The Irrelevance of Other People’s Feelings

The title of Ruth Whippman’s newest essay is “What We Are Not Teaching Boys About Being Human”. I’ve long been perplexed by why my female students are, on average, so much more successful than my male ones. Whippman’s insights strike me as the beginning of what inevitably is a multifaceted answer.

The heart of the matter, according to Whippman:

“The lack of positive people-focused stories for boys has consequences both for them and girls. In the narratives they consume, as well as the broader cultural landscape in which they operate, girls get a huge head start on relational skills, in the day-to-day thorniness and complexity of emotional life. Story by story, girls are getting the message that other people’s feelings are their concern and their responsibility. Boys are learning that these things have nothing to do with them.”

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