So, Mr. Big (ahem) discovered himself today.
Between watching this happen, mid diaper change and again later during his bath, (it looked like he must have been hurting himself!), reading Why Gender Matters, and my most recent discovery via the New York Times (yeah, I'm out of the loop) TukerMax.com, I am learning a lot about men.
I finally finished Why Gender Matters last week. It was fascinating and I recommend it to anyone who deals with kids in any way. He is definitely an advocate of treating kids differently based on their sex because he believes that "gender" is far from socially constructed. One important consequence of the "gender-neutral" pedagogy of the last 20 or 30 years has been, in his opinion, a relaxing of a cultural understanding of what it means to be men and women as adults (he has a very developed explanation for this which I recommend but cannot reiterate here). We have few areas in which boys are ever at male-only events or vice versa because we have put faith in the notion of a gender-neutral society. He feels we have severely failed kids in this way. Boys are never in a male-only arena and thus, don't learn from their elders in a way that used to be common in our society (and vice versa). As a result, kids grow up not knowing how to behave like "real" men and women. So, they attempt to approximate it in, as it turns out, perverse ways. In the book, Sax documents the increasing regularity of teenage sex at ever younger years. He discusses studies which have documented a change in teenage culture in which kids no longer "date" but hook up and/or consider oral sex to be what "first base" once was.
Couple this with TuckerMax (who, by the way, I read voraciously this past weekend). His exploits describe the perverse alpha male that Sax warns us about. I am not taking a stance on TuckerMax here. He is smart, lives by his own rules, writes decently (however repetitive his antics become) and although he says he doesn't hate women, I can't quite figure out what he's doing or what he's looking for (although he states it quite bluntly: nonmonogamy whilst bearing at least five children with a 'four-star' woman who is willing to breast feed as it boosts IQ points by 10-15). What I'm concerned about is, how realistic is his MTV-hyped world and is this the world we're sending our kids into?
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