Re: non-traditional males

Tim Flinders (
Sun, 22 Mar 1998 12:35:00 -0800

As a "nontraditional" male (wish we had a better term for us) and as
someone who has worked for gender equity for the past few years in my area
(Sonoma County, Ca), I find your comments especially relevant. I'm often
asked in equity workshops, What about the boys?, and have felt frustrated
that there wasn't much in the way of research looking at the way boys are
raised and socialized to which I could point parents or teachers.
Certainly nothing of the magnitude of Meeting at theCrossroads or FAiling
At Fairness. Raphaela Best's "We've All Got Scars" did a masterful job of
detailing how primary aged boys are socialized in schools by essentially
becoming everything that was "not girl," but it came out twenty years ago
an few seemd to notice or care. Michael Messner at USC has has documented
how masuclinity is grounded in misogyny and homophobia but has yet to reach
the mainstream.

However, it looks like this may soon change thanks (ironically)to all
interest given girls these past few years. An article in today's SF
Examiner by Joan Ryan surveys a number of forthcoming books on boys that
are finally bringing under scrutiny the narrow and harmful stereotypes
under which boys are raised and educated --, including recent research from
Gilligan herself. Here's the link:

The next step will be to start examining our pedagogies, especially in
early childhood, and looking at how they reinforce these stereotypes, and
how they can be changed so that in time, perhaps, "becoming a man" no
longer requires that we set aside so much of our humanity.

Tim Flinders <>

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