Apparently, the argument is that single-sex boys’ schools promote something called “toxic masculinity” (however that is defined) and this can only be rectified by the leavening influence of schoolgirls entering the classroom.
Cranbrook boys school in Sydney
Elite private boys’ schools are, so it is said, particularly at risk of toxic masculinity and therefore in particular need of moral guidance from young women because, in addition to the youthful flows of testosterone, these boys are privileged. That mix of male hormones and money apparently makes for an especially virulent form of toxic masculinity.
To be sure, not all self-appointed social engineers use this inflammatory language. Some talk about the “hyper” masculinity that exists at private boys’ schools, before remarking that there is a natural slide from hyper to toxic masculinity. Others use softer words, referring to the humanising experience when boys are educated alongside girls.
But the tenor is clear enough: boys need to be educated alongside girls to grow into well-adjusted, respectful men. Whereas girls, an apparently superior species, have no such need. When the same socialising needs are not said about girls, the argument becomes one about female supremacy, and makes a mockery of equality and choice.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that my son went to Cranbrook. Therefore, I am not only conflicted but genuinely puzzled about these claims because the only direct evidence that I have — namely that from my son and his wide group of male friends from the school — is that a more considerate, decent, well-educated bunch of young men would be hard to find.
Indeed, my personal experience derived from going to a co-ed high school in a working-class suburb in Adelaide is that neither the presence of girls, nor the patent lack of privilege, had any kind of miraculously civilising influence on the boys in my year. Without wanting to be unkind to my former classmates, I saw a lot less toxic masculinity, however defined, among the young men I saw at millennial Cranbrook than I saw in 1980s Adelaide.
I am aware that my personal experiences are merely anecdotal and should not be confused with evidence. However perhaps that is appropriate because the debate about toxic masculinity, its causes and cures, seems to be remarkably fact-free. …
The word “toxic” is often a dead giveaway of an especially shallow public conversation. It is routinely attached to all manner of accusations where the accuser — or presumed reformer — prefers to make a shallow claim rather than undertake careful analysis.
The virtue-signalers are good people. The deplorable are “toxic.” Toxic is the latest term to denote the bad people, who need not be treated as full humans with normal rights. It’s ok to disrespect and ignore toxic people, call them names, take away their rights, and shut them up so they cannot speak in public. Equality is only for good people, as are nice government jobs . There, summarized the modern left.