Nation too girl-focusedPublished 3:54pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I know this may sound a bit quirky, but the other night I was watching a football game and began to think about our modern society.
As I watched the sheer violence and physical confrontation of the action, I suddenly realized this game is one of the few areas where men can express their warrior spirit, the one place where men can still be men.
As I sat there and thought about football being the last bastion of manhood in America, I began to realize that one of the things that aggravates me the most in today’s society is what best can be described as the feminization of modern civilization. This “feminization” has been slowly occurring in America for a number of years on many different cultural fronts and shows no signs of slowing up.
Are you confused about what I am saying? Here are two examples that will clarify the point I’m trying to make.
Let’s first take a look at religion. Several year’s ago a preacher friend of mine described the playlist on most contemporary Christian radio stations as “Jesus is my boyfriend” music. In my opinion, he was right.
Don’t believe me? When you’re driving home today, turn your radio to a Christian station and listen to the words of the first two or three songs you hear.
Instead of hearing a tune proclaiming the gospel or the glories of the Kingdom to come, you’ll probably hear something akin to a love song about some girl’s boyfriend, except the “boyfriend” in the song is Jesus.
To be honest, this kind of stuff gives me the creeps because I don’t perceive Jesus as a boyfriend, but rather as God and savior.
Let’s take a look at education. Years ago, school leaders across the nation focused too much on boys when developing the curriculum that would be responsible for educating our young people. Now, it seems the emphasis has completely reversed.
For example, over the past two years my wife has complained about the reading assignments my son has been bringing home from school. According to her, the vast majority of stories are about women, girls or families where the father is absent.
Even though girls find these stories interesting, my son is completely disengaged and couldn’t care less about what he is reading. My bet is most boys his age feel the same way.
Another example comes from my daughter. One day she came home complaining that her teacher had been discussing the story “Cinderella” for days and wondered how the boys in her class were staying awake.
As she began to convey all the intricacies discussed by her teacher about the story, I found myself nodding off and essentially proved her point right there on the spot.
There are many other examples I could give to hammer home what I’m trying to say, but I believe that’s unnecessary.
Essentially, our societal leaders have attempted to provide a better balance to our culture by emphasizing the importance of women in our modern society as their roles in business, politics, religion and education expand.
To be sure, the motivation behind this re-emphasis is understandable and should be praised.
However, in recent years the process has lost its focus and is failing to provide the balance of its original intent, especially in education.
Our educational leaders are right to emphasize the importance of girls, but not at the expense of boys.
Football is a great game, but it doesn’t need to be the only place where boys and men feel at home.
Our society needs a better balance, one where both sexes feel comfortable, safe and able to express themselves in a manner that is both meaningful and constructive.
Roger Steele is general manager and advertising director of The Outlook.