Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ianwilkins

What do you mean by "men" and "manly"?

Recommended Posts

I take it one has not had much experience working with co-ed groups.  They are an entirely different animal than a single-sex group. As an adult, one approaches the situation differently.  I have worked with both co-ed and single-sex groups all my life.  I know the differences and there are differences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If BSA is oriented to helping boys become men through character building and leadership development, does that mean we are to turn girls into men too?  Or are we going to need to change the whole program from start to finish? 

 

A tweak here and there to accommodate the girls isn't going to cut it.

 

In my limited time with Cub and Boy Scouts, I've yet to encounter anything that is inherently manly or masculine. I don't see why we would need to create anything that is inherently womanly or feminine simply because we include girls that want to be Boy Scouts.

 

As I suggested, I don't have decades of experience as many here do so if you or others are aware of something within BSA that is inherently manly or masculine, I welcome being educated on such. I can't think of a single thing that my son has done so far that would not be just as natural for my daughter to do - and at 9 years old, she has logged well over 100 miles hiked in the Smokies and the White Mountains (NH).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I cannot think of a single part of the official Cub Scout or Boy Scout program that would not apply to girls.  Can you?

 

 

I take it one has not had much experience working with co-ed groups.

 

Assumptions about NJ's experience doesn't answer the question asked.

 

Based on your experience with coed groups, just what is it that you think we would have to change? If possible, please be specific.

 

Our friends across the pond have indicated that they didn't really change a thing so I am very curious what people think we would have to do different here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assumptions about NJ's experience doesn't answer the question asked.

 

Based on your experience with coed groups, just what is it that you think we would have to change? If possible, please be specific.

 

Our friends across the pond have indicated that they didn't really change a thing so I am very curious what people think we would have to do different here.

 

The original question was about raising boys to be men and girls to be men (as opposed to women).  Are we disagreeing that there are fundamental differences in the sexes both biologically as well as psychologically that, in order for the best possible outcome, should be catered to.  Riding a bike and climbing a mountain are things that either sex can do (program)... how it's done, and the experience that's garnered from it varies, generally speaking, between boys and girls (mission).  I missed the part where it was bad to have girls grow to be strong independent women and boys to grow to be strong independent men was inherently bad... or that the two are the same thing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically the stamina of a woman is far better than a man's.  Yet brute strength the men will do better.  Hiking 100 miles will take it's toll differently on a man than it will on a woman.  There's more to it than just physical strength and endurance.  There's emotional issues to consider.  There are sexual issues to consider.  There are mental issues to consider.  Goals of males are different than goals of female.  The list goes on and on. 

 

It doesn't take a whole lot of thought to see that a co-ed Bible study is different than a men's group study or a woman's group study.  Same for a book club.  Interests are different.  The movies and TV shows we watch are different.  Marketing products to the public are carefully designed differently for men than women.  How men shop is different than how women shop.  What they are looking for is different than the others.  Community based organizations vary, GS/USA has a different agenda than BSA.  YMCA was different than YWCA.  The societal attitudes are different towards groups varies depending on it's make-up.

 

Church groups are different than community groups.  They have different agendas.

 

Sports are still basically male and female because of the physical make up of the species.  Yet a female kicker might do okay on an elsewise all male football team, but she's never going to be much of a line-blocker on the team.  :)

 

So what do we have?  Over the past 50 years there has been the basic movement towards equalization of the two sexes even when they are not physically and emotionally equal to begin with, nor do they have the same general interests either.  So, we merge them as the YMCA/YWCA did and Boy & Girls Clubs did, and what BSA did with Exploring/Venturing did, as do faith-based groups did, as did Kiwanis, Lions, and other adult organizations did.  And for the most part do very well.  

 

So where's the problem?  They all went to an equalized generic agenda which speaks to the common ground of the combined groups.  They appear to be very successful at it and with just a slight variance in goals and missions are really quite generic.  So now what?  Scouts have moved into the generic croud with camping and the outdoors as it's unique flagship.  Basically there's nothing wrong with that other than it's a johnny-come-lately to the party.  There are a lot of other programs that offer that as a draw along with the expanded program of other interest areas.    Now BSA has to compete with them on equal grounds and with it's outdoors program will be at a slight disadvantage.  Sure Learning for Life and STEM will help, but they are not the flagship of the BSA and for marketing, won't draw as well as the school clubs do already.  Costs will affect that greatly.  Schools can outspend for better programs and equipment than BSA can.

 

The problem is not whether or not girls can survive in a BSA program, it's whether or not BSA can survive becoming just another rather expensive generic youth program than can be found elsewhere at far less cost.  I hear it already in today's society.  We don't go to Sea Base or Philmont because it's too expensive.  When I go to BWCA I don't go through BSA, we do it cheaper on our own. Let's see, the choices this summer are Space Camp, Computer Camp, Church Camp or BSA Camp?  That's a lot of competition to be up against.  The uniqueness of BSA being an all-boys camp is now gone.

 

I'm not against BSA going co-ed, I'm against BSA losing sight of it's uniqueness in the process.

Edited by Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take it one has not had much experience working with co-ed groups.  They are an entirely different animal than a single-sex group. As an adult, one approaches the situation differently.  I have worked with both co-ed and single-sex groups all my life.  I know the differences and there are differences.

 

Assuming "one" is supposed to refer to me, I actually do have some experience in working with co-ed groups.  Not as much as you apparently, but some.  When my son was in high school I was a mentor for his FIRST robotics team, which was co-ed.  That group is actually pretty similar to a Boy Scout troop or Girl Scout troop, and there were members of both on the robotics team.  The goals of FIRST include leadership development, community service and character (as expressed in the slogan "gracious professionalism."  Sounds familiar.  The organization of the team into sub-teams with a captain of each, and an overall captain, with adult advisors and mentors, sounds familiar too. Obviously the vehicle for developing these qualities is different, and there is at least one additional goal in  FIRST (exposing students - of both genders - to potential careers in engineering, computer science and other technical fields; and there is also a business management aspect to it for those who don't want to build or program a robot), but I think it is more similar than different.

 

I would grant that there are some differences in the group dynamic between all-boy groups and coed groups, which is why I am concerned about how this new era is going to work out for the BSA.  But I don't know of anything in the PROGRAM (advancement requirements, organizational structure, etc.) that would not benefit girls as well as boys.  I asked you whether you had an example of something in the program that would not apply to girls, and in your lengthy later post, you really haven't.  Your time isn't up, though.

 

As for that later post, I don't have time to go point by point, but I will just address this for now:

 

I hear it already in today's society.  We don't go to Sea Base or Philmont because it's too expensive.  

 

It is my understanding that the demand for Philmont exceeds its capacity, and therefore there are lotteries to determine who can go.  Even assuming you are correct that fewer people are attracted to Philmont than there once were (and I have no reason to believe that is the case), if demand still exceeds supply, it doesn't really make a difference.

Edited by NJCubScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically the stamina of a woman is far better than a man's.  Yet brute strength the men will do better.  Hiking 100 miles will take it's toll differently on a man than it will on a woman.  There's more to it than just physical strength and endurance.  There's emotional issues to consider.  There are sexual issues to consider.  There are mental issues to consider.  Goals of males are different than goals of female.  The list goes on and on. 

 

Nothing in that list is gender dependent. There are different emotional issues between boys, there are different sexual issues with boys, their goals are different, that list also goes on and on.

 

...

 

The problem is not whether or not girls can survive in a BSA program, it's whether or not BSA can survive becoming just another rather expensive generic youth program than can be found elsewhere at far less cost.  I hear it already in today's society.  We don't go to Sea Base or Philmont because it's too expensive.  When I go to BWCA I don't go through BSA, we do it cheaper on our own. Let's see, the choices this summer are Space Camp, Computer Camp, Church Camp or BSA Camp?  That's a lot of competition to be up against.  The uniqueness of BSA being an all-boys camp is now gone.

 

I'm not against BSA going co-ed, I'm against BSA losing sight of it's uniqueness in the process.

 

I ask again, what is it you think will have to change? I also don't want BSA to lose its uniqueness. I don't want it to really change at all (would not mind some changes to the MB program but that isn't gender dependent). I personally don't see how it will change at all with my daughter joining but if there is something you think will change based on her admittance, I welcome the education.

 

We are all welcome to fear change and think the worst; but it isn't really productive. I also "fear" massive changes to BSA but until someone can point to something specific that is likely to change, then I will chose to live my life optimistically that we can welcome girls without any fundamental changes to our uniqueness.

 

A Boy Scout is Brave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From BP's Aids to Scoutmastership,

 

"The girls are the important people, because when the mothers of the nation are good citizens and women of character, they will see to it that their sons are not deficient in these points. As things are, the training is needed for both sexes, and is imparted through the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Movements. The principles are the same for both. It is only in the details that they vary." 

(bolding emphasis is mine)

 

I think the details in which they differ are quite self evident if one is intellectually honest with themself.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I use the term "one" it is a generic term meaning "if the shoe fits, wear it".  If not don't worry about it.  No need to assume anything unless I specifically state the identity of a person, one can assume I am talking generically to anyone.

 

There is nothing in the BSA program that will harm girls.  It's just that the program is not designed for them.  The program will need to be changed to meet that issue.  Therein lies the problem.  If I am in the market selling hiking boots, yes, they can be worn by gals, but I know fashion-wise, the market is greater for males than females.  Sure they might be, for a while, fashionable, but when it comes to high-heeled shoes, I'm not interested in creating a market for men.  :)

 

With the change in membership make-up, there will be a change in the program to accommodate it.  That is what makes BSA nothing more than another generic outdoor program for youth.  Best of luck with that.  I can do the same thing with the faith-based and community based groups I am already involved with.  Obviously I ran my Venturing Crew for 12+ years far differently than I ran my Boy Scout troop.  After years of decline Exploring was going down hill, and so it went to co-ed Exploring, but there was a MAJOR change in the program to do so.  Yet it continued to decline and so Learning for Life (career) broke down into the Venturing program (hobby/special interest) and yet it continued it's decline.  So what is going to happen?  Lets make Boy Scouts co-ed and see what happens.  One doesn't need a crystal ball to figure that one out.

 

As an afterthought, as a moderator on other forums, I learned that the use of the word "one" instead of "you" is far less confrontational.  Thus it's usage in my posts.  There are a ton of people on this forum that bring great insights that they have developed outside of BSA to the table.  Never underestimate the other guy (or gal) whatever the case may be.  Sometimes life experiences do carry some weight that needs to be taken into consideration, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did this thread get so far down this road of "men and manly" without this?

 

'Nuff said. This is what is meant by manly men. ;)

 

jeremiah-johnson-730x775.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Physically the stamina of a woman is far better than a man's.  Yet brute strength the men will do better.  Hiking 100 miles will take it's toll differently on a man than it will on a woman.  There's more to it than just physical strength and endurance.  There's emotional issues to consider.  There are sexual issues to consider.  There are mental issues to consider.  Goals of males are different than goals of female.  The list goes on and on. 

 

Nothing in that list is gender dependent. There are different emotional issues between boys, there are different sexual issues with boys, their goals are different, that list also goes on and on.

 

And there are different emotional issues between girls as well, and then add the overall emotional differences between girls and boys in general.  That adds a lot to the issues the leadership will need to deal with in the field.  Presently there is no training designed to even broach the issue.  It is mentioned the different goals.  Yep, that adds more to the mix. and with each thing on the list, it doubles the items that need to be addressed.

 

...

 

The problem is not whether or not girls can survive in a BSA program, it's whether or not BSA can survive becoming just another rather expensive generic youth program than can be found elsewhere at far less cost.  I hear it already in today's society.  We don't go to Sea Base or Philmont because it's too expensive.  When I go to BWCA I don't go through BSA, we do it cheaper on our own. Let's see, the choices this summer are Space Camp, Computer Camp, Church Camp or BSA Camp?  That's a lot of competition to be up against.  The uniqueness of BSA being an all-boys camp is now gone.

 

I'm not against BSA going co-ed, I'm against BSA losing sight of it's uniqueness in the process.

 

I ask again, what is it you think will have to change?

 

Everything from the basic programming mission, to YPT, to developmental considerations, maturity factors based on ages, interests, etc.  As mentioned, the list goes on and on.

 

I also don't want BSA to lose its uniqueness.

 

To me that is the crux of the issue.  It will change, it has to, it is no longer what it by definition will be.

 

I don't want it to really change at all (would not mind some changes to the MB program but that isn't gender dependent). I personally don't see how it will change at all with my daughter joining but if there is something you think will change based on her admittance, I welcome the education.

 

Okay, a bunch of "guys" hanging out having fun, joking around, and all of a sudden a gal enters the room.  Does the conversation change?  Does the mood change?  Do we hear a deafening silence?  She asks, "What are you guys talking about."  Standard answer, "Nuttin'"  The poor gal did nothing wrong.  She just showed up.  Eventually the conversation will start again, but it will have nothing to do with the original conversation.

 

We are all welcome to fear change and think the worst; but it isn't really productive.

 

I have no "fear" of the changes other than what I strongly suspect is going to happen.  It's not the end of the world, but it is the end of what was once.   I can handle the change, no problem.  I have worked with many co-ed groups in the past, but I do so far differently than I do Boy Scouts.  Why should I invest my time and talent into a program that I already find satisfying, well developed, and successful elsewhere?  Those groups have been doing the co-ed thing for years.  It's going to take BSA years to catch up and I really don't think at my age I want to reinvent the wheel for a once successful program.

 

I also "fear" massive changes to BSA but until someone can point to something specific that is likely to change, then I will chose to live my life optimistically that we can welcome girls without any fundamental changes to our uniqueness.

 

,,,and all of a sudden a gal enters the room.  Nuff said.  It's an issue that BSA has struggled with for over 30 years and hasn't had a very good track record to show for it.

 

A Boy Scout is Brave.

 

 For me it's not an issue of courage, it's an issue of unfortunate insight garnered up after many years of experience and observation.  I sure hope BSA can survive the inevitable changes it faces because of this decision.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this one aligns best with my personal standing on the topic.   

Gee whiz, thanks. I think it could mean different things. I think it does not including a lot of the behavior coming out in the news. Gee Mr. Spacey I guess character does matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the detailed response, @Stosh. That helps me better understand your point. Rather than reply to the entire post (would get messy), I have just a few bits of requested clarification:

 

To me that is the crux of the issue.  [What makes it unique] will change, it has to, it is no longer what it by definition will be.

 

 

I get that BSA will have to make changes to things like Youth Protection, but that isn't what makes it unique to me. So, yes, BSA will change but more specifically, what uniqueness will it lose? In what way will it become less based on this inclusion? Keep in mind, the change is voluntary so if a CO wishes to remain "traditionally unique" then nothing really changes for them.

 

Okay, a bunch of "guys" hanging out having fun, joking around, and all of a sudden a gal enters the room.  Does the conversation change?  Does the mood change?  Do we hear a deafening silence?  She asks, "What are you guys talking about."  Standard answer, "Nuttin'"  The poor gal did nothing wrong.  She just showed up.  Eventually the conversation will start again, but it will have nothing to do with the original conversation.

 

 

Meh. Lot's ways to look at that including the fact that boys could also act that way to other boys. This sort of inappropriate behavior on the part of that group of scouts should not be a reason to not be inclusive, it should be a reason to better educate those scouts on the proper behavior. If they are having a conversation that should not be shared in mixed gender company, then it is probably not an appropriate conversation to be having in a scout setting even when girls are not around. My experience with the above is certainly different. We have girls (siblings and adult leaders) at every troop meeting and I have never seen a scout react in any way simply because a female walked into the room. The sudden entrance of a girl in the room should not cause all of use to panic (my word).

 

Are there any parts of the PROGRAM you can see changing? Managing the dynamics of interpersonal relationships isn't what I see that makes BSA unique so changes to how we as adults have to relate to the scouts (and how they may have to relate to each other) are of less significance than the content, detail, and character of BSA. If you feel strongly that some aspect of that will change, then please share. As it is, each Troop is already unique in how they work with their scouts on an interpersonal level - and of course no troop will be required to accept girls so I don't see the big change that is forecasted but I remain open to being wrong (which is why I strong support a COs ability to NOT change if they don't want to).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did this thread get so far down this road of "men and manly" without this?

 

'Nuff said. This is what is meant by manly men. ;)

 

 

Technically speaking, I think those are manly fictional characters, or if you prefer, actors costumed as "manly men."  Actually to me they look like wax figures, though they probably aren't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×