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FINAL BR for the semester.  Cut-off date posting is December 9, 2013. 

READ: "War Against Boys" (by Kimmel - in Dropbox "Articles" folder)

1. Summary: Discuss what is meant by “the war on boys.” What is meant by “misguided feminism”? What are Kimmel’s counter-claims to these arguments?
2.  Regarding the following quote from the article


On college campuses, wo.men now constitute the majority of students, passing men in 1982, so that in eight years women will earn 58 percent of bachelor's degrees in U.S. colleges. Doomsayers lament that women now outnumber men in the social and behavioral sciences byabout 3 to 1, and they've "invaded" such traditionally male bastions as engineering (where they now make up 20 percent of all students) and biology and business (virtually par).

What accounts for these surges in outcomes for women in higher learning? Why might this be seen as a
threat to some interests? Also, what other academic “bastions” are considered “male” in our culture?
How are some disciplines gendered “male”?

3. Kimmel references sociologist Cynthia Fuchs who says that the gender distinctions are “deceptive.”
What does she mean by this? What is her more balanced way of looking at the issue?

 4. Math and science are for boys. English and foreign languages are for girls. Therefore, boys who like
English are “girlie,” and girls who like science are “butch.” As new scholars in academia, have you
observed anything in your experiences to support or contradict these stereotypes?

 


Comments

Fuentes, Fatima
12/05/2013 12:28pm

Fatima Fuentes
The “war on boys” by Michael Kimmel talks about how boys are having crisis in which schools do not tolerate their innate being as masculine, aggressive and competitive. It tackles about boy in their adolescent stage where they mostly drop out of school, commit crime and suicide and having emotional problems. These behaviors are the results of intolerance of the innate behaviors of boys in school and the society. They are often reprimanded when they play and become aggressive and competitive, and simply do what boys usually do. Misguided feminism, according to Kimmel, do not tolerate and ignores the natural biological differences between boys and girls, and see masculinity as, somehow, inappropriate. Kimmel’s counter claims about misguided feminism, discussed about the government fund or money which could have been allotted to extracurricular activities for schools, which in turn could help boys spend time on doing something prosperous, instead of cutting classes. Kimmel also discussed other factors (class or race), which could be the reason why most schools are lowering the standards of education. He states that, in fact, most top-notch universities (Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton), are comprised of mostly men, according to his statistics. In the end, Kimmel states that women and men are almost the same, in regards with their school performance and also their earnings. Kimmel states that “boys will be boys”, which he claims to be the “four most depressing words in policy circles today”. This suggests that the society cannot do anything about how boys behave, since even statistics cannot deny that boys are doing fine in academic performance and careers. It is basically the testosterone that is making boys act as boys.
As said earlier, most boys drop out of school since they do not have anything “fun” to do, and that their behavior of being innately masculine is not tolerated by elementary schools or even high school campuses. Women achieved their higher learnings, since schools are pleased by their behavior, thus tolerating women in their schools. This yields in turning schools to become feminists, and that they should teach boys in schools how to behave like girls. As a result, boys are dismayed, and most of them do not want to go to school anymore. Also, Kimmel discussed about how there is “zero money” allotted for schools to develop extracurricular activities for boys to be more engaged in school and education. This is seen as threat since there will be lesser male in the population of people that are having good careers in their lives. This will result in demeaning men in the society. Academic bastions that are considered male in our culture includes medicine, engineering, biochemistry, statistician, and may computer science. Basically, the academic bastions for male are science and math. These bastions are considered “male” since most male excel in these academic fields, and society influences them to see themselves doing those kind of disciplines.
Gender distinctions are “deceptive” according to Cynthia Fuchs, as referred by Michael Kimmel, since she believes that it is not the gender that is appears to be different, but it is more about class and race. Kimmel states that “girl’s vocational opportunities are more restricted than boys’ are”. This suggests that men can do more vocational activities, such as construction and manufacturing, than women. Going back to what Fuchs’ argument, she shows statistical basis on women and men’s earnings which are about the same, and that she proves that it is not the gender but the race that is different among us. She also shows how small the difference between gender when it comes to academic populations, but how big the difference it shows when races are being compared. Based on Fuchs’ data, more white men and women go to school than black or Hispanic individuals.
Lastly, I contradict the statement that boys who like English are “girlie”, and girls who like science are “butch”, since it is evident in the generation that I belong that men and women are, by far, distributed equally based on academic classes. I have seen handful of male professors in English, and also I have encountered female professors teaching science. I can say that in this generation, men can do what women can, based on careers, and vice versa. I suggests that the economy influences the course, major or academic career of both men and women, since most people do not have jobs that are in lieu of their profession or academic major.

Fatima, Fuentes
12/05/2013 12:28pm

Fatima Fuentes
The “war on boys” by Michael Kimmel talks about how boys are having crisis in which schools do not tolerate their innate being as masculine, aggressive and competitive. It tackles about boy in their adolescent stage where they mostly drop out of school, commit crime and suicide and having emotional problems. These behaviors are the results of intolerance of the innate behaviors of boys in school and the society. They are often reprimanded when they play and become aggressive and competitive, and simply do what boys usually do. Misguided feminism, according to Kimmel, do not tolerate and ignores the natural biological differences between boys and girls, and see masculinity as, somehow, inappropriate. Kimmel’s counter claims about misguided feminism, discussed about the government fund or money which could have been allotted to extracurricular activities for schools, which in turn could help boys spend time on doing something prosperous, instead of cutting classes. Kimmel also discussed other factors (class or race), which could be the reason why most schools are lowering the standards of education. He states that, in fact, most top-notch universities (Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton), are comprised of mostly men, according to his statistics. In the end, Kimmel states that women and men are almost the same, in regards with their school performance and also their earnings. Kimmel states that “boys will be boys”, which he claims to be the “four most depressing words in policy circles today”. This suggests that the society cannot do anything about how boys behave, since even statistics cannot deny that boys are doing fine in academic performance and careers. It is basically the testosterone that is making boys act as boys.
As said earlier, most boys drop out of school since they do not have anything “fun” to do, and that their behavior of being innately masculine is not tolerated by elementary schools or even high school campuses. Women achieved their higher learnings, since schools are pleased by their behavior, thus tolerating women in their schools. This yields in turning schools to become feminists, and that they should teach boys in schools how to behave like girls. As a result, boys are dismayed, and most of them do not want to go to school anymore. Also, Kimmel discussed about how there is “zero money” allotted for schools to develop extracurricular activities for boys to be more engaged in school and education. This is seen as threat since there will be lesser male in the population of people that are having good careers in their lives. This will result in demeaning men in the society. Academic bastions that are considered male in our culture includes medicine, engineering, biochemistry, statistician, and may computer science. Basically, the academic bastions for male are science and math. These bastions are considered “male” since most male excel in these academic fields, and society influences them to see themselves doing those kind of disciplines.
Gender distinctions are “deceptive” according to Cynthia Fuchs, as referred by Michael Kimmel, since she believes that it is not the gender that is appears to be different, but it is more about class and race. Kimmel states that “girl’s vocational opportunities are more restricted than boys’ are”. This suggests that men can do more vocational activities, such as construction and manufacturing, than women. Going back to what Fuchs’ argument, she shows statistical basis on women and men’s earnings which are about the same, and that she proves that it is not the gender but the race that is different among us. She also shows how small the difference between gender when it comes to academic populations, but how big the difference it shows when races are being compared. Based on Fuchs’ data, more white men and women go to school than black or Hispanic individuals.
Lastly, I contradict the statement that boys who like English are “girlie”, and girls who like science are “butch”, since it is evident in the generation that I belong that men and women are, by far, distributed equally based on academic classes. I have seen handful of male professors in English, and also I have encountered female professors teaching science. I can say that in this generation, men can do what women can, based on careers, and vice versa. I suggests that the economy influences the course, major or academic career of both men and women, since most people do not have jobs that are in lieu of their profession or academic major.

Stefanie Jadidi
12/05/2013 12:36pm

The "war against boys" claims that men are now the lesser sex and that they are the ones who are in serious trouble and are the "victims" of "misguided" feminists. Kimmel both agrees and disagrees with the claims. I think a lot people mistake the difficulty for equality as a threat to males. I think if a woman excels more at science and engineering than her male peer, she should get the job. But, we should be encouraging boys and girls to excel at what they’re good at based on their skills, not based on their gender. If a boy is doing better in literary arts, he should be encouraged in that, not laughed at for being called to a “butchy” profession. I think that dislike of boys and men is ridiculous, considering the fact that boys may get more chastised and punished in schools, and women may be getting more college degrees than men, but why is it then that women still make less money than men? Why are there still, statistically, so few women working in science professions and politics? Why is the government threatening women’s rights, but not men’s?
I think that society does put a certain about of preciousness and sanctity on little girls that is harmful and unnecessary. Society overprotects little girls, yet we tell little boys to “suck it up” and “man up” when something’s wrong. I think in some situations, this doesn’t give boys the open environment for learning that it should. People often mistake boys behavior in classrooms as just goof-offs and class clowns. We don’t consider the fact that this behavior is often acting out because they’re bored, or because they’re suffering from a traumatizing home life. For example, the fact that a lot of statutory rape laws are enforced with an iron fist, even when, say a 17 year old girl is sleeping with a 19 year old man. Yet, a shocking number of teenage boys under the legal age, get tried as adults when they break the law. My only opinion is, there are grey areas on these things and sometimes, these things do not come out equal in the end.

12/06/2013 10:08pm

“The war on boys” is a theory that girls and women are now given more opportunities and favored in society. “Misguided feminism” is what drives this war; according to those people who believe the war on boys is real, say that misguided feminism is the effort by feminists to help girls that ends up harming boys. Kimmel claims that women have been discriminated against in education and told that their abilities, particularly in mathematics and science, are inferior to boys’ capabilities. Now that they are allowed more opportunities and are allowed to accept both masculine and feminine traits within themselves, women are doing better. Thus, in comparison to boys, they are doing better. This is not because boys are being held down, but because girls are allowed to reach for the position that boys have been handed. Kimmel also says that when boys and girls reach puberty, boys are given power that manifests itself in over-confidence. He says that men, thus, over-evaluate their skills and are disappointed whereas girls underestimate theirs and only enter higher levels of classes when they feel secure enough to do so. This, also, accounts for the fact that girls are doing better in school.

As pointed to in the previous paragraph, women have better outcomes in higher education because they underestimate their abilities and, thus, work harder and only enter classes and schools when they feel they are truly capable of it. Therefore, they are doing better than men, who overestimate their abilities and perhaps feel ownership over certain academic fields.
Besides science and mathematics, history is generally gendered male and so is anything that requires physical layer or “logical thinking”. These disciplines are gendered “male” as there is no room for opinion, display of emotions, or weakness. Unfortunately, this leaves little room for creativity – which science and even mathematics often demand.

Cynthia Fuchs shows that, through surveys and studies, The white male and white female gap is short, about “51 percent woman to 49 percent men”, according to Fuchs. Meanwhile, the gap between men and women have other races are much more defined – such as black college students, where the female to male gap is about 63 percent to 37 percent.


I have observed this distinction – in my anatomy and mathematics classes, there are definitely more men than women. However, the women, including myself, are much more outspoken – and, I have noticed, are doing better in general than the men. Something that stands out for me is that, though English is thought of as generally a more feminine subject, most popular writers are males – and always have been.


aaron yim
12/07/2013 7:05pm

War on boys is about when boys have a hard time than girls because the boys are expected to be masculine. Because of this, guys have a hard time fitting in school, dropping out of high school, insecure. Colleges have lowered the standard for men to enter colleges. According to Sommers, she said boys are aggressive, hard wire, sex, etc… Kimmel stated that some boys are insecure, have hard time to focus, hard to talk to, and morose. Women will make more money than men because 58 percent of women will get a degree. Which means the rate of graduating is a lot higher than men. This is a threat because the tradition was men usually was making more money than men and was smarter than women. People would feel shame to lose to women for a job and education. Deceptive distinction means difference between male and female, and class or race. The issue with balance is the boys are all the same. I have observed the stereotypes for guys to love math and science and girls like English and foreign language. For example, a girl in my high school was a math geek. She did not act like other girls and did not get along with people that much. She only hanged out with guys a lot. This is one of the example I have to support the stereotype.

12/09/2013 7:41pm

The war on boys is that since girls are surpassing the boys in education. More girls are finishing school and doing very good with great grades and moving up to undergraduate programs. Boys are becoming less involved with education and suffer from the masculine stereotypes that society has implemented on the gender. A stereotype of the gender is the rumble play scenario were it is assumed that masculinity is linked with aggression and therefore in schools boys are aggressive and must be kept under controlled during school hours. The counter arguments against the war on boys is that boys are being taught in school that their gender is defective and that schools are teaching boys the same way they teach girls. Boys and girls are distinct but due to the emphasize schools have on making sure boys are calm and controlled they are going against a boy need to learn and believe that they are good enough to succeed. The misguided feminism is ignoring the academic and social behaviors that boys have, ignoring the way they learn and trying to turn them to behave and think like girls.
The feminine gender is seeking out higher education because schools and education standards are dedicated for a specific gender. Women are becoming more involved in social sciences and behavioral sciences as well as engineering which were all at a stage male dominated. Women are becoming empowered by the school system to succeed while masculinity is being controlled. Mean while the business institution is being male dominated because it requires competition and aggressiveness to be better and win others. In our society it is acceptable for males to be the business men while the women are learning and teaching children in schools and etc.
The sociologist Cynthia Fuchs argues that the gender distinctions are misleading and she means that people are not focusing on the main issue they are worrying about gender while they should be focus on class or race. While the same amount white male and females are attending college, other races like black and hispanic have a large gap of male and female enrollment in higher education. Cynthis Fuchs argument is that there is a gap among male and females succeeding in different races and class and its not just because of gender but other social components.
In my opinion on this topic I definitely agree with Cynthia Fuchs argument, the white community are having male and female children attend higher education but other races have it more difficult. Other races like black and hispanic do not have the same opportunities to succeed, in my experience schools only focus on the students that are interested in furthering their education rather than getting everyone to move up. In high school there were more females that graduated and received honor recognitions and were enrolled in the advanced placements classes. I think that females had it easier to stay focus and and had more role models because most educators were women.

Ben
12/10/2013 5:50pm

1. The “war on boys” indicates the feminists effort to protect and promote girls’ development. “Misguided feminism” is when boys are raised with restrictions that go against the natural history of raising males. In turn, they are being raised how a girl is raised. Kimmel’s counter-claim to this is that males and females are biologically different.
2. Women have invaded traditionally male-dominated fields because women are starting to recognize their abilities in these subjects. This is a threat because boys will continue to overvalue their abilities and therefore not be able to score as high as females. Some subjects considered to be male are math, science, and engineering.
3. Cynthia Fuchs describes “deceptive distinction” as when there seems to be something about gender but is actually regarding a different subject. Her way of looking at this issue is to factor in class, not gender.
4. Yes I actually have a female cousin that contradicts the stereotype and she is not a “butch”. She majored in engineering and earned her Masters degree.

Erika Cayabyab
12/10/2013 9:47pm

1. "The war on boys" Kimmel brings up in his article refers to the idea that boys nowadays are having trouble transitioning into manhood which carry mature responsibilities. Boys are known for being school dropouts, emotionally confused, and more suicidal than girls. With these problems, boys are unable to grow up properly. In contrast, it is commonly agreed that girls develop in maturity a lot quicker than boys through their routinely activities. Tea parties will provide girls with proper etiquette, dress-up games will teach girls how to look pretty and acceptable, etc. Boys, on the other hand, are involved in activities that require force and roughness. As a result, boys at a young age are already at a disadvantage.

"Misguided feminism" is the idea of protecting and promoting girls' development. When girls are put into situations, often times they face them without whining or complaining. But since boys grow up only developing skills that include aggression, competition, and rough activity, they get thrown off when something like school starts for them.

Kimmel argues that all fault doesn't lay only on psychological development aspects, but also includes their environment and opportunity supply. He states that some fault lies in the school itself, with minimal school programs, limited remedial programs, or even tutoring services. Kimmel argues that boys aren't given proper assistance in school and thus will put them at a disadvantage.


2. Women now outnumber men in several aspects because their biological differences benefit them to succeed in life. This may be seen as a threat because there was always a fine line between women's roles and men's roles. But since women are now venturing out into other career interests, men see that their role as being superior is changing. Since the division between both genders is diminishing, some men will begin to question their level of authority. Careers that are generally categorized for the male audience are those that require physical strength, authority, and competition- principles they develop at a young age. Women now outnumber men in social and behavioral sciences, a department specifically catered to the male audience.


3. Fuchs explains that gender distinctions are "deceptive" because it is rather about class or race. She goes on in supporting her argument by listing several situations where females are still at a disadvantage which limits women in receiving equal services as men. She also includes that there is still a great amount of racism and financial discrimination in society which proves that boys are in fact not at a disadvantage but that people of cultural background of financial distress are given the burden.


4. From my experiences, I can honestly agree with Fuch's argument. Being Filipino, I can point out many situations where I was discriminated against. Rarely did I encounter situation where my sex role put me at a disadvantage. Also, there are many racial stereotypes, Asians being highly educated in Math and Sciences as being one of them. Looking at the history of many famous people, most poets were male. In conclusion, the idea that "Math and science are for boys" and "English and foreign languages are for girls" is false.

Erika Cayabyab
12/10/2013 9:49pm

1. "The war on boys" Kimmel brings up in his article refers to the idea that boys nowadays are having trouble transitioning into manhood which carry mature responsibilities. Boys are known for being school dropouts, emotionally confused, and more suicidal than girls. With these problems, boys are unable to grow up properly. In contrast, it is commonly agreed that girls develop in maturity a lot quicker than boys through their routinely activities. Tea parties will provide girls with proper etiquette, dress-up games will teach girls how to look pretty and acceptable, etc. Boys, on the other hand, are involved in activities that require force and roughness. As a result, boys at a young age are already at a disadvantage.

"Misguided feminism" is the idea of protecting and promoting girls' development. When girls are put into situations, often times they face them without whining or complaining. But since boys grow up only developing skills that include aggression, competition, and rough activity, they get thrown off when something like school starts for them.

Kimmel argues that all fault doesn't lay only on psychological development aspects, but also includes their environment and opportunity supply. He states that some fault lies in the school itself, with minimal school programs, limited remedial programs, or even tutoring services. Kimmel argues that boys aren't given proper assistance in school and thus will put them at a disadvantage.


2. Women now outnumber men in several aspects because their biological differences benefit them to succeed in life. This may be seen as a threat because there was always a fine line between women's roles and men's roles. But since women are now venturing out into other career interests, men see that their role as being superior is changing. Since the division between both genders is diminishing, some men will begin to question their level of authority. Careers that are generally categorized for the male audience are those that require physical strength, authority, and competition- principles they develop at a young age. Women now outnumber men in social and behavioral sciences, a department specifically catered to the male audience.


3. Fuchs explains that gender distinctions are "deceptive" because it is rather about class or race. She goes on in supporting her argument by listing several situations where females are still at a disadvantage which limits women in receiving equal services as men. She also includes that there is still a great amount of racism and financial discrimination in society which proves that boys are in fact not at a disadvantage but that people of cultural background of financial distress are given the burden.


4. From my experiences, I can honestly agree with Fuch's argument. Being Filipino, I can point out many situations where I was discriminated against. Rarely did I encounter situation where my sex role put me at a disadvantage. Also, there are many racial stereotypes, Asians being highly educated in Math and Sciences as being one of them. Looking at the history of many famous people, most poets were male. In conclusion, the idea that "Math and science are for boys" and "English and foreign languages are for girls" is false.

Erika Cayabyab
12/10/2013 9:49pm

1. "The war on boys" Kimmel brings up in his article refers to the idea that boys nowadays are having trouble transitioning into manhood which carry mature responsibilities. Boys are known for being school dropouts, emotionally confused, and more suicidal than girls. With these problems, boys are unable to grow up properly. In contrast, it is commonly agreed that girls develop in maturity a lot quicker than boys through their routinely activities. Tea parties will provide girls with proper etiquette, dress-up games will teach girls how to look pretty and acceptable, etc. Boys, on the other hand, are involved in activities that require force and roughness. As a result, boys at a young age are already at a disadvantage.

"Misguided feminism" is the idea of protecting and promoting girls' development. When girls are put into situations, often times they face them without whining or complaining. But since boys grow up only developing skills that include aggression, competition, and rough activity, they get thrown off when something like school starts for them.

Kimmel argues that all fault doesn't lay only on psychological development aspects, but also includes their environment and opportunity supply. He states that some fault lies in the school itself, with minimal school programs, limited remedial programs, or even tutoring services. Kimmel argues that boys aren't given proper assistance in school and thus will put them at a disadvantage.


2. Women now outnumber men in several aspects because their biological differences benefit them to succeed in life. This may be seen as a threat because there was always a fine line between women's roles and men's roles. But since women are now venturing out into other career interests, men see that their role as being superior is changing. Since the division between both genders is diminishing, some men will begin to question their level of authority. Careers that are generally categorized for the male audience are those that require physical strength, authority, and competition- principles they develop at a young age. Women now outnumber men in social and behavioral sciences, a department specifically catered to the male audience.


3. Fuchs explains that gender distinctions are "deceptive" because it is rather about class or race. She goes on in supporting her argument by listing several situations where females are still at a disadvantage which limits women in receiving equal services as men. She also includes that there is still a great amount of racism and financial discrimination in society which proves that boys are in fact not at a disadvantage but that people of cultural background of financial distress are given the burden.


4. From my experiences, I can honestly agree with Fuch's argument. Being Filipino, I can point out many situations where I was discriminated against. Rarely did I encounter situation where my sex role put me at a disadvantage. Also, there are many racial stereotypes, Asians being highly educated in Math and Sciences as being one of them. Looking at the history of many famous people, most poets were male. In conclusion, the idea that "Math and science are for boys" and "English and foreign languages are for girls" is false.


Comments are closed.

    Prof. David Fulton

    I received my MA in English from CSU, Northridge and his .MFA in Creative Writing from CSU, Long Beach. I have  been teaching College English since 2004.. I am a published poet and was recently a Pushcart Prize finalist for my poem "Hubris" In addition to teaching,, I enjoy cooking, figuring out how to garden, going to the gym, researching Shakespeare, and watching MMA. 

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