The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Sommers: Boys deserve equality in school


Christina Hoff Sommers said Tuesday night that boys should be allowed to express themselves in school instead of being punished for behavior that comes naturally to them.
Sommers, a feminist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., spoke to a group of about 100 as part of the University Distinguished Lecture Series at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center Auditorium.
Sommers said administrators and teachers use ineffective tactics in schools to curb boys of their natural boisterous tendencies and are ineffective because they deprive boys of the ability to express their masculinity.
“In a great number of American schools, there are gender reformers that are trying very hard to expunge, to take away activities that boys enjoy but that they feel are leading them to outrageous behavior,” Sommers said.
Many people, she said, feel that girls suffer from a lack of self-esteem, which boys seemingly possess a lot of, and this has led to a lack of emphasis on the development of boys in areas that they suffer, such as reading and writing skills.
“Our feminist goals don’t have to be at the expense of little boys learning to read,” Sommers said. “Large numbers of young men are being left behind.”
In schools, she said, there are noticeable and traditional differences in boys and girls.
“Boys outnumber girls in sports,” Sommers said. “But girls outnumber boys in everything else: student governments, honors societies, working on the school newspaper and drama societies.”
Sommers said all children participate in bullying. Boys perform the physical kind of bullying while girls take part in the psychological bullying, she said.
Sommers said a drastic characteristic of men is that they exhibit extremes of success and failure.
“You will find more male CEOs and you will find more men in maximum security prisons,” she said.
Sommers said she wanted to show that she was not on the extreme left end of the feminist movement. Instead, she said, she supports feminine equality.
“I associate with a school of feminism I call equity feminism which means equality of opportunity,” she said. “There will always be a stubborn difference in the sexes. I feel that if a woman wants to stay home there is a benefit in that.”
Sommers said enrollment in higher education is dominated by women because men feel they are not wanted there.
“A lot of colleges would envy Texas A&M because you have a reasonably balanced male-to-female ratio,” Sommers said. “I just feel that most boys don’t realize what’s at stake if they don’t get an education.”

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