In America, many years ago, I came to the opinion that there was only one script for TV producers. ‘Young black guy’s fears/predictions/solution are put down by (preferably fat) and arrogant white Boss, but is later proved right all along; finale includes more senior bosses/even the President thanking him profusely for saving the world followed by much whooping, cheering and ‘high fiving’. If you’d seen one version, you had seen them all. Monumentally boring.
Over the past two years, regrettably, chemotherapy has forced me to reacquaint myself with day time TV – there’s not much else you can do prone on a sofa, ordered to rest.
Day time TV is dominated by American ‘made for TV’ docudramas. The universal US script has subtly changed – now the young black guy is the Boss, but unable to save the world unaided as he once did. Now he relies on a female – any female will do – for by virtue of her gender, she will be smarter, more resourceful, quicker witted, and possess an uncanny knack for turning up just as the villain is about to dispatch our black hero in unmentionable manner. She will be white of course, preferably blonde and have a figure that few American women could even dream of. She will achieve all this whilst being the perfect Mother, and living in a iconic American mansion…it drove me nuts, and afternoon after afternoon I would turn to ‘Movies4men’ and their unending diet of marching jackboots and tanks rolling over hills. I am now possibly the only woman in existence who relies on the sound of rapid automatic gunfire and exploding French farmhouses rather than sleeping tablets in order to take an afternoon nap. If Mr G thinks I am overdoing things, he tells me to put my feet up and he’ll ‘find me some Nazi’s’ on the TV. Works every time.*
The point of this ramble is that it has belatedly occurred to me just how insidious is the ‘realigning’ of popular ‘thought’ with the propaganda of Gender politics. Advertising in particular has followed this latest formula relentlessly. I can understand that advertisers are forced to bow to popular female theories simply because woman are the main purchasers in most families, but I am at a loss to explain why the previously male dominated world of TV – and Hollywood in particular – has fallen victim to the genre.
It has some relevance to explain the horrifying statistics shown in The Times today. No link because it is behind a paywall, but you may find reference to the figures in other newspapers, I don’t think it is a Times exclusive, probably a press release that went out to all the media. In short:
Recent Government statistics revealed that a staggering one in five boys at secondary school is now categorised as having a special educational need.
The recent figures also reveal a startling gulf between the sexes: almost 3 per cent of boys in secondary school have what’s called a statement of SEN (special educational needs). This means their needs are specialised enough to cost their school more than £6,000 a year, and the local authority has agreed to meet any further costs (such as a certain number of hours of occupational therapy per week). Only 1 per cent of girls are given a statement. Meanwhile, a massive 20.7 per cent of boys in secondary education have a special educational need without a statement, compared with 13.4 per cent of girls (this means their special needs are funded by the school alone).
Curiously, nearly three times as many boys as girls are labelled as having “behavioural, emotional and social difficulties” — a woolly area.
Yesterday, it was revealed that prescriptions for the methylphenidate drugs (including Ritalin), which are used to treat ADHD, have risen by more than half in just five years.
Something is going terribly wrong in the way in which boys are raised.
I simply don’t believe that 1 in 5 boys were incorrectly diagnosed in previous years and have suddenly come to our attention now.
It can’t just be attributed to the theory about lead poisoning and increased traffic fumes, unless you can show a way in which this only affects boys and not girls.
Nor can it be that the rise represent the financial interests of schools who do get extra money for ‘special needs’ students – that would also affect girls as much as boys.
I strongly suspect it has more to do with the way in which males, not just boys, are perceived by our society, which includes teachers and schools; dangerous, out of control, overly aggressive, to say nothing of congenitally stupid.
In short, as case of ‘why can’t a boy be more like a girl’ – and drugged with Ritalin to achieve that result.
Can any of you come up with a better theory to explain why ‘Our Kid, he’s Special’ is more likely to be a boy than a girl?
*If anybody is recording the new series of Breaking Bad, Ms Raccoon would love you forever if you let me have a copy….