For months, every morning when my daughter was in preschool, I watched her construct an elaborate castle out of blocks, colorful plastic discs, bits of rope, ribbons and feathers, only to have the same little boy gleefully destroy it within seconds of its completion.
No matter how many times he did it, his parents never swooped in BEFORE the morning’s live 3-D reenactment of “Invasion of AstroMonster.” This is what they’d say repeatedly:
“You know! Boys will be boys!”
“He’s just going through a phase!”
“He’s such a boy! He LOVES destroying things!”
“Oh my god! Girls and boys are SO different!”
“He. Just. Can’t. Help himself!”
I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn’t have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, “What red-blooded boy wouldn’t knock it down?”
She built a beautiful, glittery castle in a public space.
It was so tempting.
He just couldn’t control himself and, being a boy, had violent inclinations.
Her consent didn’t matter. Besides, it’s not like she made a big fuss when he knocked it down. It wasn’t a “legitimate” knocking over if she didn’t throw a tantrum.
His desire — for power, destruction, control, whatever- - was understandable.
Maybe she “shouldn’t have gone to preschool” at all. OR, better if she just kept her building activities to home.
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don’t “get raped” and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.”
Not once did his parents talk to him about invading another person’s space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. Respect for her and her work and words was not something he was learning. How much of the boy’s behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations and enforce the “rules” his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn’t much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle-time castle construction, said yes… but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down with unadulterated joy. You can’t make this stuff up.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he’s older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and uses words that she expects will be meaningful and respecte, “No, I don’t want to. Stop. Leave.”
The “overarching attitudinal characteristic” of abusive men is entitlement.
Touche of the Day: Game Dev Tycoon School Pirates with a Clever In-Game Event
Greenheart Games has come up with a clever, refreshing way to discourage its patrons from pirating video games. Minutes after releasing their latest title Game Dev Tycoon last Sunday, the developers intentionally leaked a free “cracked” version of the game on a torrent site, and with the help of a few seeding friends, more than 3,104 users, or nearly 94% of all players, had downloaded the illegal copy within the first day. What none of them had realized is that the “cracked” version was designed for failure: after a few hours of gameplay, the player’s virtual game development company’s titles would become victims of piracy themselves, causing them to slowly go bankrupt.
This is definitely a good thing to be aware of.
Keep these things in mind, he should respect her autonomy. He can be concerned for her, but she’s a person who is capable of making her own decisions and that should be respected. If he’s being too possessive, or controlling, he should be called out on it, by the girl herself or by someone else. Maybe part of his character development is to learn how to be in a good relationship.She’s not an object or a prize to be won.
Like the process of photographing itself,Katherine Wolkoff’s work documents clues and exposes traces.
Her series “Nocturne” (2005-2007) takes you through trees illuminated by the moon and portraits lit like candles. “Found” (2006) documents a series of stuffed birds, silhouetted and touched with color, which could pass as paper cutouts.
The Sasha Wolf Gallery will be showing Wolkoff’s 2007 series, “Deer Beds,” May 8th through June 30th. This work, evidence of the nocturnal nesting of deer on Block Island, quietly exposes what is left behind.
Two pieces from her new body of work, “Bonsai,” will also be shown: bonsai silhouettes made at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Drawing you in, the pristine images invite you to contemplate the miniature and the gigantic.
—Melissa Goldstein. To view the slide show: http://nyr.kr/15Y1b7V