Whose Violence?

I read the other day that “Violence in our society continues to be a problem.” One, duh. Two, no wonder. I mean, we haven’t even got it named right yet.

‘Violence in our society.’ It sounds so—inclusive. So gender-inclusive. But about 85% of all the violent crime is committed by men. The gangs are made up of men, the bar brawls are fought by men, the corner stores are held up by men, the rapists are men, the muggers are men, the drive-by shooters are men. This is sex-specific. The problem is male violence.

So it does no good to look at ‘society’, to look at our schools, our workplaces, our televisions. We need to look at our boys. We need to look at how we raise them—to become men. Because our girls don’t grow up to commit assault and homicide on a regular basis.

For starters, let’s admit that Read the rest of this entry »

Grade Ten History

Remember grade ten history? Okay, quick question: history of what? Of ideas? Of art? Of really stupid jokes? No! Of conflict! And mostly interpersonal conflict charading as intergroup conflict. That’s what grade ten history was all about.

And grade eleven history and grade twelve history too.

First, let’s call it what it is. And this is not a minor point. It’s like teaching nothing but limericks in a course called “Poetry”. Now it would be bad enough for kids to grow up thinking that’s all the poetry there is, but if they grow up thinking that’s all there is to history, well, Houston, we have a problem. No history of ideas, or art, no history of discovery, no history of cultural development–what an incredible disservice not only to those who made such history, but of course to those denied that knowledge.

But that’s minor damage compared to this: Read the rest of this entry »