I had read the article when I came out and had forgotten about it because it was one of many articles that perpetuates a false narrative about males. I saw this article re-posted today and I’m going to assume it was posted as a result of the horrific mass shootings that have occurred over the past week.
As a male, a father, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in working with boys I find this article to be inaccurate, a gross generalization of boys in general and it feeds into an offensive narrative about boys/males that began in feminist academia and has no basis in science. (Dr. Michael Gurian writes about this in his books which is how I learned where this came from.)
Michael Ian Black, the author of this article is a comedian with a son. He doesn’t speak for me, he doesn’t speak for the boys I work with and if a man ever wrote an article that grossly generalizes girls like this they would be vilified.
This line I find incredibly offensive (and it takes A LOT to offend me):
I want to show him what it looks like to be vulnerable and open but I can’t. Because I was a boy once, too.
This article perpetuates this ridiculous narrative, one which is pervasive in the mental health field: “If we just get boys to express their feelings more then they’ll be healthier.”
4 out of 5 individuals who drop out of counseling are male. Does that mean that they’re all a product of “toxic masculinity” or does it mean that our society has a very long way to go in understanding male brain development?
Boys express themselves. It may be with less words or maybe not as eloquently as you may like.
If you believe this narrative then I suggest that you need to listen a little harder rather than expecting boys to simply communicate more like girls (which their brains are not genetically wired to do.) Verbally articulating “feeling words” doesn’t make someone “healthier”.