Monday, February 27, 2012

John Leonard on "female centric environments"

In the latest ASCA article titled: "OMen Talking to Men, About Men - [sic] " John Leonard reveals what I believe are both his prejudices and bias towards men and women: [Link]

Leornard's stated belief is this: "...what is going on today, is that young males are being raised in a “female-centric” series of environments where female behavior is acceptable, and natural male behavior is demonized and unacceptable...."

With broad brush-strokes based upon an article he read in the, American Thinker,  he bashes "female dominated" sectors that he feels have summarily crushed the heart and soul of the American male. Needless to say, the author, Janice Shaw Crouse, is a conservative who worked for the first Bush administration as a speech writer and according to Slate Magazine they boldly list her as an anti-feminist" author.

I read the article that inspired Leonard at the American Thinker and it is essentially a slam on women and "female centric" policies for causing the "downfall" of the American male.  Crouse writes:  "... Clearly, in our eagerness to level the playing field for women we have seriously destabilized the balance between the sexes to the detriment of males. ..."

Leonard goes on to "salt" this wound with statistics that men are not attending college in the same numbers that women are. He mentions that men are immature and ultimately agrees that the root cause is the result of being beaten down by female institutions such as our standard issue educational systems.

Here is a rock solid fact: In the middle/late 1970's the school system was still a female dominated institution yet the ratio of men to women in college was about  60% male, 40% female.

What changed?

Apparently, according to a white paper I found at Princeton, the parity between men and women in college was evenly split in 1960. However, throughout history men have always attended colleges and universities in greater numbers than females. Now that male college attendance numbers are dropping, it is suddenly viewed as a crisis by conservative authors and swim coaching association chiefs who feel the American male is in need of their help.

Leonard emphatically states that boys cannot sit still and learn but girls can. He states boys have to be moving to be able to think. He states that females are cooperative and collaborative but males have to be trained to be so. He states that collaboration and cooperation are seemingly against the "hard wiring" of the male brain and that boys must have real-time experience to learn best.

This is all hogwash.

Neither Leonard nor Crouse can gaze into the souls of the American male and come up with an ad hoc prescription as to how to fix a problem that exists only in their op eds rather than reality. This is really nothing more than their biased opinions.

Leonard goes on to suggest that some workouts should be gender segregated so as to assist boys in their formative years. How this will suddenly correct this proposed male maturity problem and their educational ambitions is beyond me.

What really offended me the most was his belief that men are boorish and have no class or manners and that this is ok. That teasing and bullying are acceptable forms of communication and camaraderie. They are not.

Currently we are participating in a sport that has more women in it then men yet this sport is solely dominated by men who are seemingly concerned that men are not getting a fair shake.

The world as we know it and of course the United States are in the process of a "reboot." The job landscape is shifting, industries are becoming obsolete. Places like the post office, the local newspaper, steel mills, the music industry,  the bookstore, the payphone are now either obsolete or 15-minutes away from being so. Even Wallmart could be targeted for obsolescence once internet distribution gets more efficient and don't get me started on 3d printing. People going to college today are studying for yesterday's jobs but upon graduation these students will probably find jobs that have not even been invented yet.

Swimming is safe, Leonard has nothing to fear about male maturity and gender segregated workouts and he should not fear our potential "female overlords" either. The way FINA and USA Swimming are running the joint maybe, just maybe, the old boys network could use some female points of view.


Rókur said...

If men couldn't sit still then all computer geeks would be women :-D

Tony Austin said...

LOL and gamers too.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that John Leonard plagiarized and butchered a Newsweek article "The trouble with boys" January 2006, to write a good portion of his article.

The Newsweek article is actually very good and discusses the biological, developmental, psychological differences between boys and girls.

Tony Austin said...

You are absolutely right: The real article, more thoughtful and less "broad brush" was penned by Peg Tyre in 2006 for Newsweek who has numerous awards and a book by the same title.

In fact Tyre has apparently devoted her career to this subject which gives her even more weight.

Anonymous said...

John Leonard is such a backwards and sexist idiot, I almost can't believe it. His non-objective issues are bleeding through that article so much.

Well, the US male team is stronger than the female team at elite level.

Tony Austin said...

Ironic that it is girls between the ages of 12-14 that are keeping ASCA, USA Swimming and the old boys network at FINA fully paid.

Anonymous said...

OMG -- now I understand why so many people seem to dislike John Leonard and why he has been divorced several times.

What a sexist ass!!!

Anonymous said...

"masculine touching" - that sounds pretty creepy - kind of like a Sandusky statement.

junker23 said...

Oh wow. That was just a terrifying article. Can't believe Mr. Leonard was able to sit still long enough to allow that amount of garbage to spew forth from his keyboard.