12sundbergb Gender Timed Writing

					Brian Sundberg



Gender Timed Writing

         With an overwhelming amount of boys falling behind in school, serious questions are

being raised putting the schools accountable. The central issues affecting boys in today’s culture

is the expectation to live up to the masculine or manly stereotypes. These unjust stereotypes are

seriously affecting boys and young men across the nation. In the article “Putting Down the Gun”

by Rebecca Walker, her son feels like he either has to fall under the stereotype of as either a jock

or computer nerd. This young boy feels isolated from his school because he does not meet the

stereotype of being “cool.” The essence of Rebecca Walker’s argument is that boys don’t have to

succumb to these stereotypes and still be considered “masculine.” I can relate to Rebecca

Walker’s son on so many levels. In elementary school and even the beginning of middle school

my own parents would not let me watch certain shows on television because they were afraid

that it would affect me adversely. The next day at school when all the kids were talking about the

most recent episode I would feel left out because I was not allowed to watch the show. Rebecca

Walker’s article only strengthens my argument that the central issues affecting boys in today’s

culture is the expectation to live up to the masculine stereotype. I will uncover other ways these

stereotypes are affecting boys, and I will recommend how to possibly fix this issue.

         In the article “Mind over Muscle,” the author, David Brooks, says that men are

“imprisoned by their anti-intellectual machismo.” However, it is simply not true that boys are

anti-education. The stereotypes portrayed in the television and in the movies only set boys back

farther and it becomes harder for them to break these stereotypes. These stereotypes are making
boys and young men afraid to excel at school because they are afraid that they will be seen as

“losers” or “nerds.” These preconceived notions about boy’s not wanting to read or do well in

school could lead to the “gender disparity” that Ann Hulbert was discussing in the article “Boy

Problems.” There is a widening gap between boys and girls in college graduation rate and

standardized test scores. Although I grant that men, historically, take more blue collar jobs, I still

maintain that the masculine stereotypes force men to take these types of jobs because then they

will fell like a “man.” With this being said, educators across the nation are scrambling to try to

figure out how to get boys interested in school. Several people are stepping forward and

suggesting that we “de-feminize” the school curriculum. I have learned from personal experience

that a lot of the readings required in the English classes a heroine or the main character is female.

If they are trying to appeal guys, they are doing a poor job at it. Guys like to read action books

that will keep you reading and wanting to flip the pages, not some book that makes them fall

asleep after three pages. If we want to see this trend reverse we first need to get boys interested

in school so they have the opportunity to succeed. The authors David Brooks, Rebecca Walker,

and Ann Hulbert would support my stance that masculine stereotypes do more harm than good

for boys.

       In conclusion I would like to offer one way to possibly fix the issue facing boys. Again,

in the article “Putting down the Gun” Rebecca Walker makes a suggestion to her son’s school

that teachers should not teach masculine stereotypes in their courses. This is where I believe is

the root of the evil. The masculine stereotypes are taught in school and it will continue to haunt

boys and men throughout their lives. I suggest that teachers should dismiss all male stereotypes

in their teaching curriculum, and they should acknowledge that you don’t have to be a jock or a
computer nerd and still be considered a man. Grown-ups and teachers are mistaken because the

overlook the harm and stress that masculine stereotypes can do to young boys.

Shared By: