The book Real Boys by William Pollack explores the lives of boys. He states that boys hide they feelings. So it may seem on the outside that a boy is tough, cheerful, and confident, but really they are sad lonely and confused. He looks at the “mask” boys have been put on. Also explains how to get behind that mask. He goes over the boy code and explains it. Also he goes over the truths behind the myths. He goes over many other things also. I will try to outline the book as well as possible.
He explains that boys hide their feelings they may seem normal on the outside but on the inside they are hiding something. When they are asked if anything is wrong they say no everything is just fine. This is because ever since the boy was a child he has been taught not to express his emotions. Little boys are made to feel ashamed of their feelings. Also society places an emphasis on boys separating from their mother at an unnecessarily young age. Often the result of all this is that the boys decide to be silent. They learn to suffer quietly and retreat behind the mask. This is why the boys do not express their feelings, because they are told not to. What tells them not to is the boy code. It says the men should be stoic, stable, and independent. Boys are not to share their pain or grief openly. Also this code says the boys should be daring and do risky behaviors. The most traumatizing code is the fact that boys should not express feelings which might be mistakenly as “feminine” –dependence, warmth, and empathy. This causes boys to never act this way and hide these feelings. These are the reasons the “mask” is formed over the boy.
Pollack states that there are stereotypes about what boys are and how boys should behave. These stereotypes continue to perpetuated, many of us know some of these are outdated and some are simply untrue. A myth that has been made of boys is “ Boys will be Boys” This thought that nature controls boys behavior is untrue. It is not true that testosterone brings aggression and violence in every boy. The danger with this myth is that people assume that they have less power to affect a boy’s personality, behavior, or emotional development. The truth is that a boy’s behavior is shaped more by love than by nature. Another myth is that “ Boys should be Boys”, that they must fulfill the stereo...
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...ay act impulsively. The frequency of outbursts of anger increases. The boy may deny his feelings of unhappiness. He might have trouble concentrating or have a sleeping or eating disorder. He may have a low self-esteem and harsh self-criticism. Increased aggressiveness or silliness may be seen in the boy. There are other signs also that can be seen as a trend in depressed boys. Sometimes the depression can lead to suicide so it should not be left undetected.
This book, Real Boys by William Pollack, was an excellently written book. He went over general stereotypes put on the boys in our society. He showed how the stereotype harmed the boys and how to help the boys come out from under their masks. He explained the importance of the rolls of the mother and father. From my own experience I would have to say that the generalizations made n this book are true to my own experience. The fact boys are not supposed to express their emotions has put a burden on us. We must hind what we are feeling and sometimes we explode with all the stress put on us. This book has much truth to it and should be read by parents and teachers so they know how to treat their boys.
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