Jack Kammer says boys are affected by sexism too.
Boys and girls who engage in the same exact behavior may be treated very differently. And yet, when we fail to acknowledge that fact, we contribute to the gaslighting of our boys. Because the truth is that males and females both experience advantages AND disadvantages related to their sex and gender. But while a lot of societal effort has been directed toward decreasing gender-related disadvantages that hold back females, little attention has been directed toward eliminating barriers commonly encountered by boys and men.
“For the past 60 years, we’ve done a pretty good job of making sure that girls have a lot of fluidity in the choices that they can make and the options they can pursue,” says Kammer, author of Heroes of the Blue Sky Rebellion: How You and Other Young Men Can Claim All the Happiness in the World. “We don’t do that so much for boys.”
In fact, he says, when it comes to love, relationships, nurturing, and expression, today’s prevailing narrative posits female superiority and male inferiority. As a result, too many boys and men (and girls & women) believe that males can’t multi-task or competently care for young children.
“It was a very bad thing for our nation to waste all of the talent that women had to be good business people, lawyers, and scientists. It’s really a bad thing for us to waste all of the love and nurturance, the desire to be fully human and helpful, that men feel,” Kammer says.
In this episode, Jen, Janet & Jack discuss:
- Helping boys grapple with sexism
- Advocating for boys in the classroom and on the playground
- Recess and its importance for boys (& girls)
- Fluidity for boys
- How gender stereotypes harm boys & men
- Shame’s impact on boys
- Empowering boys to delay sexual activity
- Encouraging father involvement
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
jackkammer.com — Jack’s website (includes links to his male-friendly podcasts)
Boy Moms as Boy Advocates — ON BOYS episode featuring Gemma Gaudette (mentioned at 6:10)
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