Boys Need to Kill Things; Let Them

| by Suzanne Venker

In addition to the bogus definition of self-esteem, Boomers also instilled the notion that there are no real gender differences. For a balanced, accurate study of this issue, I recommend Taking Sex Differences Seriously, by Steven Rhoads. (Great guy, great book -- though this one's not for casual readers. It's loaded with facts and isn't what I'd call an easy read.) Rhoads cuts through all the crap feminists have churned out and makes a powerful case for letting boys be boys and girls be girls.

Which is why, when my son wants to turn a telephone into a gun, I let him. When he points it at me, I don't tell him never to do such a thing; instead I play dead. Do I think it's terrible to tell a boy not to point a gun at someone? No. But doing so isn't teaching him not to kill, if that's your goal. The chance of his turning into a killer because his parents didn't redirect his actions when he was young are just about nill. Boys love the idea of war. In fact just yesterday when I was instructing my son and his friend to clean up their mess, I asked them why these little balls were all over the place. To which they replied, "We were pretending they were bombs."

So what if your girl doesn't like dresses and your boy prefers piano to sports? Fine. What if one gets more estrogen or testosterone and acts more like the opposite sex (or is possibly even gay)? Fine. It's not that none of this can't happen; it's that it's rare. (Did you know that only around 3% of the country's population is gay? Three percent!) In other words, rather than cater to the very small group of boys and girls who don't act like typical boys and girls, why not embrace the majority? It is possible to cater to the masses without making the minority group feel marginalized. The days of fathers telling their boys to "quit acting like pansies and pick up a gun" are over. At least in the urban areas it is. (Not much we can do about truly backward folk anyway.)

But again, in typical American fashion, we go overboard. In our attempt to be inclusive, we marginalize the majority instead -- by telling boys it's bad or wrong to shoot a gun and telling girls they should love sports. All just so the few who are different don't feel bad. But then we end up with even more people feeling bad for doing what comes naturally.

If we truly want to be inclusive, we need to acknowledge the natural state of things while at the same time assuring those who aren't part of the masses that they're special for being different. Maybe we tell them God has a special plan for them. Maybe we tell them they're going to be emotionally superior to the masses for seeing the world in a unique light. Maybe we'll come up with some other explanation. But to attempt to eradicate nature is just plain wrong.

Mother Nature is stronger than we are.