I spent the morning discussing gender issues with a friend this morning.
It has caused me to pause and look at where we sit on this. Where did burning the bras really get us?
The pendulum has certainly put the genders on a much more level table but there are side effects. Side effects that are never thought of until years later. Side effects that there is really no accountability for.
The problem was a serious one. Women and men deserve all the same rights, opportunities and privileges. At this moment, however, the pendulum has swung too far.
Example, there are no boys in the Girl Guides, but there are girls in what was once called the Boy Scouts. There are all-girl schools…four in the Toronto area that I know of, but all-boy schools only one…and I’m pretty sure that is no longer all boys.
This newest generation, the bubblewrap generation, is being taught that there is no difference between the genders other than anatomy…and I suspect that part may be hushed up.
Combine this with the “no child left behind” policy that our schools are now following, and we have at least one major side effect that no one considered with their liberal coloured glasses.
Masculinity has been defanged, declawed, shot and buried in the back yard. “Boys will be boys” is no longer an acceptable defense for anything in this climate.
As an extension, aggression is vanishing from the mainstream. There is no longer a hunger to improve as everything is handed to our children regardless of ability.
The aggression we do see has become theatre or has been taken underground. Professional athletes or organized crime, take your pick. Our predators are becoming more violent and perverse with every hooker unearthed in Vancouver backyards or dumped on a Long Island beach.
All very frightening, but I think our American friends have started to push the pendulum back…and this scares me even further. The Tea Party ideals would want to return us away from things like the female vote and have African-Americans riding only in the back of the bus once again.
The mistake with gender equality (nor racial equality)was not in the concept of equality. It was in pulling down…dumbing down those on top and pulling them back to level, rather than finding ways to push the others up to that level. The male chauvinist and racist attitudes had to be fixed, true…but we are at the point where things lke Affirmative Action are hurting caucasian males more than helping anyone else.
The problem was not that we needed to take aggression out of our kids…we just needed to teach them how to direct it. Soccer moms screaming that their daughters should be playing hockey on boys teams is not how we teach excellence…the female goalie playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 90s was more a publicity stunt than a quality signing.
They have said that those of us from the 70s and 80s would be the first generation to not do as well as our parents financially. When I look at the bubblewrap generation coming it is not their financials that concern me.