David Earl Johnson, LICSW

3 minute read

Sandra Bullock makes some very solid points about the continued double moral standard between men and women in our society. It is only by repeated public statements will the culture begin to shift. However, she missed the universal point. I don’t think a young boy would escape the slash of verbal harassment about having a lisp. While there is a natural push for social culture to demand a certain level of conformity, children do not understand the limits of this wisdom or can reason through the paradox of conformity for the sake of conformity. [Soap box time] Children need the leadership of adults in social settings, primarily schools, to learn tolerance and the dangers of scapegoating. Adults continue to abdicate this role, parents pointing at schools, schools pointing at parents. During the critical times of elementary school, teachers have the major role, there can be no doubt. Parents seldom see their kids in a group, and currently other parents do not reliably tolerate their friends parents intervening with their own children. That too needs to change, but it won’t until neighbors can actually recognize each other and learn how far they can trust each other. Our natural process of social education has broken down. We now know enough to create a scientifically based social/emotional education curriculum. It’s time to act. FOXNews.com

WASHINGTON - MAY 01:  Actress Sandra Bullock l...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

<blockquote>
  &#8220;Why is that young boys and men are unique and eccentric and mavericks when they&#8217;re different but women are &#8216;odd&#8217; when we are eccentric or different? Would I have wished someone would have said to me when I was 12 or eight when I had my <a class="zem_slink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_disorder" title="Speech disorder" rel="wikipedia">speech impediment</a>? Uniqueness is something my mother pounded it into me,&#8221; Bullock recently told Tarts. &#8220;She said be unique and I didn&#8217;t understand it then, now I look at it and I go I wouldn&#8217;t want to be like anyone else and I know I&#8217;m off. I had a lisp as a child, it&#8217;s all these things that made me different and I tried to squelch and then once I realized I had squelched them I didn&#8217;t feel like myself anymore.&#8221; Bullock is so upset with the unwritten rules and regulations in today&#8217;s world she wants to spread a strong message to young girls. &#8220;Don&#8217;t change, be who you are. Society is really strong in their opinions so I made peace with the fact that the things I thought were weaknesses or flaws were just me,&#8221; she added. &#8220;Why are we forcing people to follow another person&#8217;s path in life taking away their real happiness? What is about us that is a culture that tries to get rid of what we consider the <a class="zem_slink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runt" title="Runt" rel="wikipedia">runt</a>? Sometimes the runt turns out to be the best of the litter.&#8221;&#8221;
</blockquote>

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