Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Columbine caveat

The tenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre occurs later this month, but when discussing this tragedy, I cannot overemphasize how important it is not to use it as male-bashing. In an episode of the TV show "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," this, sadly, is what Michael Moore does. In this video, about 1:45 through, he tries to make the implication that it is only men who walk into schools and open fire. True, Michael, but I got bad news for ya: that isn't going to help destroy the culture of man-bashing in this country that, I believe, is an indirect cause of massacres like the Columbine one.

Now, am I trying to make excuses for what the gunmen did on that day almost ten years ago? Of course not! What I am saying, however, is that we, as a society, should not be surprised if other future massacres like the Columbine one take place as long as there is plenty of "misandric bile," as YouTube user Argus Eyes calls it, to go around (by the way, more people need to watch his videos).

You may now be asking me, well, what should I do (that is, what should I do that could help prevent another disaster of that magnitude)? The best answer I can give you is one my choir director gave our ensemble a few days after Columbine took place, which is: look out for those kids whom you feel are ostracized, left out, or outcast. Talk to them. Lend them a writing implement or piece of paper and don't be offended if you don't get it back. Ask for their cell number, then give them a call every now and then just to see how they're doing. Or text them every once in a while if you're technologically inclined. Befriend them on Facebook... and so on and so forth.

If you think the foregoing sounds corny, I can assure you it's a small price to pay to avert a potential massacre. As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". And though it is true that girls are under lots of pressure from the media, what few people are saying is that the media also pressure boys a great deal, and that like girls, it is easy for boys to become depressed by all this pressure. Another finding that people don't mention is that depression is one of the causes for violence in boys, so this underscores the importance of looking out for the outcast in our society.

The bottom line, therefore, is that for the sake of the safety of our society -- not just on the national level, but also worldwide -- it is necessary to do away with the evil that is misandry. If that cannot be done, then at least be a friend to those around you whom you feel are ignored.