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It is Time to End the War on Boys

Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers tells us that being a “normal boy” is a “serious liability in todays classroom.”

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In this compelling PragerU five minute video, Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers tells us that being a “normal boy” is a “serious liability in today’s classroom.” Schools are becoming less tolerant of what used to be called simply, “boyishness.” You know, running around and getting into things!

She says that Michael Thompson points out that little girl’s behavior is considered the gold standard of behavior in school, while typical boys are treated like defective girls. Boys get lower grades, receive less honors, and are less likely to go to college. Even though she is a devout feminist, she is an honest feminist and she admits that this is not a recipe for a productive society. And unlike many feminists, she doesn’t hate men.

Four reforms she suggests:

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1. Turn Boys Into Readers
2. Inspire the Male Imagination
3. Zero Out “Zero Intolerance”
4. Bring Back Recess

PragerU says of the video: “What ever happened to letting “boys be boys?” Take these two cases: In one, a seven-year-old boy was sent home for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. In another, a teacher was so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy’s parents were summoned in for a conference. In short, boys in America’s schools are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains how we can change this.”

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she studies the politics of gender and feminism, as well as free expression, due process, and the preservation of liberty in the academy. Before joining AEI, Dr. Sommers was a philosophy professor at Clark University.

She is best known for her defense of classical liberal feminism and her critique of gender feminism. Her books include “Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today” (AEI, 2013); “One Nation Under Therapy” (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), coauthored with Sally Satel; “The War Against Boys” (Simon & Schuster, 2001 and 2013), which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2001; and “Who Stole Feminism?” (Simon & Schuster, 1995). Her textbook, “Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life,” currently in its ninth edition, is a bestseller in college ethics.

Her writings have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In addition to frequent radio and television appearances, Dr. Sommers is the host of the popular video blog, The Factual Feminist.

Dr. Sommers has a PhD in philosophy from Brandeis University and a BA from New York University.

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Education

Did You Stay 33 Feet Away From Everyone?

Once even a bogus rule is put in place it’s difficult to eliminate it

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This Christmas, did you stay 33 feet away from everyone? I didn’t think so. How about six feet, does that seem more reasonable? Guess again. Once a rule is put in place it’s difficult to eliminate it even though the original reasons for its generation are long gone, according to author Roger von Oech. His prime example:

In the 1870s the leading manufacturer of typewriters at the time received complaints that too many of the typewriter keys were sticking together if the operator went too fast. In response to this, the company produced the QWERTY type keyboard — a configuration standard on all keyboards — to slow down operators so that the keys wouldn’t jam together.

Today, technology permits us to produce typewriter keyboards that can operate much faster than any human could possibly type, such as Dvorak keyboards, but the QWERTY configuration still dominates and likely will for the foreseeable future. Concurrently, six feet of social distancing is a farce, held over from some bogus rule years ago.

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Anthony Fauci should know better, but he has been compromised and corrupted in so many ways, and has lied so often to Congress and the media about his projects and funding objectives, that his advice and proclamations are valueless; actually less than valueless. A cough or a sneeze, even through many types of masks, can travel 28 to 33 feet.

The nugget for us all: introduce new rules, new regulations, and new procedures carefully, and scientifically or analytically monitor their long term effectiveness.  Otherwise you’re selling snake oil.

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Business

Gone in an Instant

Our e-files are so fragile that they can be gone in a moment’s notice

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Many people retain all of their text messages with their various correspondents. My daughter Valerie, for example, has more than one hundred text message correspondents — in other words, a running dialogue for each of the people with whom she sends and receives text. I only maintain two such longitudinal files, and one is with Valerie. With friends, relatives, clients, and acquaintances, I save the text streams for a few days or weeks, but then clear them out.

One evening, my sister Nancy texted me, and I texted her back. We went back and forth for a while. So, my message roster now included both Valerie Davidson and Nancy Davidson. After a while, I decided to clear the Nancy Davidson file, and you know what’s coming. I hit the wrong “Davidson,” file, and in an instant, more than a thousand texts between my daughter and myself were gone.

These texts included photos she had sent that I hadn’t yet downloaded, the picture of her new ring,  emojis that we passed back and forth, and everything else that transpired between us.

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Our Texting History, Vanished

I was beyond crestfallen. I felt as if I had lost something near and dear to me. It was devastating. I sat down in the big chair in my office and contemplated the possibilities. I contacted my computer guru and asked him if a deleted text message file was retrievable. He said with my Android system there was no such capability, only on iPhones. I called my sister and explained what I had done. She commiserated.

Then I sat down again, for a long time, and I thought about a friend who had lost her 23-year-old daughter and only child, seven months earlier…

I called my daughter, and I gave her the news. She didn’t seem concerned. I explained to her that she was the only one with whom I had maintained the longitudinal text trail. She told me that she maintains the text trail with everybody. “It’s not like you’re going to run out of room.” I asked her if she knew of any way that it could be retrieved. She didn’t know, either. We parted company.

Eureka! If she never deletes text message histories, then she has everything that’s transpired between us. I called her back, and she said she did have them all. So, on another day, when we figure out how to transfer what she has back to me, or least downloaded them into some text file, barring her losing her phone or accidentally hitting the delete button like I did, our texting history will be intact on my device.

A Fresh Start

I feel like I’ve been given a new lease on life. The greater question now is, what kind of technology and what kind of lives do we lead when a longitudinal history can be wiped out by mistake in single second?

It is not comforting to know that critical files can be gone in a flash, but this is a condition of our era. For thousands of years, people simply spoke to each other with no way of recording anything, or even knowing it would one day be possible. Relationships right up to the 1960’s were based on real time conversations in person or on the phone. Answering machines existed in the early 1960’s but were not widely available until the mid 1980’s.

As technology became more and more powerful, as we all know, everyone has the capability today to save and store virtually every encounter that they have with anyone else in the world. Still, it is disquieting to know that our e-files are so fragile that they can be gone in a moment’s notice.

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