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    The Atlantic | Peggy Orenstein, Peggy Orenstein | 12/16/19 | 40 min
    10 reads9 comments
    9.7
    The Atlantic
    10 reads
    9.7
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    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I realize that this probably defies all kinds of logic and morality, but I feel like Cole needs a f*cking smack. Doesn’t have to be literal one, but some kind of wake up call. For God’s sake: Speak your mind! Stand up for what you believe! Following the crowd — especially when it’s against the voice in your heart — is a recipe for absolute disaster.

      • BillEnkey1 month ago

        To an extent, things are changing. When I was active duty, at first the "bros" wouldn't always interact with me because of my religious values. After a few fire fights (in Afghanistan) we had become, perhaps by necessity, closer; then they would protect my values for me. I could tell they still had those "bro" conversations, but I was still in with them (we'd have BBQs, go out to the bar, etc); and if they had those harsh conversations they were without me. Perhaps more situations like this will cause greater change.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 month ago

          Super thoughtful comment - thanks for sharing. I think you're exactly right that real, deep change happens slowly, incrementally, between humans, face to face, in real life. And, as you point out, sometimes extreme circumstances are needed to bring us closer to one another.

          PS Always a pleasure to meet another Bill! 😎

      • jbuchana
        Reading streakScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        It's as if he's denying his own self. If someone keeps that up, they will lose their self and become a cog in the bro culture.

    • jbuchana
      Reading streakScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      The behavior described here is familiar to someone who was in high school in the '70s, at least as far as I remember as an outsider. I did not fit in at all, and pretty much fell of the jock's radar after a while. It does sound like people are finding themselves trapped into toxic masculinity and feel that they have no safe way out, even when they are appalled by their and their friend's actions.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Yup. Familiar to me too. In suburban, central New Jersey in the 1990s, “fag” and “faggot” were playground words I learned in elementary school. My parents (and my friends parents) never said it, as far as I knew, especially around us kids, but somehow the extreme homophobia found it’s way into the shared consciousness of the boys in my neighborhood and social circles. And perhaps even stranger/worse, everything bad was “gay.” Too much homework was gay. Rain, when you wanted sun, was gay. Not getting a snow day - totally gay. At some point (middle school maybe?) my brothers and I visited our more liberal cousins in Massachusetts who called it out: “Why do you guys keep saying that everything that’s bad is gay? There’s nothing wrong with gay people.” I literally remember the exact room and time of day when this happened, six tween(ish), mostly pre-pubescent boys, reckoning with language, trying to figure all of this shit out. My brothers and I had a really lame defense: “There’s a gay guy renovating our kitchen, and we don’t hate him! In fact, we kinda like him! So we obviously don’t hate gay people!” I remember knowing, clearly, that we were in the wrong and also that it was time to start thinking more deeply about what kind of person I wanted to be. I came away from this article reminded that all people, deep down, are good. Hate, just like ignorance, is a solvable problems. Step one is listening, without judgment.

    • turtlebubble1 month ago

      I can’t believe what a breeze this was to read. I think all the little juicy drama college tidbits made it feel like an episode of Riverdale at times but the struggle and heartache is clear. I felt pretty optimistic at the end when the author drew parallels to the shift in how girls are raised now. It took a lot of education and speaking up throughout generations but now the idea is pervasive: to mindfully raise a girl to feel empowered to be more than a wife a mom. We need more of this conversation to inspire the same kind of shift to raise boys to be more than emotionless athletes. People of all genders have obviously always been so much more than the things they were taught that society valued most, it’s just an idea that has been poisoned throughout American history. The abolition of this outdated prescription will unlock the ultimate message which is just to raise kids to be good people and gender needn’t play a role in what they’re taught.

      • jeff
        Reading streakScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        I can’t believe what a breeze this was to read.

        You weren't kidding! I felt like this could have been twice as long and I wouldn't have even blinked an eye. Great comment. I agree that there's reason to be optimistic for future generations. Peggy Orenstein just needs to keep writing articles like this one.

    • Alexa
      ScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Eesh, this is a heavy read but very well done. Not a lot of "how to fix it" take home messages, but a good look at the why behind why we need to take a solid look at how we raise boys (and tbh girls too) in the US.

      "I didn’t care, and maybe in that situation no one was really harmed, but when you apply that attitude to whole populations, you end up with Donald Trump as president.”