I wrote Boys Should Be Boys for several reasons. First, I believe that our boys are being ignored and pushed aside, even attacked. Here’s why I say that. The past 20 years have been about helping girls everywhere and anywhere, shine. Get them to finish high school, go on to college, forge careers and excel at sports and academics. While this has helped many girls, boys have been marginalized, told to be quiet and to stay out of the way. A lower percentage of boys now graduate high school and college than girls. Many grow up to apologize for having a Y chromosome.
Second, boys are under assault by media and advertising industries. Video games are infused with hyperviolent and hypersexual messages which train our sons (and we have plenty of good studies to prove this) to be more aggressive and violent as they mature. Girls aren’t standing in line to buy the new AutoTheft game, it’s our young boys, who are consistently the target consumers for new video games.
Third, I believe that boys are incredible. All boys- 2 year olds and 17 year old boys. They are filled with enthusiasm, curiosity and loads of energy. They have questions and look for answers, identify problems and try to define clear solutions. They are pragmatic, sensitive, energetic and highly misunderstood.
It’s high time we give them our attention and encouragement. Our boys need us- and they particularly need you men- masculine role models who can teach them that they don’t need to compete with women. They need us to pay attention to their hearts. They need us to help them navigate a culture which really doesn’t like them very much.
So let’s get to it. Let’s pay attention to our boys and dig into their lives. Let’s embrace their masculinity and grow it, not stifle it. It’s time to let boys, really be the boys they were born to be.