinatedBeauty Then why isn't it called equal-ism then? The goal of feminism is to benefit females hence the title.

AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 19:49

No, the goal of feminism was and is to fight for the rights of women, for liberation from patriarchal constructs. Not "benefits" for women above and beyond what anyone as a human being should have. The term "feminism" was used in the mid to late 1800s to describe the political/social movement campaigning for women's rights e.g. to vote, to own property, to get divorced, to have custody of their children, to work, to study and so on. Of course, women and others were campaigning or fighting for these kinds of goals prior to that era, but not using the term 'feminism" as a descriptor.

Guineapigbridge · 06/09/2021 19:51

Boys should support feminism because it frees them from being held to (often toxic) male stereotypes too.

I agree with you CBUK2K2 about teaching them to stand up for themselves. We've created a generation of people who wither under any sort of adversity. The world is adversity!

MrsTophamHat · 06/09/2021 19:53

Some of boys i teach are under the impression thst feminism means that 'girls are best and boys are crap'. They often roll in into other "wokery" and think it's about being professionally offended etc.

When i ask them in plain language about feminist principles of equality and respect, their views are in line with feminist aims, but they then do not like it when i tell them that they are feminists.

proudwomansexmatters · 06/09/2021 19:53

@CBUK2K2

We've had 25 years of trying to protect kids from anything like this that may cause offence and it has in my opinion done massive harm.

When did we decide to teach children that words were in fact just as bad as sticks and stones?

If she were my child I'd personally be trying to equip her with a few retorts to put him back in his box and remind her its just (a poor) attempt at humour.

This ^
AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 20:00

If a male work colleague told a female work colleague to "get back in the kitchen" there would be serious consequences for them, rightly so. It is sexist verbal abuse and girls should not have to put up with it in their day to day life because adults refuse to act and simply tell girls to put up with it for fear of being seen as a woke snowflake. It's not a valid opinion to be discussed or tolerated, it's regressive misogyny and doesn't deserve to be aired, whether as a poor attempt at "humour", or to simply irritate, or said in all seriousness. Should black children be told to brush off comments like "get back to the jungle" said "in jest"??

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 20:33

@AssassinatedBeauty Are you so insecure about being a woman that an idiot telling you to "get back in the kitchen" actually bothers you?

Why not put some energy in to developing some come backs to shoot them down? Or just quietly take them to one side and ask them not to be an ar*e.

I'm struggling to think of a work place where you can survive when being so thin skinned.

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 20:38

@MrsTophamHat That may be down to boys being indoctrinated from an early age that any male who has ambition is part of the "patriarchy" and is inherently bad.

There is a fundamental difference in the way society views hardships faced by men and women too.

They're not alone in this view, I've met quite a few women over the years who completely ignore their own personality flaws and short comings because they can easily blame them on men. It doesn't help them in any way, they just end up bitter.

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 20:41

@Guineapigbridge Most of these views are only considered "toxic" by a certain section of society. They have been built up by countless generations and served men very well. But today women seem to want men and boys to behave how women want them to and not how they want them to. Possibly down to the fairly nonsensical idea that men and women are the same.

CBUK2K2 · 06/09/2021 20:43

@AssassinatedBeauty That "was" the goal of feminism, however as we lurch further and further towards the extremes we've gone a long way past "lets make everyone equal" to "woman good, man bad"

AssassinatedBeauty · 06/09/2021 20:47

What an odd personal comment. It's not about me. And you also seem to think that it's impossible to both teach girls how to respond to such comments in the moment and also deal with the boys behaviour afterwards. Both are possible and no one is suggesting that girls will dissolve in the face of such comments. Indeed, we've been putting up with it since the dawn of time.

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