I feel moved to write about this right now because I recently saw a video about how schools are focused on teaching female students, and are basically leaving boys to sink. They focus on literature that appeals to girls, cut recess, and tell everyone to sit and listen instead of letting them get involved physically, as boys want to do. They punish boys for 'boyish' behaviors like nibbling poptarts into the shape of a gun, among other things. I'm just touching on some of the ideas that really stood out to me, but if you want to watch the whole thing (which might be a good idea) I'll try to link it below.
Anyway, I agree very much with some aspects of the video; schools should do more to involve different learning styles, and they should promote different genres of literature, and they should allow--no encourage--students to be physically involved in what they're learning. But there's one major assumption in the video that has been gnawing on me for days: the assumption that being active, hands on, and mischievous is 'boyish'. I've used the term 'boyish' this very way, so I'm pointing at myself as much as at the video (remember, I said it's an evolving line of thought) but I now see it as fallacy.
If being hyper is a boyish trait, is the boy who can focus and sit still somehow less of a boy? Is he feminine because he likes reading poetry or historical novels? The system is supposedly rigged to serve female students, but what about the many active girls I've met? Are they less girls because they'd rather play basketball than study English? Am I any less a girl because I spent my childhood running through the woods and reading David Eddings instead of The Baby Sitters Club? Yes, some traits tend to be found more in one sex or the other, but honestly, the way kids are treated before they get to school may be more of a factor than any genetic rules. It almost has to be, since we see vast variety within sexes.
For some reason it seems to be more acceptable for girls to be 'tomboys' than it is for boys to be 'girly', but regardless, I propose that we avoid those types of terms altogether. If we need to describe people, we can use proper words for learning styles and activity levels rather than attributing these qualities to chromosomes. Let people be who God made them to be, not who you think they should be.
Link to video here.
Your thoughts are welcome. Thanks for reading.