November 2013

* girls and boys

"Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen."


When I speak to groups about differences in how girls and boys learn, I talk so forcefully about the harm done to boys in an overly academic kindergarten that I am often pegged as a boys advocate. But girls are being shortchanged as well, although the effects show up differently. The failure of schools to recognize differences in how girls and boys learn affect each sex at different ages. Boys are harmed most in kindergarten and the elementary years.

For girls, the negative effects of gender-blind education become manifest in the middle school and high school years. Gender blind education leads paradoxically to a strengthening of gender stereotypes, with the result that fewer girls take courses in physics, computer science, trigonometry, and calculus.

Why is gender-blind education harmful to girls? To understand the answer you have to know more about the differences in how girls and boys learn.

Sex differences in learning aren't confined to differences in hearing, or differences in responses to confrontation, or differences in developmental timetables. There are consistent and significant brain based sex differences in how girls and boys learn geometry and number theory.
(Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax)



Axl Rose


The extremely popular Guns 'n' Roses recorded a song that goes: "I used to love her / But I had to kill her / I had to put her six feet under ' And i can still hear her complain."

The singer goes on to sing that he knew he would miss her so he buried her in the backyard. This song supports a common attitude among physical abusers that women's complaints are what provoke men to violence. Another outstanding example is the comedian Andrew Dice Clay, whose reportoire of "jokes" about the beating and sexual assault of females has filled performance halls across the country. Fans of these kinds of performances have been known to state defensively,

"come on, it's just humor."

But humor is actually of one of the powerful ways a culture passes on it's values. If a man is already inclined toward abuse because of his earlier training or experience, he can find validation in such performances and distance himself even further from empathy for his partners. In one abuse case that I was involved in, the man used to play the above Gun's N Roses song on the stereo repeatedly and tell his wife that this was what was going to happen to her, laughing about it.

(Bundy Lundcroft,
Why Does He Do That?)



At times she pleads with him not to hurt her. He describes to her how he is going to make it look as if she is the one who killed their son and that he killed her in self-defense, so that he'll get away with it. Kim screams for help, then is audibly choked to death, as Eminem screams, "Bleed bitch, bleed, bleed, bleed!" The murder is followed by the sound of a body being dragged across dry leaves, thrown into the trunk of a car and closed in.

Even more horrible than Eminem's decision to record this song glorifying the murder of a woman and child is the fact that it did not stop him from receiving a Grammy. What is a teen boy or a young man to conclude about our culture from this award?

I believe I can safely say that a singer who openly promoted the killing of jews, or blacks, or people in wheelchairs would be considered ineligible for a Grammy. But not so, unfortunately, for encouraging the brutal and premeditated murder of one's wife and child, complete with a plan for how to escape consequences of it.

(Bundy Lundcroft, Why Does He Do That?)