+ Reader Annotations
: Last week’s article
on the challenges of raising boys led loyal reader Tony
to share these thoughts:
As a parent of a 16-year-old boy and someone who has worked with male students between the ages of 14 and 21 for years, this piece hits home.
As I read the article, I thought about how certain messages meant to mitigate toxic masculinity get co-opted by the larger social contexts and end up serving what they initially meant to undermine. When, as the article discusses, a young man says, “no homo,” it suggests only gay men express love and intimacy, and at the same time, reminds me that young men, as the article states, feel that “the only person with whom he had been able to drop his guard was his girlfriend, but that was no longer an option.”
This worries me about my own son, who seemed to share so much with his previous girlfriend but who now lacks someone in his life to do this with. I hope he can drop his guard with his group of friends, but most are “bros” and athletes, and while he seems to reject much of the culture that comes with that in my presence, I wonder how things are when he is engaging with them on social media and in the locker room.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful contribution, Tony. Loyal readers, if an article challenges you, or gets you thinking or feeling something, please hit reply and share your thoughts, if you feel comfortable. Our reading community will benefit from your voice.