Dear Mr. President, Our Nation’s Boys Need Your Attention

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Mark Sherman, a big fan of President Obama, asks him to call the nation’s attention to the problems facing boys and young men.

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Dear Mr. President,

I am a lifelong liberal Democrat and a strong supporter of your presidency. A friend and I drove two hours to canvass for your candidacy in Scranton, PA during the 2008 primaries; I was overjoyed when you first won the nomination and then the presidency that year, and equally, if not more, ecstatic when you were re-elected last year.

I contributed by far more to your campaigns than I ever have to any other political candidate.

I continue to be a huge fan of yours—bravo for your stands on gay marriage and  gun control—but there is one thing about which I have been disappointed: your administration’s apparent lack of concern about how boys and young men are doing in America today. It is in this one area that I have found you, to my dismay, entirely silent. I have been concerned about this issue for 20 years. When I started reading and writing about it, I had three sons; they have since been joined by three grandsons. I would love to have had a daughter or granddaughter, but I have simply been blessed by boys.

I am sure you are aware that on so many measures boys are lagging behind girls, and have been for quite a few years now. One of the best comparisons comes from Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, in his oft-cited “For every 100 girls…“. Here is just a small sampling of his statistics:

• For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability.

• For every 100 fourth grade girls who watch television four or more hours per day, 123 boys do.

• For every 100 girls ages 9 to 11 years enrolled below modal grade there are 130 boys enrolled below modal grade.

• For every 100 tenth grade girls who play videogames for an hour or more a day, there are 322 tenth grade boys who do.

• For every 100 girls who are suspended from high school, there are 215 boys who are suspended.

• For every 100 young women who earn a bachelor’s degree, there are 75 men who do.

• For every 100 females ages 15-24 who kill themselves, 586 males do.

• For every 100 women ages 18-24 who are in correctional facilities, there are 1439 men who are behind bars.

I realize that women have still not achieved full equality—whether in terms of salary or position. But if one considers Americans under the age of 25, there is little question that it is boys and young men who are lagging.

Even Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, who is well-known for his op-ed pieces on the terrible problems facing girls and young women across the globe, has noted and written about the very different situation here in the United States (and it is one that exists in other industrialized nations as well). In March 2010 he wrote a piece titled “The Boys Have Fallen Behind”, where he opens with these words:

“Around the globe, it’s mostly girls who lack educational opportunities. Even in the United States, many people still associate the educational “gender gap” with girls left behind in math.

“Yet these days, the opposite problem has sneaked up on us: In the United States and other Western countries alike, it is mostly boys who are faltering in school. The latest surveys show that American girls on average have roughly achieved parity with boys in math. Meanwhile, girls are well ahead of boys in verbal skills, and they just seem to try harder.

“The National Honor Society says that 64 percent of its members — outstanding high school students — are girls.”

There are efforts throughout the country to rectify this, but there is no movement even vaguely comparable to the effort made to help girls in areas where they have been behind. I believe this is because the effort to help girls came as an outgrowth of the women’s movement. Women understandably felt that they did not want their daughters to face the same obstacles they did, and both fathers and mothers of daughters have been excited by the ways in which they have excelled.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 4.03.16 PMUntil recently, and perhaps even today, mothers of sons have been excited by not only the success of women, but also of young girls. But I have found that more and more mothers—and grandmothers—of boys are becoming concerned about their sons’ and grandsons’ futures. A perfect example is Dottie Lamm, former first lady of Colorado, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1998, and a leading feminist in her state.  Ms. Lamm, who has three young grandsons, wrote a piece in the Denver Post in April 2010 titled “Our Boys Are Falling Behind in Education”. Her opening lines are “What’s the next battle for an aging feminist? Boys.”

Parents of daughters should be concerned about boys as well. Young women typically want to marry men who are their peers, or close to it, in education, ambition, and earning potential, but as the gender gap grows, finding a partner becomes more and more difficult.

I know there’s been a push for a White House Council on Boys and Men (to parallel the one your administration started for Women and Girls soon after you took office), but I also understand that men are typically not seen as having major problems. Might I simply suggest a White House Council for Boys—or for Boys and Young Men?

In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Sherman

 

 

 

Lead photo: Flickr/Yuya Sekiguchi

Second photo: Flickr/EaglebrookSchool

 

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About Mark Sherman

Mark Sherman is editor of the Boys Initiative blog (www.theboysinitiative.wordpress.com), and also writes one for Psychology Today (Real Men Don’t Write Blogs). He received his Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard, and has taught, researched, and written on gender issues since coauthoring Afterplay: A Key to Intimacy in 1979. Having three sons and four grandsons, he is especially interested in how boys and young men are doing both in and outside of school.

Comments

  1. I hope they do make a council for boys n men but I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Joanna Schroeder says:

    Mark, thanks so much for this hopeful letter. YES our boys need attention!

    When we look at the rates at which boys are falling behind, particularly boys of color and lower socioeconomic status, we should be appalled. I saw one study stating that boys of color are startlingly more likely than white boys to be punished for the same offenses in school, and punished more harshly. This leads into the stark differences in sentencing in the criminal justice system, too. It’s a tragedy, in fact it’s a damn-near civil rights catastrophe.

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Yes, white men still rule the world (business, government and more) but our boys and young men need our attention and support to help create true equality in the future.

    • “Yes, white men still rule the world (business, government and more) but our boys and young men need our attention and support to help create true equality in the future.”
      What an ignorant and stupid thing to say. Tell me, how many white people are there in India and China whom are ruling? Those 2 countries alone have populations that probably dwarf white people. Also, men do not RULE the world, the world is a variety of power structures with varying levels of input from women, my country has a large female powerbase along with the males, women have power, men have power, men may have MORE power but they don’t RULE the country nor the world. PEOPLE rule the world, and not all of them are white!

      How about instead of spouting typical “feminist” triple as men rule the world you actually take a look at the world and do some research on the power shared by humanity, there are plenty of countries where whites are the minority of power if they even have power. Now if you say white men are dominant in power in the western world I would probably agree.

      • Even in some countries where Whites are the minority, they still have the most power.

        And if you don’t think that Men occupy greater position of power world-wide than women by and large, you’re crazy. Trying to think of a few counterexamples so you can ignore your privilege is a waste of everyone’s time.

        • “And if you don’t think that Men occupy greater position of power world-wide than women by and large, you’re crazy.”
          Nice reading comprehension. You do realize my argument is that the majority of power being in one genders hands =/= that gender ruling the world right? If 70% of leadership is with men, then the world has a 70% rule of men, 30% to women (and non-gendered people?). It’s a generalization, and one that proves to be false because men do not rule this world, people rule it, men have MORE power but she didn’t say that, she said men rule the world. You’re crazy if you assume men rule the world, it goes against logic and is extremely insulting to women because it denies their role in the world as people with agency who along with men help to rule the various countries n zones. This infantile treatment of women quite frankly is misogynist, do you think Julia Gillard is a man?

    • White men also dominate the homeless shelters.

  3. This letter niggles at me, actually this whole issue niggles at me…but not because I don’t think it’s important. It’s just the general framing of it that I find worrisome. Like, okay, take this paragraph:

    “Parents of daughters should be concerned about boys as well. Young women typically want to marry men who are their peers, or close to it, in education, ambition, and earning potential, but as the gender gap grows, finding a partner becomes more and more difficult.”

    It’s a problematic way to frame it……’hey parents of daughters, don’t you want your girl to be able to find a good husband?’ It’s actually the opposite of feminism, in a lot of ways. I, as a woman, should definitely be concerned if our education system is failing boys…but not because I might one day want to marry one, and not because I might one day be a parent to one.

    And I get that it’s just one paragraph that isn’t even the main point of this letter. But, like…this issue seems to be to often be framed with the underlying assumption that if men are the bedrocks of our society, and thus if they fall behind in education, our society will crumble. Women will stop marrying them! Progress will halt! etc. Which, I’m not even saying that’s something I think your letter is saying…just that’s often something I see underlying this conversation.

    Right, like…women wanting to gain equality is viewed as laudable, but ultimately without consequence. If women do, or don’t, gain equality….society will ultimately trundle on. But if men fall behind…well then there are some serious potential consequences.

    I’m not necessarily explaining this very well…so if anyone can jump in and better express what I’m trying to say, that’d be great. Also, just to point out…I’m not saying the issue of boys in education isn’t important.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Let me try. I think I see what you’re saying. What I’m hearing you say is that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, if I may use a pronatalist metaphor. Helping men or women should not be at the expense of the other, insofar as that is possible, and we shouldn’t treat one gender as more important or more bedrock than another gender.

      My take:
      I didn’t get the sense from the article that he was saying that men are more fundamental to society somehow. He was registering a sense that boys and men have particular plights that appear to be worsening, especially if we look at differences in the experience between men and women.

      Unfortunately, there is something of adversarial, zero-sum aspect to the way that we’re discussing this in the first place. It’s maybe impossible to talk about a “gender gap” without seeing it as a one-up/one-down structure. If we look at gender gaps in terms of percentages, we can only raise one by lowering the other, because it still has to add up to 100%. It’s not a zero-sum, it’s a 100% sum, but the approach is the same.

      What might alarm some people is the range of conclusions or policies that people could create from this approach. There are some great ways to close gaps, and there are some horrible ways to close gaps. Theoretically, we could just close some of these gaps by:

      Diagnosing more girls with disabilities
      Suspending more girls from school
      Putting more women in prison
      Graduating fewer women
      Driving more women to suicide

      I don’t think that the article was implying that whatsoever. I’m just speculating that your reaction might come from worrying about what kind of door this would open.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        I think wellokaythen is right… and maybe that’s because I know Mark Sherman well, and he’s the one who says all the time that the answer is not in more women going to prison, or more women using drugs, etc, but rather that less men go to prison or commit abuse, etc. Then total rates can go down, and naturally the ratios of women:men would even out when less of this bad shit is falling on men.

        Other than the line about women not necessarily having men to marry, it’s really entirely about helping boys because it’s the right thing to do. I think we can all recognize that having less boys in the juvenile detention system would be better for everyone. Having less boys diagnosed with learning conditions would be better. Not just for girls, not just for boys, but for humanity.

        When boys do better, it doesn’t hurt women. Just as women doing better didn’t hurt boys. And Mark Sherman is actually one of the only people I’m reading lately who’s talking about this without putting a single ounce of blame upon women or the feminist movement.

        This is a good article. Mark is doing something very positive here.

        • Isn’t this all just an argument that we need to invest more in society across the board?

          Or, better, that the attentions we should provide should be toward those who are socio-economically disadvantaged instead of promoting more and more programs that are either wealth-point-of-view-centic (like how NCLB screwed the poor of all stripes) or based on classification that is predominantly middle-class (like a lot of the STEM-encouragement programs are; they certainly aren’t encouraging inner-city youth into those paths in earnest)?

          Gah. I think I may just be internalizing my cynicism more and more. This is a great call to action, regardless.

        • I agree. That was well-written and thoughtfully and respectfully stated to President Obama. I do hope he reads it! The next generation deserves a future in which men and women have equality. That is what previous generations struggled to obtain. It is not anti-feminist for parents to want their sons and daughters to find happiness with someone of their own intellectual background, should they wish to seek it. Let’s not confuse the natural desire for human companionship with anti-feminism. Right now there are 4 college-educated women for every 3 college-educated men, so we know that 25% of college-educated women, should they want to date men or have a boyfriend or even marry, they’ll have to settle for a men without a college education. Their coworkers and male friends and in-laws and a full quarter of the all the men in their lives will be at a social and economic disadvantage – no college degree and few prospects for a bright future. Why shouldn’t that concern not only parents of both girls and boys, but any reasonable person? No one is suggesting that we abandon girls – but they do have to live in the same world as the boys, as do we all. Except that, because they are the same generation, the problems of these young men will impact young women more so than anyone else. It is not possible for women to live in a world in which the problems of men do not affect women. Unless we are expecting 25% of college-educated women to remain celibate, or saying that they do not deserve to find love, romance, sex. marriage, or simply friendship with male intellectual equals because that’s contrary to feminism? Seems a bit harsh to me – I wouldn’t want that for myself, therefore, I don’t think young people ought to be relegated to that if we can strive to change it.

        • The Y chromosome I believe is far more unstable which leads to more discrepancy in learning abilities and other problems from what i can understand. I think it also explains why there are more very low-intelligence males BUT also more genius-level intelligent males on the bell curve. That said the problem is OVER diagnosing the boys + not giving adequate support to those who have been diagnosed + “feminized” learning n the sense of basing learning on typically feminine styles of learning and heavy emphasis on that instead of a mix. Possibly we need to split the genders by 1 grade, or move to an ageless grade that is based solely on ability to perform to allow high achievers to go through more quickly and reach uni-level earlier and the others can learn at a pace which suits them without leaving people behind in the sense of they are forced into the next grade when they can’t really do it.

          I actually failed English because I hated it, but also I write with my hand VERRRYYY slowly and couldn’t get the words down fast enough for it to work but computer studies I would do an entire hour lesson in 10 minutes or less and should have been 2-3 grades higher, and actually knew more than the teacher most likely at the topic. I think modern education is a big fucking joke to be honest, we put people who vary greatly in intelligence n learning ability together, the high achievers get held behind, the low achievers struggle because they can’t keep up with the “average” level that is based upon age. Then you have the problem of forcing us to sit, which as an ADHD child I can tell you WAS HELL, not only do I have restless leg syndrome (right now my leg is bouncing and I didn’t tell it to, if I stop them my legs start to hurt n feel very uncomfy) so I copped a lot of shit over that being told to stop moving, stop squirming, be quiet, sit down, etc but I also have great problems in being able to focus especially on work that is boring, and my handwriting is very poor n slow so I was both a high achiever in some subjects and low achiever in others mostly because I couldn’t write what was on the board down in time before the bell and had lesson books full of half/quarter notes that were effectively useless. Gimme a laptop and I’d have that board written in 5 minutes probably…to rub salt into the wound I found out my school 2 years later started the fucking laptop to all kids program!!!!!!!!!! My learning could have been worlds different with that technological aid to bypass my problem area (dunno if it’s considered a disability) of writing by hand.

          • Just fyi, Its actually the x that mainly affects intelligence. Thus women have a more average intelligence curve due to gene weighting, while men have that wide range due to only having one.

            / tmyn

        • @Joanna: Yeah, as I tried to stress by using words like “niggling” and pointing out that a lot of what I was saying wasn’t directly about the article….I wasn’t trying to say I disagree with what Mark’s saying. (Aside from that one paragraph, obviously).

    • “It’s a problematic way to frame it……’hey parents of daughters, don’t you want your girl to be able to find a good husband?’ It’s actually the opposite of feminism, in a lot of ways. I, as a woman, should definitely be concerned if our education system is failing boys…but not because I might one day want to marry one, and not because I might one day be a parent to one. ”

      It’s the same argument feminism has given men on why they should care about feminism, just reversed genders. The argument of helping women actually helps men too because they have daughters, wives, mothers, friends, etc.

      “Which, I’m not even saying that’s something I think your letter is saying…just that’s often something I see underlying this conversation. ”
      Where on earth did you get that idea? To me it sounds simply that boys failing will make it more difficult for the majority of women (whom are straight) to find a partner of equal educational level or greater when women are the majority of those in higher education + the rest on how boys are failing.

      Society needs both to survive, we can’t have either fall behind. We need both males and females to be able to do BOTH jobs to move into a progressive society where it takes into account our own personal interests and not limit based on gender, whilst also reducing the strain n burden of work n stress on men, and children n stress related to that on women.

    • Random_Stranger says:

      “women wanting to gain equality is viewed as laudable, but ultimately without consequence. If women do, or don’t, gain equality….society will ultimately trundle on. But if men fall behind…well then there are some serious potential consequences.”

      I have heard some form of this argument before, an author will argue that the decline of men should be important because it will adversely impact women. But your take is certainly an interesting spin on it -and I guess I continue to learn about the view from the “other side”.

      I’ve always grimaced at this framing because I presume the author believes his/her audience is more motivated to address an injury to a women over an injury to a man. For example, an author might imply that excessive incarceration rates among men are of course an injury to his well-being, but insist upon the injury to a women’s long-term romantic and co-parenting prospects as the author’s thesis. The reader is presumed tortured on the issue by the probable culpability of men in his demise, but by contrast, hold women harmless for her injury and so, become more inclined towards redress.

      I’m inclined, depending on the author or publisher, to believe my perception the more apt of the two b/c it preserves that universal “man as actor, women as acted upon” gender paradigm -but yours is an interesting take on it. Just goes to show the duality of gender bias.

    • And I get that it’s just one paragraph that isn’t even the main point of this letter. But, like…this issue seems to be to often be framed with the underlying assumption that if men are the bedrocks of our society, and thus if they fall behind in education, our society will crumble. Women will stop marrying them! Progress will halt! etc. Which, I’m not even saying that’s something I think your letter is saying…just that’s often something I see underlying this conversation.
      Actually I think this framing comes from the thought that men only matter for as long as they are useful.

      Like the reason helping men and boys should matter isn’t because men and boys themselves might want to actually make something of themselves for their own sake but because women are going to want/need them someday.

      I think that’s an underlying assumption that needs to get dealt with.

      Whether for women or for the system or for whoever, help for men and boys is usually hinged on someone or something other than for the sake of men and boys themselves.

      Let’s stop treating them like beasts of burden and utility.

      • What about the simple fact that the problems of half of society will inevitably affect the other half? Unless you are proposing segregation, there is no way for women to be unaffected by the troubles of men, and vice versa. And in fact, the problems of half the population affect the other half, regardless of gender. Maybe if we cease to view gender as the main concern and instead focus on the fact that these woes affect 50 percent of the population? Although I have no problem with considering the emotional well being of young people in romantic, sexual, or even marital and parental relationships, it’s clearly a sticking point with both men and women who comment here.

        • Let me try to clear myself up.

          I’m not trying to say that the two halves will never have or should never have any affect on each other.

          What I’m saying is that when considering the how to help one half we should stop making “How does this the affect the other half?” such a priority that the it is given priority to helping the half we are trying to help in the first place.

          Yes what boys and men do will have some effect on women and girls but let me ask.

          When trying to help boys/men which is more important, helping boys/men or making sure women/girls are affected too negatively?

          Supposedly it doesn’t work when prioritizing the effects of men/boys over how to help women/girls so why should we expect it to work in reverse?

        • But the problem is that your focus in your commntes is once again on women. It should not be that difficult to take your focus and your sympathy and your concerns away from your own sex for one topic. That is what is desperately needed – the willingness to talk about men without changing the subject to women and feminism.

          That is the true test now for feminists. Are you willing to see men as human beings without talking about yourselves? It is a difficult test and goes against the world we live in. But the plight of these young men should – hopefully – make it more feasible.

          • I see. My reasons for wanting to help young men are entirely wrong, therefore, in all fairness, I must therefore cease to want to improve the lives of young men and boys. Because even if the end result is the same – improvements in the lives of young men and boys – my reasons are all wrong. Thanks for clarifying that I must stop caring about this issue.

            • If your reasoning for helping us is that it might benefit you then no, I don’t want you on our side.

              You can leave now.

            • Melenas says:

              The problem is the framing of a male problem around women. In other words, if you think that “men need help because they are doing poorly in academia and women want to marry educated men,” in your mind the real problem is women wanting to marry educated men and not finding enough candidates. In this case the way to solve a particular problem affecting women just happens to involve helping men.
              It would be like a campaign to promote health and fight obesity in women stating their purpose as “because men want to marry thin, attractive women.”

              Let’s help people for their own sakes, not so they can better serve as utilities for others.

  4. Kathryn DeHoyos says:

    Mark,
    Thank you so much for writing this! I think it strikes right at the heart of the issue!

  5. Kris Huson says:

    I agree that we all need to pay attention to how we raise and rear our boys. Read Dr. William Pollack’s “Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood” and it will blow your mind. We need to dismantle the what Dr. Pollack cites as the Boy Code which teaches boys how to act and demands that they cover up their emotions.

    Not only will boys be more successful in school, they will be empathetic and less prone to violence towards themselves and others. Violence is an exclamation mark on a long sentence which starts during childhood and the suppression of boys’ emotions by parents, teachers, coaches, clergymen, peers and society.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    I would prefer to separate some of these stats from each other, because they are not all products of the same problems. Some of these things need to be addressed at the national political level, because they are questions of policy and infrastructure and how society treats boys. For example, the ways that boys and young men are treated as students, employees, defendants, and patients.

    Lumping in video game and TV consumption is pretty dubious, though. Those are not so much about what is done to boys as what boys do to themselves. If I had to prioritize my efforts as President, I’d target graduation rates and incarceration rates before I’d try to get boys to watch less TV and play less XBox.

    The greatest political pressure you can put on an incumbent Party is to suggest that failure to address these problems may cost you votes. I’m not sure Obama, particularly as a lame duck President, is under any real pressure in this regard. I don’t see the Democrats on the verge of losing a lot of voters just because they aren’t addressing men’s issues well enough. The vast majority of pro-Obama male voters are not going to desert him just because he’s lacking a men’s issues policy. Maybe I’m wrong about that; I actually hope I’m wrong about that.

    In a larger political context, realistically the Dems would have to compare votes gained by addressing men’s issues (defined this way) to the votes they may lose by addressing men’s issues. Then again, it’s even harder to imagine liberal feminists defecting to the Republicans….

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I think that if we can frame our desire for boys to achieve to their fullest potential, we can help all of these issues (or at least almost all of them) and watching media more than what is found to be damaging to their schoolwork is a part of that. Certainly it ranks nowhere near the importance of addressing what’s happening in the criminal justice system, but it’s a part of a bigger whole, where we’re seeing boys and men as not needing attention, not needing focus and determination.

      Maybe because we think of men and boys already being focused? We think of that as a default trait for males? Determination, focus, intelligence? For females we think we have to “encourage” it? In truth we have to encourage it in everyone, draw it out, foster it and protect it. Another example of how patriarchy has damaged both men and women.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I think that’s a great point about the expectations that boys face, and I hadn’t really thought of it that way before. A lot of people think that boys must be more focused than girls, because you know those males have a one-track mind and simple programming, and it’s still supposedly a man’s world, so boys must be already getting what they need.

        Instead of comparing girls’ experience to the experience of the mythical boy who has everything going for him just because he’s a boy, we should be comparing real-life girls and real-life boys. The real-life boy is not the boy with all the privilege in the world with everything nicely laid out for him by the powerful system catering to his every whim. I think the main point of the article was to look at actual boys and young men “on the ground,” not boys as foils for ideologues.

        • wellokaythen says:

          P.S. I could just be defensive about the amount of video games I play. Don’t take my vids away! I’ll behave, I promise!

          The guv’ment can take my control pad from my cold dead fingers.

        • Instead of comparing girls’ experience to the experience of the mythical boy who has everything going for him just because he’s a boy, we should be comparing real-life girls and real-life boys. The real-life boy is not the boy with all the privilege in the world with everything nicely laid out for him by the powerful system catering to his every whim. I think the main point of the article was to look at actual boys and young men “on the ground,” not boys as foils for ideologues.
          I think this is something that gets lost in the gender discourse on a regular basis.

          When comparing lots between males and females the usual method is to compare a real life girl or boy that has some hard lot to some almost mythical girl or boy that knows nothing of not having everything he/she wants.

          I guess you could say its a borderline deceptive tactic of comparing the worst of one side to the best of the other and then drawing conclusions against the entire sides of both.

      • The boys are watching media, playing games as a way to relax, unwind, but also learn skills that are important to them. Play an MMO and you CAN gain team-work skills (if you want your shiney epicz you better work together), but hand-eye coordination, learning to spot movement better, etc. It can be an escape too, I used games heavily as a way to escape my soul-destroying depression at the time. Fix the underlying problem and games will probably be used less, I spend far less time on games now that I have other hobbies, I love building stuff, love to be productive n constructive. Less time worrying about boys playing games and more time worrying about why they might play for so long. I also find books completely lacking any real depth of interactivity than a game can provide, books are a bunch of words that invoke mental creativity but games are visually stunning, audible experiences where I am actively thinking to outwit opponents, I have to mentally be quick on the ball and have strategy to take over their resources, stop their attacks. If they send bombers, I need to know instantly the type of interceptor to send, how many to send, what defences those interceptors need (in RTS games they usually don’t attack the ground, so I need ground attack units to stop them being smashed by ground-to-air anti-aircraft units). For a real time strategy (RTS) game you can be doing 50-60+ actions per minute to coordinate your forces, that is A LOT of micromanagement, all those mental actions in your head to workout what to send, who to go after first, what to build, managing your resources to get your best bang for buck, many of these skills can come in handy in real life (though some may be more for army personel :P).

        It keeps your mind sharp, it teachs you to think quick and get your reaction times better (First person shooters/FPS and driving games are great for this), not to mention the effects of keeping your mind active and thinking, processing, doing calculations in your head which should be good especially for older people to help prevent aging issues. Games can be damn intensive ways to “relax”, and not all games are relaxing. Then you have simulator games which help me learn how to fly my model planes n helis without the cost of a real crash ($$$$$$), real planes n helis without the massive cost of fuel and access to a plane (not to mention disabled people may have a real hard time flying a real aircraft). Compare this to books which simply have words, that’s it, just words, you can incorporate a book into a game, I’d much rather see a visual learning guide with imagery, video, interaction, Actually holding a joystick and moving a plane and seeing exactly how it moves in relation to the analog movement of the joystick vs reading “to pitch a plane up, pull back on the “joystick”.

        Games are the future of learning I think, VR especially. OK class we will travel to the jurrasic period and study the dinosaurs, be able to visually see the size in relation to you since you’re tilting your head up and looking at a T-Rex WITH skin, WITH muscle, WITH sound, watching how their body moves (which is guesswork since none are living:P), be able to get an idea of what life is like vs looking at a book which shows a single image or 2 and a bunch of words that don’t really explain the intricate detail of the jawmovement, etc.

      • ” Another example of how patriarchy has damaged both men and women.”
        ——————————————

        How depressing. How deeply depressing. Even in an article that points out the suffering of boys there is the standard anti-male ‘blame it on evil men’.

        This is supposed to be a reasonably serious discussion. All that rubbish about the ‘patriarchy’. Do feminists ever take a sabbatical on beating up on men?

  7. PursuitAce says:

    Millions of young men, unemployed, laying about playing video games and eating bad food causes an increased output of methane gas, thereby further elevating global climate change. I think this is an angle that the President can get behind…so to speak.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      LOL

    • wellokaythen says:

      Kangaroos produce virtually no methane. If we switch to replacing beef cows with kangaroos, we would significantly cut down on methane production as well.

      Of course, if you could capture the couch potato methane you could turn it into natural gas. Could I get a clean energy tax break for trying that at home?

  8. Mark, thanks for addressing these issues and asking our president to step up and be heard. Another aspect of this problem is the violence which often results when we neglect our young men. The whole country pays attention when there is a school shooting or a bomb that goes off at a public event. We rarely look at these tragedies through the lens of gender. Its most often young men that are the perpetrators of this violence, and usually these acts of violence also involve suicide (sometimes by police, usually male, who shoot the perpetrator). The violence continues to escalate. In his book, Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, James Gilligan, M.D. says, “I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed and humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed, and did not represent the attempt to prevent or undo the ‘loss of face’–no matter how severe the punishment, even if it involved death.”

    The greatest form of shame and disrespect is when we focus a great deal of attention on one group and neglect another group. Boys matter, young men matter.

    I’m glad the President stands up for gun control and he stands up in support of a professional athlete who acknowledges being gay. Think what it would mean if he showed this kind of respect to our young men. “For we misunderstand these men, at our peril,” says Gilligan, “if we do not realize they mean it literally when they say they would rather kill or mutilate others, be killed or mutilated themselves, than live without pride, dignity, and self-respect.”

    • PursuitAce says:

      Bingo. Nail slammed into wood here. Nicely done.

    • The whole country pays attention when there is a school shooting or a bomb that goes off at a public event. We rarely look at these tragedies through the lens of gender. Its most often young men that are the perpetrators of this violence, and usually these acts of violence also involve suicide (sometimes by police, usually male, who shoot the perpetrator).
      I would say that the lens of gender is applied to these acts of violence but it is often done in a very selective and limited way. For example we talk about how most of these acts of violence were committed by young males and then instead of thinking, “We need to find a way to reach out to these young boys/men and steer them away from such violence.” we think “They did it because of macho, because they want to control girls/women, etc….”.

      Its like the goal isn’t to help them but to pathologize whatever can be nailed down as “the cause”.

      You can even see it in efforts that are pushed towards young men and violence. Usually it will be about not committing violence against women/girls but not so much about violence towards men/boys. That’s not to say that such things are not important but how can you expect young boys who have the violence that is committed against them disregarded because they are male to turn and around and suddenly start going against violence against women/girls?

      I honestly think a major step is getting skipped here.

      I’ve heard the question asked, “How can you expect to love others when you don’t love yourself?”

      Well how can you be concerned about violence against women/girls when you aren’t concerned about violence against yourself? (I don’t think you can. Further I think that to such an expectation only leads to the old style of chivalry like courtesy where violence against women/girls is a major deal that must be confronted while violence against men/boys is “just the way it is”.)

  9. Mark and friends, Dr. Warren Farrell and others have been working since 2009 to urge the President
    to create a White House Council on Men and Boys, to parallel the one that was created for Women and Girls. You can check it out here: http://www.warrenfarrell.name/

  10. Hi Jed

    You write:
    “they would rather kill or mutilate others, be killed or mutilated themselves, than live without pride, dignity, and self-respect.”

    Can you tell us more about what it takes for a young man in America today to get respect, be treated with dignity?

    What hinders, men from feeling pride,self respect and dignity ?

    I am not thinking of the large male prison population but rest of the young men that are not in conflict with the law.( Prisons are designed to destroy any dignity and self esteem you ever had, so I will not talk about them here because the answer is so obvious).

    Tell us what it takes for ordinary men to be respected, feel pride ?

    Is there something in the culture in the American society today that disrespect men? Or do you only respect those that manage to lift themselves up by their own hair, have high social mobility, and the ones that are born wealthy?

    What is it about work and sexuality in America that favor only a few?

    Where I live sexuality and work is cornerstones in men’s feeling of pride,self respect. And their weak points as well. Many will disagree,but it look that way to me.

    Are large groups of young men not included in society, their ” tribe”, their local community and neighborhood? Can they not start families ?
    Why are they not valued?

    • Iben, You ask lots of good questions. I’ll respond to a few here. If you’d like more on my work over the last 40 years, please visit me at http://www.MenAlive.com. I think one of the key issues for many of us, including men in our culture, is the shame that so many of us grow up with. Rigid male roles make many ashamed to be who we are. For me, I grew up with messages that told me that real men don’t cry, are never weak, are strong, take charge, never fail, etc. As a result I spent a lot of my life trying to live up to ways of being in the world that denied my humanity. I think we can go a long way to teaching pride, acceptance, and dignity if we raised young men to feel totally accepting of who they are. Having rites of passage that welcome young men into manhood with elder males who love and accept themselves and can love and accept young men are also necessary elements.

      • Hi Jed

        I am sure you have heard this explanation about why boys don’t cry:

        Society raise they to become soldiers.

        And what can we do about that. It is so sad.
        I look forward to read your blog and the book you recommended.
        There is no law of nature that say we need to accept high levels of violence in any society.

    • I’m not Jed but if you don’t mind my taking some of these questions on?

      Can you tell us more about what it takes for a young man in America today to get respect, be treated with dignity?
      That’s a tough one that I really can’t answer. But from what I’ve seen in my own upbringing and that of past generations of men when you set men up in a system where they must do a set formula of things in order to get dignity and respect and those things come at high price, it won’t go well.

      What hinders, men from feeling pride,self respect and dignity ?
      Like in my answer above I think what hinders men is that the standards that men are held to for pride, respect, and dignity are too high in some places and misguided in others. For example the idea that a man should take pride in making sure that his wife never has to work outside the home, even if it means working himself to an early grave. I’d call that too high.

      What is it about work and sexuality in America that favor only a few?
      I think that can be traced back to how work and sexuality are treated like a zero sum game in which its a prize to be coveted. We believe that sexuality is something that only some people can have in order to hold it over the heads of those who don’t as a way to distinguish themselves. Same with work and money.

      • Hi Danny
        Thank’s for answering!
        Since I only watch life in the US from Scandinavia it makes me wonder.

        You write:
        “For example the idea that a man should take pride in making sure that his wife never has to work outside the home, even if it means working himself to an early grave. I’d call that too high.”

        Is it possible that still today in 2013 in America men are mainly valued because of their earning power?

        Which means you either need to succeed in getting a good education( minimum college) or be an smart entrepreneur that makes money , unless you are born wealthy?
        And I can of course add to be a celebrity of some sort,like a famous author( not necessary with a good income ).

        Seriously,it looks to me like It is harder to be a man in the US today than many other places.
        And my guess is that is not only because of economic crises that hit so hard.

        And if this a society that still see the nuclear family as a unit where only one gender carry all the economic responsibility then the motivation for girls and boys to do their school work, and study must be different.

        If boys see the future as hard but girls see the future as pleasant. She can envision her future as a stay at home wife, or a well educated woman in interesting jobs. But never as the one that ” carries” both her self,the kids and her husband.

        There must be something in the motivation when boys loose interest in fighting for an education. Not all these boys have ADHD, low IQ, or have low quality teachers,….parents that can not help with homework ….etc.

        It must also have something to do with how they SEE the future, their opportunities.
        And how well INFORMED are they really about society today and what qualifications they need to develop to survive well?

        I am sure men all over the world feel a special responsibility for their children,economically and otherwise. But today in America there is no reason for men to carry all the economic burdens is there ,unless they enjoys doing so. It sounds terribly old fashioned.

        But see the class aspect,and ethnicity aspect. And powerty.

        • Is it possible that still today in 2013 in America men are mainly valued because of their earning power?
          Actually that is starting to fade but bear in mind that there are still A LOT of men (and thus boys as well) that lived their entire lives by this thought and there are still parts of the system that do as well. Part of the awakening that men have to go through is that we are more valuable than our earning potential.

          Which means you either need to succeed in getting a good education( minimum college) or be an smart entrepreneur that makes money , unless you are born wealthy?
          And I can of course add to be a celebrity of some sort,like a famous author( not necessary with a good income ).

          In the past for a lot of men there was no time to get that education because the pressing need was to get out into the world and start earning money. If you think about it to get a minimal college degree that means you are spending four years (at least) of your work life outside the workforce. Yes there is the thought of, “But he will be making more money later”. But consider that in a lot of families, where would the money for college come from?

          Realistically most people couldn’t afford college and on top of that may have mouths to fed as well. Those men quite literally couldn’t afford to spend 4 years in school which would cost more money that they and their new families didn’t have.

          Seriously,it looks to me like It is harder to be a man in the US today than many other places.
          And my guess is that is not only because of economic crises that hit so hard.

          I’m not sure if its harder for men here in the States than for non-American men. But I do think the difficulty for men here in the States is the fact that things are changing where men are not being valued for their earning potential or for how much labor they can give towards someone else’s profits.

          The idea of “come out of high school and work for 30 years at the same company while living the American Dream” is changing drastically.

          If boys see the future as hard but girls see the future as pleasant. She can envision her future as a stay at home wife, or a well educated woman in interesting jobs. But never as the one that ” carries” both her self,the kids and her husband.
          I’m not sure about what the girl envisions but I think the boy doesn’t necessarily sees a hard fruture so much as an uncertain future.

          There must be something in the motivation when boys loose interest in fighting for an education. Not all these boys have ADHD, low IQ, or have low quality teachers,….parents that can not help with homework ….etc.
          I think a part of the reason the interest is lost because unlike past generations of boys current boys are being fed the idea that they must work hard in order to marry a woman and support her for 30 years so he can be sure to leave her enough money to live for next 20-30 years after he is gone.

          It must also have something to do with how they SEE the future, their opportunities.
          And how well INFORMED are they really about society today and what qualifications they need to develop to survive well?

          Yes. They need to know that they can actually think about and see a future that is based on what they want to do rather than what they can do for someone else.

          I am sure men all over the world feel a special responsibility for their children,economically and otherwise. But today in America there is no reason for men to carry all the economic burdens is there ,unless they enjoys doing so. It sounds terribly old fashioned.
          I don’t know about men all over the world but here in the States for a long time men were raised to feel very little more than financial/economic responsibility to their children. (Personally I think some of what we see in today’s American men in regards to getting women pregnant and running out on them is some sort of self labeled “rebellion” against the narrative that men are only as valuable as their wallets to their children.).

  11. The problem with children of “color’, where to begin?? 7 of 10 children are born to single mothers, 3 of 7 to “children” (Teens). The men of the community look at children as a sign of their “manhood” the more the merrier. There are 8 times as many men in the criminal justice system then in school. there is a 25% high school graduation rate of which 14% are college “ready” of those 8% graduate college after 6 years. There are 5 times as many women of color in college than men, the women graduate with higher education degrees (PHD & Masters). These women marry out of their “race” because after raising the children their men abandoned. They refuse to go back to the “hood’ to marry a “thug”. Men of color with “higher’ degrees also marry outside of their “race” for the same reasons. These children have no good role models at home or in their drug ridden violent communities. Their lives are “tragic” to say the least. The ‘cure” has to start at the community level by a complete refocusing of morals and values a rebuilding of the family and returning to the belief that there is a future through the “traditional” values of “family”, “education” and “hard work”.I know these views are Passe yet this is the need.

    • Hi
      How come young girls/ women manage to fight their way of this difficult social situations but boys don’t?
      Upwards social mobility for girls but not for boys?
      Is boys sense of self,identity as men tied up with old fashioned work while women is comfortable with the jobs that a modern society needs and value ?
      Like when boys that is brilliant on computers are called nerds.

      Where I live we have rural commuities where men stay behind farming, hunting and value their masculity in an traditional way. Single men. . Young girls move out, get an education.
      Fortunately we also have lots of interesting rural commuities where both men and women love to live and work.

      I see something similar where I live among immigrants, the girls work hard and succeed in school and get a top university degrees . As if they see this as a way to freedom.

      Theoretically that road is open to boys as well ,so why don’t they grasp it? Some do of course but not like the girls.

      • Because primary and secondary education has a majority of females, females are raising kids more than males, so a male has far fewer role models. Not to mention there was the big push in the 90’s to help the girls out without also ensuring the boys kept up.

        “Where I live we have rural commuities where men stay behind farming, hunting and value their masculity in an traditional way. Single men. . Young girls move out, get an education.”
        The typically male jobs around here are farming + the “tradie” stuff, eg welders, fitter/turners, boilermakers, carpenters, etc which require learning on the job but the job is local. Typically female jobs usually require university and those are in the city or they are doing more white collar work in admin, etc and most of those are in the cities. Basically career prospects for women are better in cities, hence Sydney’s growing problem of the “man drought” since the men are more often in rural areas and out here where I live we get the woman drought where it can be hard to find a woman, luckily where I am the ratio is probably like 95women to 100men or maybe a bit worse but some places go to 5x more men than women!

        In school I noticed this stereotype of girls being smarter, girls were getting better grades and the boys were starting to give up and just accepting the title of being dumb. Sexism can be a tough battle like that…Not to mention the severe disparity in male:female teachers makes it harder to get those role models boys need + schools I do believe suit the typically female learners more, boys seem to be more active and require more burning off of energy especially for kids with ADHD like myself back then. The sit still version of learning is quite frankly a piss poor way to learn for some of us….I’d rather be hands on learning, building, fixing, watching stuff blow up and figuring out why vs reading a textbook and copying notes off a board in a room so silent that I can hear my pulse nearly. I believe there is more success with shorter lesson times but also more physical activity.

        But quite frankly a lot of the boys in my grade 11 and 12 should have been on the job on their apprenticeship and not in school, years 11 and 12 in Australia are pretty fucking useless when I went through if you weren’t going to university (which more girls attend vs boys). I think they’re starting to fix this though with more emphasis on trades n stuff where people goto school for 3 or 4 days, and the 5th day they goto their apprenticeship and learn on the job. You could do certificate courses as well so many girls went to do office-type work whilst the boys mostly did the tradie stuff, and the ones that wanted to goto uni did practice tests on getting into uni. Funnily enough everyone I’ve heard of who’s been to uni seems to say the same thing that uni has to unteach you year 11 and 12 cuz it sucked!!!!!!!!!!

        Then you just have plain boring as fuck subjects like history, English, etc, that I sat through wishing I was in a coma. I enjoyed science, computer studies, and I wish we had electronics + robotics because I would have excelled there and loved school but noooo, we had to learn some pretty boring shit that killed my desire to learn until I was 26 and learned the marvel of google + youtube which I self-taught myself from far more than I learned at highschool. Make school fun and engage the students and they will excel, bore them and they will mess around or disengage. I talked my ass off during some subjects because I really didn’t want to learn them and you had NO choice, you had to take senior English and a few other core subjects. They had people learning algebra, etc who will never ever ever again use those skills, I wouldn’t be surprised if 80% of the people who did year 11 and 12 here used less than 10% of the skills they learned. Can you tell I am a big fan of modern schooling? ;)

        • Hi Archy
          It sounds like you live in an interesting place.
          One day I will visit Australia.

          I did not like school either and most teachers saw me as noisy,unruly,can not sit still girl, that never learns to write well, and asked too many question.

          I agree with you,they ( we)must change how we train and educate children. And the boys that prefer it must be trained the way you see it.

          One last word, since you mention math.
          Are you aware the best paid jobs are those where you need math? At least in my country.
          So it is smart to learn math. It becomes useful later on.

          • Yeah but most people aren’t after the very best paid jobs, they tend to involve huge workloads and stress. Here in Aus you can earn quite a bit of money ($100k+ in some cases) simply driving dump trucks without the need for advanced math.

  12. You’re right on about the need to support boys and men. Please note that President Obama has made efforts right here in Chicago: visit this link to check it out. http://www.worldsportchicago.org/press/president-barack-obama-participates-in-youth-guidances-b-a-m-sports-edition-program-at-hyde-park-academy/
    Plus, Mayor Emmanuel, former Chief of Staff, has made a big financial commitment to the effort and the First Lady was part of a fundraiser. So, efforts are being made and its up to men like you and me to own the efforts to raise awareness and make an impact. We are not just descendants, we are ancestors – our young men need us.

    • ogwriter says:

      @Dan: you must be kidding .The President had to be embarrassed by a Chicago activist and a young-man of color who implored the President in a letter posted in the Huff post to get off of his duff and come to Chicago and give them- young-men of color- some words of encouragement in light of the gun violence that was sweeping the area When it comes to recognizing males and the problems they face the PRESIDENT HAS AN ABYSMAL RECORD.
      The President can’t be trusted to do anything for them except expect them to fight in a war and come home and be further mistreated by the system. Many of the boy’s I coach and mentor could care less about the President because they see clearly that in his time in office, his agenda hasn’t included them, at all.
      And in spite of all of the spin,he didn’t grow up like them and he doesn’t relate to them and what they go through.
      Here is a guy who smoked pot, hell, he even recorded the event, yet he doesn’t mind criminalizing young people who are trying to deal with things he never had to, for doing the same. Many of us from the hood who voted for him and worked to get him elected will be glad when his time as President over.

  13. Stephen Koch says:

    Dear Mr. Sherman, This is a valuable piece. I am pleased (and a bit surprised) to see it in The Good Men Project.

    Statistics like those you cite have been widely known for at least ten years. More like fifteen. do you know how have they been addressed by the US Department of Education? Or any other state or local department? My own research last year suggested that the US Department of Education has thus far done precisely nothing, on the grounds that even studying the issues would be “too controversial.”

    It would be interesting to know what political pressure group makes any response “too controversial.”

    But that was last year. Perhaps things have changed. Are you aware of any study, any symposium, any research plan, conference, or for that matter any anything done by the Department of Education about these issues? Or are the still “too controversial.”

    • Mark Sherman says:

      Thank you, Mr. Koch.

      Sadly, I don’t know of any governmental efforts to address what Michelle Conlin called “the new gender gap” in her excellent cover story in Business Week magazine in 2003; actually, the fact that girls and young women were outpacing boys and young men was nothing new, even in 2003.

      Perhaps individual states are doing things, but nothing I am aware of. And at the federal level, I don’t know of any pro-male projects at all. You might check out The Boys Initiative (www.theboysinitiative.org), a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that deal with these issues. I edit their blog, which you may find of interest; it can be found at theboysinitiative.wordpres.com

      There are a number of books on this issue, including Richard Whitmire’s 2010 Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons From an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind. Whitmire talks about some national efforts in other countries, such as Australia and the UK; he also talks about private sector efforts in the U.S. that have achieved some success.

      I would also recommend that you get in touch with your elected officials in Washington. I have done that, thus far without success; but I have not given up.

      I feel confident that someday this issue will be widely recognized and addressed. But it will require, as most social movements do, the efforts of large numbers of people.

      Thank you for your concern and interest!

  14. One glaring omission from this discussion of the challenges that males face in our society is the startling fact that more men and boys struggle with the after effects of being sexually abused (>1 in 6) than have diabetes (1 in 10) or heart disease (1 in 8).

    Sexual abuse is a human-made epidemic, and male survivors especially have received virtually no support historically. Indeed, there are still professionals and and advocates who maintain that males cannot be raped (it was only in 2010 that the FBI changed the definition of rape to be gender inclusive). All over the country males are routinely turned away from shelters and rape crisis agencies that simply have no resources for male survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

    The long term effects of sexual abuse are well documented and include a slew of emotional and physical challenges. Oftentimes male survivors struggle with the added complication of having to contend with dysfunctional social programming that tells them that men have to be invulnerable and that a man who has been abused is weak, less of a man, and has had their sexual identity compromised (be they gay, straight, or something other).

    Until we have a more open discussion on this 800 lb gorilla in the room, all of these discussions around what men need will fall far short of really dealing with what I believe is a broader problem in society at large. We are primarily fixated on trying to create policies and initiatives that focus on prevention, and in contemplating these plans the voice of the survivors is too often marginalized. Survivors need help for their healing. Prevention without healing for those who have already been harmed shuts out the majority of people who have already been harmed.

    In my opinion what will help all people is not a new initiative or study – rather we need a shift in consciousness. Our society needs to embrace a healing agenda, and understand that all of those who have been bullied, beaten, and abused are equally worthy of support regardless of their gender, age, faith, orientation, or other factor. We are humans, and it is in our nature to support one another (witness the first responders and volunteers running towards the explosions in Boston).

  15. Most of you have made it more than clear that this problem does not concern women and that any efforts on behalf of sons is completely unwarranted. The point is well-taken. After reading the comments above, I am unsurprised that so few people are concerned with this issue.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  2. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  3. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  4. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  5. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  6. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  7. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  8. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  9. [...] These are comments by Kris Huson and Dan Bulf on the post “Dear Mr. President, Our Nation’s Boys Need Your Attention“. [...]

  10. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  11. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  12. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  13. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  14. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  15. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  16. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  17. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  18. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  19. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  20. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  21. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  22. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  23. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  24. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  25. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

  26. [...] …To parallel the White House Council on Women and Girls that you initiated after you took office, might I respectfully suggest a White House Council on Boys and Young Men? In the meantime, if in one of your speeches, comments, or press conferences, you could just mention the fact that America’s boys and young men need our nation’s attention, it would bring to me, and so many others, a great feeling of hope. (The full text of the letter can be found here.) [...]

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