It’s no longer a man’s world, according to Tucker Carlson. And he may be on to something big here!
The Fox News anchor recently launched “Men in America”, a series which looks at the changing gender dynamics. In the inaugural episode, Carlson unleashed a torrent of statistics of suicides, substance abuse, incarceration, marriages, the number of adult males living with their parents and biological changes—all of which support the theory that “men are failing in mind, body and spirit”. Don’t turn the page yet!
As Carlson pointed out, the seriousness of the problem lies in our unwillingness to accept that there is one.
As a mother of two young men, almost everything he said resonated with me. Over the years, I have often compared their initiative (or rather a lack of it) to girls of a similar age. The girls certainly seem to bring their A-game to every opportunity while the boys (mine at least) tend to be more laid back and willing to step aside.
While I initially attributed this to their laziness and immaturity, Carlson got me thinking in a whole different direction.
Is the empowerment of women causing us to push our boys off to the side?
Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, cultural critic and professor at the University of Toronto, is of the opinion that schooling could be partly responsible for this new submissiveness in men. He says that the lack of competition (in schools) is detrimental to the male spirit. I agree!
I have witnessed the slow demise of the fighting spirit in my first-born after we moved from India to the West. From kindergarten to grade two (in the United States), his teachers promoted a collaborative rather than competitive attitude. He was discouraged from taking pride in his academic achievements in order to prevent less-accomplished classmates from “feeling bad”. In fact, he was told never to talk about it and use his talents to help the others instead. We never understood why both could not co-exist. After all each has its place and value.
On the baseball and soccer fields his coaches constantly reinforced the message that winning or losing didn’t count. It was all about having fun! (Another blow to competition!) Many of us parents felt it prevented the boys from doing their best.
Compare these messages to the ones we are trying to send little girls and young women… it is no surprise that they are more willing to fight for what they want than our boys.
Carlson also makes a reference to video game addiction among boys as being detrimental to their development. I am with him on this one too! Social skills, interpersonal relations and mental health suffer because of it.
A study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto revealed that more than one in three students in Grades 7 to 12 reported experiencing high levels of psychological distress in 2015. That was up from nine per cent in 2007, when the video gaming problem was first monitored. CAMH also noted the problem was more prevalent among boys, with 20 per cent reporting symptoms, compared with five per cent of girls. You might compare this to girls’ usage of and dependence on social media. But from what I’ve seen its seems less harmful than living in the virtual world of video games.
Peterson believes that indoctrination in schools of gender equality and the association of masculinity with aggressiveness and violence has also caused boys to take a big step back.
Yes, it is troubling that feminism has become synonymous with male bashing… and the #MeToo movement hasn’t helped.
It shames all men.
While all the shootings in America cause us to focus on gun control, its worth nothing that troubled young men are at the centre of the problem. Perceived physical, mental and social deficiencies are a leading cause of male depression and isolation and the consequent aggressive or suicidal acts.
The fallout of teaching girls that they are more than equal seems to be our boys feeling inadequate and less confident of their gender and abilities.
The rising aggressiveness in women and mildness in men has caused a social imbalance of sorts.
An equal society should not favour any gender, race or creed. While there is good reason why women are being propelled forward, one must spare some thought for how overdoing it could impact the future generations of men. Lest there comes a time when boys feel inferior to their female siblings, classmates and coworkers. What will we do then? Reverse the cycle again?
The empowerment of women does not have to mean downgrading men. After all equality is all about giving each one its due and co-existing. It’s time to be sensitive and fair to both men and women. – CINEWS