I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reminder from nature: Boys aren't girls

This is a column bound to be a classic when comparing genders. The Ontario school system is running an over 4-1 female to male teacher ratio in the 20-30 age cohort. This means more trouble for boys as the system further tries to feminize them.  When a part of society becomes unbalanced as do many sectors of our social and educational system bias becomes the norm.  Health, teaching, child protection is largely female. Boys are doing badly in school and its simply due to gender bias by a highly feminized society. If Patriarchy was bad Matriarchy is worse.MJM


Jack and I enter the arena just as the lights go out. We scramble to our seats while Bono hollers about nameless streets over the sound system. Seconds later, the canned music fades and a spotlight shines on a man standing on the arena floor.

"OTTAWA!" he bellows. "Are you ready for a monster spectacular!"

I heard about this show on the radio. Eardrum-shattering, jalopy-crushing monster truck mayhem! I'm not into trucks -- monster or non-monster. But I knew someone who was: my four-year-old son.

Jack loves trucks, motorcycles, airplanes -- anything that moves fast, makes noise and pollutes. He could make engine sounds before he could speak. He would push a toy car across the floor and, through vibrating, spit-flecked lips, make that noise all little boys make: brrr, brrr, brrr.

I once thought fathers had to teach their sons to be boys. Now I know better. Only someone without a son could think gender is primarily a social construct. Sure, Jack and his six-year-old sister, Ella, were

indistinguishable as babies, when both were fussy, thirsty, genderless perpetual poop machines. But as soon as the first inkling of Jack's personality surfaced, it was obvious that he was all boy.

It's tough to be a boy today. Boys want to run and wrestle and shout. They want to have sword fights and gun battles and mud races. The world, however, wants them to be quiet, to settle down, to stay in their seats, to take Ritalin, to keep their nice shirts clean, to be careful with toys, to be cautious on play structures, to not go so fast, to not go so high, to always be gentle. Don't point your finger and shout "bang!" No standing on the swings. Put that stick down, buster. Basically, the world wants boys to be girls.

The lights come on and the show begins. Soon, colourful trucks with giant wheels are flattening cars, motorcycles are soaring through the air, and four-wheelers are barely avoiding collision as they race in tight circles. Jack is loving it. He is eating it up, like the popcorn he is stuffing into his maw with both hands. The only way he could enjoy this more is if the vehicles turned into robots and began duking it out.

Jack likes fighting. A lot. His love of horseplay, like his love of horsepower, seems innate. He slipped from the womb with a taste for pummelling. We wrestle often, and I have as much fun as he does, though it sometimes gets out of hand. During a recent bout, after receiving my fill of headbutts and groin-stomps, I told Jack to take it easy.

"I will not take it easy," he replied, launching a new assault. "I will take it tricky."

If we aren't roughhousing, we are debating who would win in a fight between so-and-so and what's-his-cape. Could The Incredible Hulk beat up Batman? (Definitely.) Could Megatron beat up Superman? (Unlikely.) The other day Jack posed a tough one: Could a lightsabre defeat an earthquake? After much discussion, we decided that the lightsabre would win. Unless it was a really big earthquake.

At 9:30 p.m., I ask Jack if he wants to leave. "Okay," he says. Two hours of vehicular carnage is enough for any boy, I guess. As we walk out, we pass a boy waving a Monster Spectacular pennant. "I want one of those!" Jack says. We pass a boy wearing a Monster Spectacular shirt. "I want one of those!" We pass a boy holding a toy monster truck. "I want one of those!"

Teaching a boy to ask instead of demand is a challenge. Especially if he wants something with wheels. Jack's manners are improving, though. A few weeks ago, he approached Ella and me and said, "Whoever wants a butt in their face, raise your hand." There was a time when he didn't ask for volunteers.

In front of the arena's exit is a souvenir booth. It has hundreds of toy monster trucks. It might as well have a giant vacuum that sucks money out of my pocket. Thankfully, Jack opts for a small (overpriced) truck instead of a large (overpriced) truck. I buy it and we head home.

The next morning, Father's Day cards await me at breakfast. In hers, Ella says she loves Dad because he helps her with art. Sweet girl. In his, Jack says he loves Dad "because he has a watch." That's my boy.

Roger Collier's column appears every other week. E-mail: rogercollier@hotmail.com