Re: Arkansas massacre

Fri, 27 Mar 1998 16:02:06 -0700

Robert McIntosh wrote:

> I agree with the premise that boys are being negatively socialized in
> many ways. What has struck me about the school shooting incidents is
> the sense of entitlement that males (and particularly white males) are
> given in our culture. You referred to it as a lack of empathy, but I
> think that seeing it as an expression of feelings of entitlement give it
> a different twist.

The concept of "sense of entitlement" I see as similar to Linda
Purrington's concet of "property", and both are important in
understanding not only the Arkansas shootings, but other forms
of male violence against women.

There are also other aspects of male socialization at work here.
One is the male tendency to externalize problems--if a man is
having a problem, he tends to blame other people, not himself.
This combines disastrously with a third male tendency which has
been reinforced by our entertainment media and by increased easy
access to powerful weapons, and that is the tendency to react
violently to perceived mistreatment--boys are actually encouraged
to fight in response to problems with others.

All three can cause males to react violently to perceived threats,
which includes the "threat" implied in loss of traditional male
privileges, not only the loss of their "property".

In response to the question "What about the boys?",
one of the answers should be that boys should get their own
special training in not being so macho, and not investing so
much of their ego in male role playing and dominance (this would
apply also to the parents of boys who ask that question because
their lives are tied up in their son's progress and privileges).

-- Bob

Robert Tighe Resource Teacher
Instructional Technology
Albuquerque Public Schools Never doubt that a small group of
220 Monroe SW thoughtful, committed citizens can
Albuquerque, NM 87108-2811 change the world; indeed it's the
USA only thing that ever has.
505-256-4266 -- Margaret Mead

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