The Demise of Guys
I used this little secular booklet based on a TED talk while preparing for my Circe talk on Mothers and Sons. Parts of it are a bit crass but still helpful in dealing with the crisis in manhood our culture is facing.
"Many men we surveyed said they felt most like a man when they were honest about who they were, confidently made decisions and actively pursued their dreams. Men are naturally risk takers and explorers, they like to master things. Knowing that they’re needed motivates them, and they want respect from their peers, specifically from other guys."
"Leonard Sax, an American psychologist and family physician, says our culture does a terrible job of preparing kids for the moment when they realize they’re not going to be the next big thing..."
"In a world that contains more than six billion people, 99.999 percent of us are going to have to get used to the idea that we are not anybody special. Becoming a mature adult means reconciling yourself to the fact that you’re not going to be a movie star, you’re not going to be on the cover of People magazine, you’re not going to be famous. Our culture today does a terrible job of preparing kids for this moment and helping them to make the transition to full adulthood. ... When boys encounter The Great Disappointment, many of them find solace in the world of video games. If you’re a boy or young man and you invest 20 hours or more each week playing Call of Duty, you can indeed become master of that universe. And for many boys, that is satisfaction enough."
"And now that many schools receive funding based on test results, teachers teach for those outcomes, not for curiosity or critical thinking, nor for learning nonspecific principals or values. Such training to focus on fact memorization lowers the intellectual level of the teachers themselves, not just their bored students."
"...international comparative tests. In Finland, which ranked No. 1, children don’t start formal schooling until they’re 7 years old,63 but they are learning much at home from their families..."
"Part of the problem is that we are telling boys their inner worlds are unacceptable and scary, therefore they have no other outlet for their impulses. This is all contributing to an overall decrease in motivation to contribute or partake in real-world events..."
"Play sports. Few activities teach mental toughness and collaboration like team sports."
Each of these quotes is discussion worthy so feel free to talk about them in the comments. You can even disagree :)