Introduction episode for a new podcast on the inner lives of boys. Dedicated to Bryson, who suicided on February 11 at age 12. “Our boys deserve more. More respect. More attention. More room to explore who they are as individuals. Fuller, longer lives. Closer friendships. Fewer stereotypes. Less violence. Less loneliness. And a whole lot more than what ‘boys will be boys’ can give them.” — Rachel Brandt
How do you stop a man from being violent? How do you stop the college student who’s taking things to far, or that guy at the bar who won’t back down, or the dad whose words are fists? On one hand these are complex issues and the answer is not one thing, but at the same time all of these men have one thing in common. Boyhood. So how do you stop a man from being violent? You talk to him when he’s a boy.
At first glance, the context of this podcast is ending violence against women and girls. In order to effectively confront patterns of male violence, we need to look deeper at the ways that masculinity is constructed, enacted and resisted by boys and men. In a word, patriarchy.
Patriarchy also has negative effects on boys and men. Boys are dropping out of high school twice as much as girls. Using drugs and alcohol more frequently and more heavily. Dying by suicide four times as often. Men are committing 98% of shootings in the United States, and filling 93% of the prison population.
The premise of this podcast is that boys have inner lives—personal, emotional experiences that are often hidden from view. And if we can better understand and support those inner lives, we can better protect them and the people around them. Each episode will centre on a single boy, describing an experience within that inner life—anxiety, grief, depression, bullying—and will interweave his story with the perspectives of experts and leaders in progressive masculinity.
JR Thorpe, Gender Stereotypes Put More Pressure On Boys Than Girls, and The Consequences Can Be Really Toxic →
Rachel Brandt, 4 Ways the ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ Attitude Harms the Men in Our Lives →
Michael Reichert and Sharon Ravitch, ‘Defying Normative Male Identities: The Transgressive Possibilities of Jewish Boyhood,’ Youth & Society →
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Supported by Next Gen Men.