the respect dare … where are the men?

Being originally from Montana, the rugged camp environment spoke volumes to my soul and love of the outdoors.  I eagerly addressed a group of camp counselors at a well-known, highly rated Christian summer camp in “the lodge.”  As I watched the group trickle in from an activity where they had climbed to the top of a pole, stood at the very top, then jumped (safely tethered, of course), an overwhelming realization took shape in front of me.  In this rustic environment, only 20% of the camp counselors were men.  Which then meant, that due to counselor-to-camper ratios, only 20% of the summer camp kids in attendance would be boys. 

I was stunned.

We did a number of leadership training activities and some public speaking exercises, and we all had a blast.  On the second day, I asked one of the leaders what the story was with the missing gender.  

“Men typically feel like church/religion/whatever is too feminine.  We just can’t get them here,” came the reply.  His comment struck a chord with me.  I’ve long felt as though the societal pendulum has swung far enough onto the side of the girls. 

Susan Pinker, in her book, The Social Paradox, quotes research that demonstrates boys dropping out of school at nearly twice the rate of girls, describing school as a waste of time, and handing in less homework.   In recent years, a number of studies have emerged, illuminating the disparity between educational success between the genders – with the boys falling behind.  This lack of interest and attendance is also represented in the church, with an overwhelming growing percentage of attendees being women. 

There is much written on this topic, but I’d encourage those of you raising boys or married to the grown up version of one, a man, to consider this question:  When’s the last time you heard anyone say, “Men are amazing!?”  And what’s going to happen to our society if we don’t start communicating that?  We women should be strong enough to be able to pay another gender a compliment, build them up via respect, and as a TEAM, move forward to impact the world.

Oh, wait, wasn’t that God’s idea? 

Dare ya to do a little internet research on “Why men hate church” and “Boys versus girls academic achievement.”

What conclusions do YOU draw?  More importantly, what do you think we can DO about it?  Further info is here:

Dare you to subscribe, comment, or share!   Double Dog Dare you to impact the life of a modern day knight in a positive way…encourage your boys to become real men…not abusive, arrogant, or rude, but MEN, worthy of honor and respect. 



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3 thoughts on “the respect dare … where are the men?

  1. Very well said, Nina. I will be more intentional to encourage my husband when my son is in ear shot (and out, but I want him to hear that I think his dad is capable and amazing), and encourage my son more – that YES he can!

  2. So much of school is geared towards girls – it didn’t used to be, in fact, it used to be more geared toward boys…but we’ve swung too far past treating both genders equally, and are seeing the results of that.

    And boys CAN write – I’ve seen and read some amazing young authors coming out of our homeschool PEP association. The issue is getting the ones in public schools taught and encouraged in ways they can hear.

    I think it’s a national crisis, but we can’t see it yet.

  3. Nina,
    At a recent General Electric scholarship ceremony, 30 of the 36 recipients were girls (my daughter was one). I asked my husband, “Where are all the boys?” He said, “Boys can’t write.” meaning the essay that was a part of the scholarship application. My daughter thought it was that guys won’t take the time to fill out the detailed application. I think that maybe the guys focus so much on sports that they miss other opportunities that scholarship granters like GE are looking for. Several of the girls were active in sports, but they also excelled academically, volunteered and belonged to clubs. Where were the boys?

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