Arkansas massacre

Linda Purrington (
Thu, 26 Mar 1998 09:53:42 -0800

I really think we need to bring in the question of property rights, and
the sense of entitlement and networked privilege that boys are given in
patriarchal systems. In fourth grade, my daughter's friend was "going
out" with a boy (this meant little, but the boy felt ownership); she
broke up with him, and he and his friends then ganged up on her to beat
her up on the playground. What was involved was not "emotional
intelligence" but rage at being cheated out of his property and status
in owning a girl.He wasn't the least upset by her unhappiness; in fact,
he got off on it. That girl was targeted by the boy's parents as a
"slut." She was "that kind of girl." this is in a very suburban
school, and the students involved were all upper middle class. There
really needs to be some discussion of male violence as they perceive
it--as crimes against property--their property. , Linda Purrinton, Title
IX Advocates <>

CFlood wrote:
> Jen, Tim, et al:
> I have resisted getting into this dialogue primarily because of time
> limitations...the perils of an active mind, but the tragedy in Arkansas
> yesterday has galvanized the issue of "our boys" for me to the point that I am
> compelled, time or not, to get involved in raising the questions that we need
> to ask about what WE are doing to our boys...both consciously or, as in most
> cases, unconsciously through inactivity, passivity or hoping that someone else
> steps forward. Well, here I am...I am making a conscious commitment to step
> into the "fray."
> Try looking at recent books such as Terrance Real's, "I Don't Want to Talk
> About It" or Bernard Lefkowitz' "Our Guys" to get a sense of the impact of
> male socialization in our culture. I used sections from each in my graduate
> course on gender equity (in a class session devoted to "The Changing Roles of
> Men") and they were incredible catalysts for discussion...far more powerful
> than most of the reading we have used in the past. Jeffrey Canada's "Reaching
> Up for Manhood" is also an excellent resource...he is in NYC and doing
> wonderful work with boys there. There was an excellent interview with him on
> Fresh Air in January...might try the Fresh Air archives to see if it is in
> Real Audio.
> Also, I have been part of a project in New York State that we ran from
> 1995-1997 called "Men Helping Boys with Choices" that focused on connecting
> middle school educators with boys in their schools in order to help them
> explore and attempt to interrupt the negative messages with respect to male
> socialization (I can share the Final Reports with anyone who might be
> interested) Those messages are tragically connected to the shootings at
> schools these past six months...all by boys. One of the "young men" (as they
> were referred to on one newscast...these are 11 and 13 yr. old BOYS!!!) in
> yesterday's shootings in Arkansas apparently was bothered by girls always
> "dumping" him and vowed to retaliate. We are effectively socializing empathy
> out of our is not masculine and the results are reaching a critical
> boil. Just follow the news for a couple days, either local or national, and
> try to connect as many stories with that isn't hard work.
> I would also urge people to look at Daniel Goleman's book, "Emotional
> Intelligence" which he essentially equates with the ability to connect with
> others, to empathize and to feel compassion. Virtually all of the examples he
> uses in the book with respect to "deficits" or problems with lack of "EI" are
> about males...either boys or men. This is not a coincidence, yet I am struck
> by our inability or unwillingness to confront the issue head on as a gender
> issue. We cannot dance around these issues anymore.
> We are bringing in three of Gilligan's Doctoral students for a spring
> conference who have been either doing research with boys or promoting the
> kinds of programs and pedagogies that address the problems I have briefly
> highlighted.
> I'd appreciate comments.
> Craig Flood, Director
> NYS Career Options Institute
> <>

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