Did you ever have a secret you couldn’t tell anyone? Men and boys often do, and it is imperative that we learn to listen, rather than chiding, or mocking them, or making light of problems that men and boys face.
12 year old boy faces prison–and it’s all his fault. He should man up or somethin… [Especially watch the womans comment at the end of the video, about how he should rot or get raped in prison]
I probably ask some of the same questions—and come up with the same answers as you do when it comes to trying to understand why a young boy would take a shotgun, and blow a person’s head off. But for some, the likely the answer is because “that’s just what boys do,” or some derivative of ‘ boys and violence.”
And I am not a psychiatrist; I don’t know for certain why he did what he did, but I do know a bit about being a boy, and how that can hurt in weird ways. Especially when they tell you that girls don’t do bad things.
This idea is perpetuated by academics who believe that boys are harmful to society. However, actual scientists believe that there is massive gender bias against boys in mental health diagnoses.
Boys are four times less likely to be diagnosed with autism, and autism might even be a factor in whether or not boys become murderers.
Boys also suffer from the under diagnoses of ADHD, and a host of other mental health issues.
Homicide is an extreme example of course, but an example of ‘male ascribed behavior’ that is perpetuated through gender stereotypes and under diagnoses like the above links. In fact, most violence is described as male behavior, part of a cycle of socially ascribed male status, until a boy “becomes a man” and achieves the status of violentoffender.
Most societies still encourage violence in males, despite the primitive nature of such a sexist belief system. Even the San people, who call themselves the !Kung- who are reportedly one of the most gentle groups of people around the world, believe that a boy is not a man until he kills.
Violence is socially constructed, and engendered as male in discussions of domestic violence, and in the enumeration of the symptoms of mental disorders as well–which could be viewed as a form of violence directed at men, and in the least is sexist. Ascribing violence to males perpetuates violence, and is an inaccurate and misleading characterization, because women’s violence accounts for at least half of all domestic violence, and also takes many different forms, especially when they are drinking, and sometimes takes the extreme forms that this boy exhibits as well.
And some of those forms are well hidden in the family structure, and under discussed in mainstream dialogues. Even as I wrote this, a woman said to me (and I hear this quite a bit) “but you don’t know if the woman hurt him; how do you know the father didn’t do something to him?”
There is little doubt the father ‘did something’ but also he likely didn’t do enough, or could have. And the thing the father shouldn’t have done is to bring a strange woman with two strange kids into the center of a young boys life without some professional dialogue, or a counselor to oversee the transition.
But the dialogue with western women never progresses that far.The ‘it’s mens fault’ speaker is set to high volume, playing that old record every time you bring it up.
I have learned that this primary western female responsibility-negation response is to be expected when discussing causation of violence. Most if not all women reflexively deflect issues of violence onto men, and ascribe the results to male initiation—no matter how gross and evil acts of women’s violence are, or what different forms women’s violence takes. I have even come to the conclusion that this behavior—deflecting issues of violence onto men—is in fact a form of female violence.
But violence is every bodies problem. For an example: the bear comes to the mouth of the cave!! Do the man and woman each stand up and fight the bear? Do the children who have legs stand up and fight the bear?? Of course they do, if nuclear family has any meaning at all. It takes more than one woman kicking a man’s ass out of the comfort of the bearskin rugs to kick the ass of the next bear.
Anywhere except in America, the nuclear weapons capital of the world, land of the replaceable Uber-man, the ever fertile cannon fodder producing woman, and initiator of more than five current wars! And except for domestic violence issues and rape, violence is apparently wholesome, and socially acceptable.
Never mind statistics that prove that women’s sexual violence against boys leads to aberrant male behaviors—like rape and domestic violence.
So I have learned the importance of ignoring this type of diffusion by women, because it only and forever leads to blaming boys for how they were raised, rather than examining women’s direct and indirect violence against boys which makes them “men” who fight bears all alone.
Anyone looking in on such a story, without proper social context, would conclude one of two things: the boy was angry and controlling, or the boy was homicidal—perhaps a sociopath. Maybe both, and maybe neither. Nobody can disagree on those two things, based on what we know about violence, except perhaps psychologists, and well- funded, well organized (invested) , biased social observers who define certain behaviors as “male behaviors” and certain other behaviors as ‘female behaviors.’
It isthis gendered schema which is the root of the problem of domestic violence, and those who parade such ideas don’t just define, or perpetuate the behaviors: they create them.
But I will suggest the bizarre, and the extreme: maybe the boy was neither angry, nor homicidal. Because boys respond to threats and challenges differently than women do because they are enculturated to do so. And boys who respond to challenges with extreme violence often are over-reacting to remembered violence that they have experienced. Fight or flight responses gone mad, escalated to a point where there is no turning back.
Maybe the boy was being preemptive in protecting ‘his home.’
Boys re-experience past violence when they are challenged or threatened. The sensitivity that is cultivated in girls is discouraged in boys. So instead of resorting to tears, and tantrums, or being encouraged to discuss his feelings, or even incorporated into a body politic that ascribes them validation through ‘victim status,’ boys can become isolated to the point of making irrational statements of protectiveness, or independence.
O.K., GAME TIME!
Let’s play a game—whether you want to or not, but if you’ve read this far–you will play. I will give you an example, you will follow it: rock, paper, and scissors. You will pick one of the three.
You picked one of the three, right? Even if you didn’t want to, or you chose not to play along, there was one of them in your head—I would bet it was rock. But playing, or not playing–either one is normal behavior.
But I know you picked one of the three even if you didn’t admit it. I told you to pick one of the three. You had to pick one of the three, and whether you wanted to or not, you did. Didn’t you?
I personally would have picked option two—I wouldn’t have played the game, because I didn’t like the language that was used to get me to play. It sounds authoritarian, manipulative, and un-inclusive of my feelings.
And I cannot imagine what a boy might be feeling or thinking as he blasts someone in the back of the head with a shotgun, but I suspect he was remembering, feeling, or re-experiencing similar word games, and scars they had left on him, and possibly other more physical memories–after all, hitting boys is still common in American households.
But this kid is the kid who doesn’t understand normal, and his choice was “shotgun.” Shotgun wins every time over people who play games with your sense of safety (your rock), and your sense of expressing fairness ( paper), or your ability to separate the two (scissors). When grown-ups fail you on all three levels, there can be extreme consequences.
- Academic culture is the etic rapist of emic meaning by classification, co-option, and preemption of secular paralanguage (part 1) (pornalysis.wordpress.com)
- Talking To Teens About Violence (education.com)
- Dating Violence Common Among Teens (education.com)
- Is Autism Rising? (psychologytoday.com)
- Mercury poison linked to autism (theage.com.au)
- ADHD, autism may share genetic commonality (cbc.ca)
- CDC: Autism, ADHD Rates On The Rise (huffingtonpost.com)
- ADHD, Autism May Share Genetic Link (psychcentral.com)
- Why You Need to Know Your Family’s Mental Health History (psychologytoday.com)
- Don’t Call Me Crazy! (riaroseknows.wordpress.com)
- Autism ascribed to parents talent for system-oriented thinking (arstechnica.com)
- Young American Men Prefer To Have Male Children [Gender] (jezebel.com)
- Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Challenges for Epidemiological and Outcome Research. (autismspeaks.org)
- Courts Say Prisons Must Empty, Where Will the Mentally Ill Go? (psychologytoday.com)
- Tips For a Mental Health Day (fitsugar.com)