How do you think they affect our society as a whole? Collect cultural messages about masculinity from their daily lives. After students have read and discussed these pieces, assign them to collect messages about masculinity — positive or negative — that they come across in their daily lives, whether on television or in advertising, the news media, video games, movies, books, music or anywhere else. Students might then mount a gallery of what they find, with their commentary, to prepare for the final phase of this unit in which they do projects that imagine a more expansive view of masculinity for the future.
Google, Tell Me. Is My Son a Genius? The Boys at the Back. The Boys Have Fallen Behind. Closing the Math Gap for Boys. The Success of All-Male Schools. Fraternities, Sports and the Military. The Boys in the Clubhouse. The Perils of Mixing Masculinity and Missiles. Is Silent. Picture a Leader. Is She a Woman? But Some Things Do. Now What? This Is a Man Problem. In this unit so far, students have mostly been investigating how messages about masculinity manifest in our culture. Now is their opportunity to redefine what it means for them, and for the future generations of boys and men.
So, what can a new model of masculinity look like? How can it be more expansive and inclusive of all the different ways there are to be a boy or man? Call out stereotypes.
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Have your students read this article, as well as one or more of the articles below for inspiration for a new model of masculinity. Allow them to identify, discuss and write about the aspects of a positive masculine identity that resonate with them most:. Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest. The Power of Touch, Especially for Men. Letters A New Model of Masculinity. Real Men Get Rejected, Too. Create a slide show, video or work of art. Have students view the slides and read the captions in The Lens slide show above , of boys coming of age in the South Bronx, and then document the lives of boys close to them in photos, drawings or videos of their own.
Write a letter. Have students write a letter to a younger boy they know, to themselves at a younger age, to a fictional character, or to an imaginary boy or young man. What would they say to help, advise, encourage, influence or warn them, based on what they know about life, and why? What stories or wisdom would they impart? Ask students to share their perspectives and experiences on and of the articles above, and then have them think of examples of literature that encourages boys to pursue their dreams and fight stereotypes.
Compose a rebuttal. Have students read from the articles and the accompanying comments. Students can select two or three Readers Pick comments that reflect a viewpoint that skews toward toxic masculinity. Ask students to compose a letter to respond to the negative comment, using information gained from articles and class discussions. State your opinion. If they were on a committee to redesign their school to encourage more positive masculinity, what recommendations would they make? Write your own obit.
Then, have students write their own obituary. How do students want to be remembered? What legacy do they want to leave behind? I think that's why I love God's Word. I think God's Word challenges in that direction. Tell us a little bit about why, Bryan, you wanted to do something special for dads or for parents to understand The Boy to Man Book.
What's the heart of it? Bryan Fischer: Well, I think you're right, Dr. Clinton, that there's a real felt absence of masculine presence in our homes or we have missing dads. The dads that are there may not be a masculine, muscular presence in the home. We've gotta recapture what masculinity means. That's what I've tried to do in the book.
That's the purpose of the book. I designed it for fathers of year-old sons to read with their sons. There's a prayer at the end of every chapter. They can pray over their son, pray the truth of the Word of God into their lives. I wanted it to be user-friendly. I wrote the book that I wish I'd had when my son was I didn't write this as a pastor or a theologian or whatever to fathers, I wrote this as a father writing for other fathers.
I wanted to put in their hands something that was really user-friendly. Just sit down and start reading this book. The chapters are kind of bite size so you can read them in just several minutes. The prayer is there at the end of every single chapter. That was my idea. I was struck, Dr. Clinton, reading The Book of Proverbs a few years ago. The number of times that Solomon used the word "my son" in The Book of Proverbs He addresses what he's saying to his son and it just hit me. I'd read Proverbs many times before, but this had never stood out to me that what Solomon was really doing was in The Book of Proverbs providing a training manual for fathers and sons.
What I wanted to do was take the wisdom of Solomon from The Book of Proverbs and make it accessible to dads and their sons. I think there's hundreds of thousands of fathers across America that feel this impulse and this responsibility to bring up their sons in the nurture and the admonition of The Lord. They're just not sure exactly how to go about doing it, and I'm hoping that this will be part of the answer to what they're looking for.
Clinton: Bryan, I think it's safe for us to say something here, too. Boys are just different. They're different than girls. Now, we have some common things. We like playing ball and doing different things, but boys tend to be Dobson refers to them as competitive, aggressive, assertive, lovers of cars, trucks, guns, balls. Yes, there are some girls that are like that, but there is something unique about boys that compels them like to push things to the edge.
That takes them to different places. It's like, "Don't you do that. I'm telling you right now. Some people talk about testosterone being like the gas pedal in a boy's life and counter balancing it say with serotonin and other things, which would be more like the brake.
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Just in terms of being wired, they're just wired a little differently. They got that Y chromosome, Bryan.
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As a result, we have to step into their world. We have to step in a way that uniquely helps them see, helps them be. Bryan, in doing this, I think a lot of men struggle with the relational side, how to connect. We talk about dads being more action love oriented. They like to get outside and change the oil, or let's go out and throw a ball, or let's get on a stream somewhere. Or, by the way, how do we look at our sons uniquely? My son maybe isn't quite like me.
Let's just talk about that before we jump into the specifics of your book that I love. What's your thoughts on uniquely aligning yourself with your son for a moment? Bryan Fischer: Well, I got a letter from a father who was an athletic guy, outdoorsy type.
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Liked to hunt and fish and his older son was like him. They connected over those outdoor activities. He had a younger son, it was kind of like the Jacob and Esau situation. His younger son had different interests. Wasn't really attracted to hunting and fishing as some of the outdoor activities. He had a tough time connecting with his son and he was writing to tell me that he'd been able to do that by reading this book together with his son. He talked about kind of an amazing answer to prayer that they had received and he was When the prayer was answered and they were both excited about that.
He was able to point the son back to the chapter in the book that they had read together and the principle that they had followed in their prayer that had led to God. He was a pumped dad because he was connecting now with his son for the first time. I think that's pretty important. If we don't have a masculine presence in a son's life Part of it is I think fathers sometimes are intimidated by their sons. They don't know exactly how to relate to a teenage son.
They get pushback when they don't want it, don't expect it. They're not sure how to absorb that and all that kind of thing. Fathers can tend to pull back and create some distance between them and their son just because it's safer to have that kind of buffer zone in there. This is a way for a dad I think to proactively enter in to the life of his teenage son and maybe lay down some markers that will guide that son through his teenage years and maybe establish some connections between them as father and son that will endure and that they can enjoy as his son progresses toward adulthood and toward maturity.
That's my hope in the book. Clinton: Bryan, with that, I reflect on my own son who's in his early 20s now. Growing up, I wanted to be there and to help coach him. I especially wanted to be there in those moments when he struck out or made an error. I wanted to be there when he caught his first fish. I get that. I understand what you're talking about.
I also learned that that presence and if we worked on our communication led to some critical times in a hot tub when it's just the two us, and he would ask me about his girlfriend. Or we'd talk about more deeper issues of life or we talked about our own personal faith walk. You've got to have time in order to have those moments. What we're challenging you to do, dad, there's nothing more significant than spiritually engaging. The bar mitzvah piece where it's this transition of this 12, year-old boy into basically manhood responsibilities.
Becoming a young man. We begin to address the issues of what it means for you to take your rightful place in this world. Bryan Fischer: We have prolonged adolescence far too long. One of the standout scenes in the life of Christ is when He was found in the temple talking to the teachers and the leaders, asking them questions, and they in turn were asking questions of Jesus. That means He had enough moxie and had enough wisdom that they were impressed with the things that He was talking about and wanted to ask him questions about what He believed and what He was saying.
Well, why was Jesus in the temple then? He was 12 years old. He was in the temple because he was 12, and He was now regarded by that culture not as a young boy any longer, but as a young man. That was the significance of the bar mitzvah ritual or whatever. It was symbolic of a transition from boyhood to manhood. He was now to be considered and treated and regarded as a young man with all the responsibilities that adult males had to obey the law. We've got a tradition in our culture where if a teenage boy acts up, we blame the parents. We fine the parents. Well, I think it's time Boy turns 12, turns As a culture, we need to communicate to our young men that we are gonna expect them to behave as adults.
We'll hold them accountable for adult male behavior. It was kind of predicated on that idea of the bar mitzvah. In fact, I've got a ceremony with my son at the end of the book. He was actually 16 when we did this ceremony, but I got some rocks out of I was taking a trip to Israel. Got some rocks out of the very stream that David took the rocks from, the smooth round stones with which he slew Goliath. Same creek, and I took stones out of that, put 'em in a leather bag. Brought together the men that had had the greatest influence in J.
We presented him each one with a stone connected to a verse to symbolize a quality of character we wanted him to develop, and then we told him at the end of the ceremony, "Look, we're no longer gonna treat you as a boy. From now on, we're inviting you. We're embracing you as a part of the fraternity of men, adult men.
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That might be expressed in a song or a poem. Maybe you'll produce the world's next architectural marvel.