22 January 1995 |
Los Angeles Times Magazine
Re: "The Trouble With Boys",
by Michael d'Antonio,
Los Angeles Times Magazine, December 4, 1994
The trouble with boys stems from two dynamics only marginally addressed by D'Antonio. Both have been media-induced in an assault unprecedented before the latter half of the 20th Century, a wave that drenches the culture and leaves little room for alternative messages.
First, there is the simplistic doctrine that childhood must be a carefree time. That approach is fine for toddlers but destructive to adolescents. Growing boys (girls, too, but the article focused on boys) must be prepared for life more than protected from it, and that preparation must be gradual and begin early. Puberty is too late.
Second, there is homophobia, which prevents boys from making fully committed peer friendships and keeps them from relating to real men, pushing them instead toward plastic action figures and celluloid heroes.