Boys to Men

It’s 2012 (which I assume you’re already aware of), and we sadly have lots of misogyny hanging over our society. It’s makes me all kinds of frustrated and angry, especially now that I have a daughter.

Thank goodness women aren’t completely alone in the fight for equality. There are some of us (I like to think of us as “men”) who see this fight as our fight, too. Men and women are both speaking up against the archaic patriarchal structure maintained by idiots (I like to think of them as “boys”).

There are two excellent blog posts I would like to direct your attention to, both written by men who get it.

First, there’s John Scalzi’s brilliant take down of little boy Joe Peacock’s immature attempts to label some geek women as “fake geeks,” “Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be.” The idea that there is such a thing as “real geeks” and “fake geeks” is patently stupid, but some boys just love to be exclusionary.

Ernest Adams looks at why immature males will be exclusionary (and loudly misogynistic) and exhorts men to stand up to these jerks in “A Call to Arms for Decent Men.”

When we were little boys we all went through a stage when we said we hated girls. Girls had “cooties.” They were silly and frilly and everything that a boy isn’t supposed to be. We got into this stage at about age seven, and we left it again at maybe 10 or 11.

Then puberty hit and, if we were straight, we actively wanted the company of girls. We wanted to “go with” them, date them, and eventually we wanted to fall in love and live with one, maybe for the rest of our lives. That’s the way heterosexual boys are supposed to mature, unless they become monks.

My point is, you’re supposed to leave that phase of hating girls behind. Straight or gay, you’re supposed to grow the hell up.

Josh Fact: I never went through that “girls are icky” stage. I’ve always liked females. I’ve always wanted to hang around with them, I’ve always wanted to include them in my games and play. Which is probably a big part of why I tend to have more female friends than male and why I’m so uncomfortable hanging around immature men. I don’t understand the appeal of a “man cave” or a “guys’ night out.” The appeal of doing something without women eludes me.

So, thank you, John and Ernest! Men, let’s continue to be good examples to both women and boys. Let’s teach boys that misogyny isn’t funny, it isn’t cool, and it isn’t acceptable at all. And let’s remind women that men aren’t out to exclude, bully or hurt them–only immature boys are, and we men and women can deal with those losers. You with me?


10 thoughts on “Boys to Men

  1. I referred to myself as a ‘Gamer Girl’ once. I was informed I was not a Gamer because I was a girl and not to refer to myself as such. My years of playing World of Warcraft and basically every other Blizzard game don’t count apparently.

  2. Yeah, that’s nonsense. You don’t need a joystick to be a gamer.

  3. I am posting this somewhat pseudonymously for a range of reasons.

    One of the things I admire so much about you, Josh, is your willingness to put ALLof yourself out there.

    I agree 100% with all that you say in this post, and have said some of it in conversations. I just wish I could be more bold.


  4. Wow, thanks Former Library Director! That’s a tremendous compliment!

  5. You know that I’m frequently around bro-type boys who think they’re men (usu in their early to mid 20s). I call them on every piece of sexist/misogynist BS I hear come out of their mouths. I can almost just tell by their reactions to that calling out whether they’ll outgrow it or not. Sadly, some will live as man-children forever and there’s not a whole lot anyone can do about that. The whole paradigm of raising male children should be rethought IMO.

  6. The whole paradigm of raising male children should be rethought IMO.

    Oh, definitely! We shouldn’t be teaching girls to protect themselves and to not go out at night, we should be teaching boys not to rape.

    At least we’ve raised a daughter who won’t stand for that sexist bullshit.

  7. She definitely knows what sorts of boys/men to not include in her life, that’s for sure. AND – Who could ask for a better tough, opinionated, independent, confident, egalitarian female role model than me? 😛 Srsly, though – if I’d had a son rather than a daughter, it would have been the same tactics. Teaching critical/independent thinking, general kindness, not being a jerk, etc.

  8. Ignore typos, plsthx.

  9. I fixed your typo. 😉

  10. Thank you! I do have my professional pride to think about.

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