Friday, December 13, 2013

Understanding our Brethrens: Masterminds and Wingmen

"Who's going to help the boys," was my nine year old's response when I explained to him my role as an economic empowerment coach with the YWCA. It was a question that made me pause. The only response I could muster up was how happy I would be to help men if they asked. 

I am the mother of two boys, aged nine and fifteen. In the past, they have expressed concern of being picked on or excluded at school because of their gender. When my older boy first mentioned it, I shrugged it off as perhaps a subjective view. Maybe it was only he who saw the teacher's interaction with female classmates as favoritism for one gender over another. I was later to learn at his birthday party that year that most of his male friends shared the same feeling. 

Since the 1990s, there has been a major concern that society may potentially overlook the needs of our boys.  A growing chorus of   concerned parents and professionals have been asking the public to re-examine their gender equality tactics. Not that they are against them, of course, only that we may be isolating males along the way. My older son, and later the nine year old, and their friends have validated that fear. 

I never dismissed any of my sons' feelings. Instead, I had a frank talk with their  teachers during parent-teacher conferences. Both welcomed the discussions and assured me they would work harder at seeming fair. 

With the wealth of public information geared at empowering females at schools and the workplace, it makes sense that males feel isolated and attacked. As I mentioned in several prior posts and my e-book, gender equality will never be guaranteed unless we bring our brethren along  for the ride. 

Rosalind Wiseman, author of the best seller, Queen Bees and Wannabes, has written a new book geared at helping readers understand males and just how important including them is. Masterminds and Wingmen is a testimonial to the lives of teenage boys from various social standings. She opens herself to these boys and gives them an opportunity to bare all their insecurities and hopes. It is a bible to the inner workings of males - what makes them tick and what makes them rock. The book is important because it reminds us just how human our boys are, and not the aliens from Mars past generations had them labelled. As a courtesy, Ms. Wiseman has even included a free Survival Guide for the young males in our lives. It helps them look beyond themselves and learn tactics to deal with stressful and awkward situations. It serves as a guide to females as well by helping them understand the challenges young men face. 

We owe it to our boys, and the future of our girls, to work toward inclusion. It's never okay to deliberately benefit one group at the expense of the other. We avoid this tragedy by starting precisely where Rosalind Wisesman did, by understanding each other. 

For more info about the book and to download the guide, visit this link: encourage your girls to read them as we'll. 

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