I once taught at a boy’s school, which was an interesting (and lovely) experience. While girls generally get their frustrations out by means of subversive tactics, gathering in cliques and excelling at the double-speak matched only by KGB agents, boys are much less subtle in their approach to conflict.
It’s the difference between John Wayne shooting at the heart, and Marlene Dietrich killing with a look.
Boys tend to be more violent, more physical and yet, more honest in their dealings with adversaries.
And there is a method to their madness. Boys, especially the adolescent variety, are not as verbal as their female counterparts. They are not interested in emotions. They are concerned with results. Trying to get a boy to tell you how he feels about something elicits a vacant look of incomprehension on his newly broken-out face, swiftly followed by an existential shadow of pain. Why, he is thinking, are you wasting my time? Isn’t it obvious that I am angry? And if you would leave me alone and just let me pound the head of that anger’s object into a wall, I will feel much better. And I will be happy, then, to tell you how I am feeling.
That’s why I’m not overly concerned about Mitt Romney’s so-called bullying of a former classmate. While the mainstream media are attempting to turn what Romney did into a form of ‘gay bashing,’ this ridiculous focus on a mean-spirited but not unprecedented prank is political agitprop. “Scissor-gate” as I like to call it, is far from a Matthew Sheppard style hate crime, and the timing of the story put out by the Washington Post and slavishly repeated by the New York Times is suspect.
Obama evolves to the point where he thinks gay marriage is good. Romney devolves into an animalistic, hateful homophobe. Need proof? He cut someone’s hair for God’s sake!
Having lived with three brothers and having taught hundreds of other boys during my career, this falls pretty darn low on the scale of hate crimes. No blood. Some scuffling. Embarrassment and an unflattering hairstyle.
Yes, it doesn’t reflect well on an eighteen year old Mitt. But who of us is completely comfortable with our younger selves?