"Feminized Men" in S&S

banzaiengr

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Transgenderism goes a bit beyond the original subject but I found this article interesting. Maybe it all get's back to what receives positive reenforcement? The man in the article got positive reenforcement (attention) from his Grandmother by being the Granddaughter she never had. Think maybe the kid on the cover of National Geographic got positive reenforcement with his feminization by being there?

I was just like the ‘trans’ 9-year-old in National Geographic. Now I know it’s pure fantasy
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I believe the practice of letting prepubescent children define their own gender counter to their biological gender is misguided. If after they mature it is still or becomes an issue, they can face that as a young adult or fully grown individual after their hormones have held court. Encouraging that prior to some level of maturity could cause more trouble than it solves.

I wouldn't let a child pack for a camping trip or meal plan without oversight. A relative on my wife's side is letting their 5 yr old son identify as female. This kid is a year and a half out of diapers. And it goes both ways, my daughter is constantly trying to buy clothes from the boy's section, she can't stand pink clothes anymore. She can get her sneakers there and that's it.
 

Questionfear

Double-Digit Post Count
I wanted to briefly weigh in here, because my son has two moms. It's been interesting watching him develop and grow (he's now 3.5) because we tried very hard not to put expectations on what he would like or force him to be anything he wasn't, and he naturally gravitated towards fire trucks and trains, and lately he's obsessed with all things dinosaurs. He's very physical and loves to roughhouse, run around, and get super dirty...I don't think he's ever met a puddle he doesn't like.

We have also noticed that he definitely craves male role models-not in place of his mommies, but in addition to. Luckily for him, my wife has two brothers and a brother-in-law who all adore my son, and my father and brother likewise offers him a ton of attention. He rarely goes more than a week or two without getting the chance to hang out with his grandpa or one of his uncles. And he's becoming quite handy for a 3.5 yr old, following around my brother in law anytime he's fixing things around the house, or insisting on "helping" me anytime something requires a tool. I will never forget the look of absolute joy on his face the day my brother in law and I replaced some railings on our deck, and my son saw a circular saw for the first time. I am convinced there's something primal and genetic about men and power tools! In any case, I don't think he loses anything by not having a father, because we've made very sure to engage him with our larger families and make sure he isn't isolated to just us and the dog. ;)

At the same time, my son is a big cuddler and hugger. He's very sweet and empathetic, and is very focused on anything that involves helping or rescuing people. As long as his interests aren't actively harming him or anyone around him, we encourage him to be himself, and it's quite clear that he, at least right now, gravitates towards things that are stereotypical "male". Some of this is just who he is, some of it is probably what he absorbs from the world around him, but I think whether a boy is "feminized" has more to do with the expectations and societal pressures than anything innate. We know girls who are tomboys, we know boys who like My Little Pony, and we know boys who, like my son, have never met a siren/tool/destructive item they didn't like! Our attitude is that it's better to encourage a kid along their interests than force them into boxes.

(Plus if he grows up to be handy he can fix things around the house in our old age).
 

Harry Westgate

More than 500 posts
I've been keeping one eye skim-reading this thread, because as a 20 year old (21 on Saturday), middle class, private school educated lad I feel it's given me a lot to think about regarding where I'm going in life/where I should go, as I've grown up with a relatively privileged and comfortable lifestyle, and I'm well aware that there are harder men than myself on this Forum whose experiences and such might make someone like myself look like a complete sissy (I use that word purely to avoid using foul language here...).

Regarding the points people have brought up regarding what is expected of men and also young people being brought up in certain ways (masculine = aggressive = bad, etc.), I'd like to just throw a few thoughts out there about my experiences of schooling, and I wonder if others might have similar views/experiences...

While I understand that rules have to be in place to avoid complete anarchy, I think that an area in which schools (let's say age 13-18 which I found to be really important years in terms of discovering my own identity) really suffer is in helping individual personalities to flourish while simultaneously teaching the youth of the day how to be functioning members of society.

For a bit of a contextual example, kids are told not to 'answer back' to teachers. Great. Because there's no chance that a 16 year old can explain to a teacher why they're wrong and have the wrong end of the stick. Here's a crazy idea, why don't we let said 16 year old voice their opinions and encourage them to do so in a well-mannered, appropriate manner?

How about fighting? Now I know we can't just go around socking everyone we don't like in the mouth, but why does a student get bollocked (excuse my French) off a teacher for retaliating - physically or otherwise - to a bully? Maybe that bully has been giving them grief every bloody day for the past week, for the past year; is it any wonder that they'd snap? The kid reinforced into not standing up to such a character is going to get crucified in the real world, outside of the bubble and safety nets provided by a school.

Then they leave school, and they've been taught not to retaliate to adversity, bullies, unjust decisions made by those higher up their chain of command, and so on. How is someone who has these brakes locked on to their ability to stand up for something supposed to go out into the world? They've been taught not to fight back when persistently picked on, not to answer back... How are these good qualities? Kids need to be taught how to 'answer back' when it's appropriate; they should be allowed to question decisions and not just roll over 'because Mr. Smith said so' and voice their opinions and concerns in an appropriate manner. They should be taught how to actually confront adversity. Not the whole 'just walk away' bullsh!t, and not necessarily just 'strike first, strike hard' (though I still believe there's a time and place for that too), but how to diffuse a situation with words, body language, etc. because let's face it, when you accidently bump into someone who's had one too many alcopops after a night out and thinks they're Mike Tyson all of a sudden, keeping your mouth shut and walking away may well be the worst thing you can do.

In summary, schools have a lot of rules which end up producing very submissive individuals, both male and female. Naturally though of course - to give a nod to the thread title - this produces a degree of feminization in boys.

Rant over.
 
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