Monday, July 14, 2008

How to Stop Violence

Here's a thought for anyone raising daughters. Boys are dumb. Let me elaborate on that a little bit. My boss has a son who tried to stop a fight between six jerks from a neighboring town and one of his friends. That's right, six on one. For his troubles he got kicked in the jaw, which broke it in two places, requiring seven hours of surgery, two titanium plates, twin six inch scars, and two months off from work.

It doesn't even matter what the reason was behind this fight. What matters is that this is typical of what goes on these days. When I was of a certain age, not so long ago really, when two guys got into a beef about something, usually a girl or an insult, they'd just hit each other until it got broken up, or maybe arrange to meet somewhere after school and duke it out. This business of gangs of guys pounding the tar out of somebody just goes way beyond what I used to think was some sort of basic chivalry that came along with the Y chromasome.

Whatever the cause of it, there's a way to stop it. It's not what you might think, some limp wristed effort on the part of schools to further emasculate boys, or public service announcements on TV aren't what's needed here. I'm talking about grass roots and as an added bonus it takes a step toward empowering our young ladies. Here's what it is.

  1. Start by explaning to your children that fighting is wrong.
  2. Tell your boys that there are much better/craftier/more satisfying methods than physical beatings to put someone in their place.
  3. Tell your girls not to kiss boys who fight.
I started at dinner tonight. I told J-man, who's two and Miss O who's five about the fight this weekend. Then I turned to J-man and said, "Fighting is bad, don't ever fight with people." Then I turned to Miss O and said, "Don't ever kiss boys who fight."

Seriously, how long do you think this kind of behavior would go on in high schools if all the eligible young women were saying things like, "Hey, talk all you want about pounding that guy, but if you ever want to kiss me or my friends... you better not actually do it." Then let those same young ladies have just the slightest bit of soliderity, and let the young man who chooses to throw the punch find himself without a date for a semester and see if things don't quiet down around the ol' school yard.

What a concept, a young hot head might actually stay his hand to keep his girlfriend and somewhere in the mist and murk of all the testosterone find that he's acting like a real man. Personally I think the ladies are up to it. Sure there might be a few jeers if the object of the pounding is a geek, but a couple taunts will soon be forgotten. Once a few girls find out how much fun it could be to wield some actual girl power it's bound to catch on. It's just a thought, but it could work.


The Mister said...

I'm curious to see if nobody is leaving comments because nobody wants to go first. So I'll go first this time, like seeding the tip jar. OK, now you...

that girl said...

That's interesting. (This is my first time here)YOu're right about the fighting being much more than it used to be.

intensesimplicity said...

I grew up in girl world and now I've been submerged in boy world so I'm trying to get a handle on this aggressive tendency of boys. You clearly have a point. By no means would I advocate pointless battles, but let's face it, our country is protected by lots of men who aren't afraid to hurt someone if they have to. There's an appropriate time for it. Some books I've read to help me "get" my little men.... Raising a Modern Day Knight, Bringing Up Boys, Raising Sons and Loving It, Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men, That's My Son: Raising Boys With Character.... A CD that my husband picked up at a marriage conference Tender Warrior: Every Man's Purpose, Every Woman's Dream, Every Child's Hope. You're welcome to borrow any of them.
"the parent type"

Belinda said...

Good words.