Boys are growing up too fast
The other night, in my Gender Roles class, we watched the documentary “Raising Cain.” Overall, it was an informative and thought-provoking film about boys and I highly recommend it for anyone who has a boy, who works with boys or who might do one or both someday. While I was watching it, there was a section of film that focused on how boys are primed to be fighters in poverty-ridden sections of the country.
It broke my heart. The only thing that kept me from bawling my eyes out was that I am expected to keep professional decorum in the classroom. Little boys, aged 9 according to the narrative, were placed on opposite sides of a make-shift ring (on a basketball court) and held back by older boys. They were then told to go at each other and chided when they didn’t. I was watching these babies beat the crud out of each other and, with every hit, I felt a piece of my heart die. At the end of the fight, when an older boy gleefully proclaimed “Knock out!” and one 9-year old jumped up and down and the other cried his little boy eyes out, I felt physically ill. The loser was then heckled for not being stronger and tougher. He was slumped in a corner and was hurting and all I could see was my 8-year old’s face and build in this little guy.
He was just a little guy.
I understand that they are teaching them adaptive skills for where they are living. It kills me that they have to do so.
He’s just a little guy.
When A.J. skins his knee, he winces and I want to hold him. This little one got punched and kicked and beat down. I cannot imagine what his life is like.
Life isn’t fair. It just isn’t. Boys are growing too fast in these areas. They are being groomed for a life that is so far beyond what they should have to deal with and what they are capable of handling. Maybe I need to grow a thicker skin and face reality because I suppose that I’ve been naive as to what is happening out in the world. There is a part of me that wants to save them them all. The realist in me realizes I can’t. It’s a helpless feeling.
He’s just a little guy…