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March Madness or Just Madness? Ending the Madness

The Shaker High Boys

Earlier this month, male students from Shaker High School in Albany, New York briefly participated in their own version of March Madness bracketology. However, instead of using college basketball teams they unwisely used their female classmates. See the following 2:17 minute video for more details.

Deja Vu with Madness

Madness - Deja VuAs I watched the video, I recalled the various antics and pranks I engaged in with my buddies when we were in high school and at the Air Force Academy.  Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet so cyberbullying wasn’t an available option.

We didn’t even consider our behavior to be bullying. In fact, we didn’t even think about our behavior at all. We did things because we could. Whether it was right or wrong wasn’t even a thought until someone who cared or was disgusted enough brought it to our attention. This also explains the hasty removal of the Shaker High Bracketology Twitter site.

We acted mindlessly unknowing we could be offending someone’s daughter or sister. We were very much like the young male elephants described in Elephants and Stepfathers.

Our motivation was to get some laughs. We didn’t even think about at whose expense. Our understanding of manhood and what men do was based on various falsehoods and ignorance.

Words like sexual harassment, misogyny, hostile environment and sexual objectification might as well been a foreign language. I didn’t become aware of these words and their associated behaviors until I was well into my 20’s and 30’s.

Did history repeat itself?  Are the young men from Shaker High in the same place I was as a youth decades earlier?  I think so and there will continue to be incidents like the one at Shaker High until young men come under the guidance of a man of maturity and understanding. 

Ending the Madness

  • Moms. Share this post with your partners.
  • Stepdads.
    • Sit down with your stepson to watch the above video.
    • Have a conversation with your stepson. Do not be judgmental or shaming. Make sure they understand the following words:
      • Sexual Harassment. Harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation. Involves the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.
      • Misogyny. The hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be shown in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women and sexual Madness - Stop harassmentobjectification of women.
      • Hostile Environment Harassment. Harassment involves activities such as displaying pornography, touching and grabbing, and sexual or sex-based remarks or jokes.
      • Sexual Objectification. The act of treating a person merely as an instrument of sexual pleasure, making them a “sex object.” Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object, without regard to their personality or dignity.
    • Discuss how a man should look at a woman.
      • The Lies
        • A woman should watch how she dresses so she doesn’t tempt you to look at her inappropriately.
        • A woman needs to dress to get a man’s attention.
        • A woman needs to dress to protect men from themselves.
        • A woman’s body is dangerous/threatening to men.
      • The Truth
        •  You have control of your eyes – you’re not a victim.
        • A woman or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention. You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are another human being.
        • A woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you. You need to be in control of you.
        • A man does stupid things because he chooses to do them.
      • A Man’s Responsibility
        • To look at a woman like a human being regardless of what she is wearing.
        • To know a woman is more than her body
        • To be in control of themselves
        • Respect a woman body’s by respecting her as an individual with hopes and dreams and experiences and emotions and longings.
        • To look at a woman but really see them. Not just with your eyes, but with your heart.

This may not apply to you but if you’re like me you might feel your past acts of madness disqualifies you from having this conversation with your son. You may feel like a hypocrite by insisting your stepson avoid the behaviors you once engaged in. Don’t allow this to be an excuse to avoid teaching your son.

If you don’t take the responsibility consider who would be your substitute: your son’s friends, pornography or an immodest girl. Consider your son’s age and maturity.  Wisely share with him about the madness you participated in and its associated damage. Remember it’s not about you but it’s about your stepson. 

Please send this post to your favorite social media network.  Thank you.

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