I largely agree with you, and a great deal of the credit goes to my son’s caregiver and the way she raised her kids, her son in particular. He thinks of Hugh as his brother and even tells people sometimes that he is. His friends know not to mess with his “brother” but they are also probably less likely to be the kind to pick on him in the first place if they are friends with Evan. Interestingly, the only people who have ever been really “othering” to my son are adults, although even those are few and far between. Everywhere he goes people just seem to adore him, and for that, I am very grateful because I’m sure it’s very affirming for him. Plus, it will help to keep him safe.
America takes the brutality part of the patriarchal dominance hierarchy to heart more than most other countries. This is why “performing masculinity” so often involves overt bullying. Some girls see this as the way to advance in the hierarchy and do it too, but in either case, it’s about trying to rise in the dominance hierarchy by stepping on someone “below you” and making sure that they “know their place.” We will never solve bullying (or racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.) unless we address our social system based in a dominance hierarchy. Fortunately, there have been some toes in the water on that, mostly in business, because it is a much more effective and agile management style than an old-style dominance hierarchy. From there, it will hopefully begin to spread, although very slowly to be sure. I’m very curious to find out one or two years down the road what kinds of things related to this further changed due to the disruption of the pandemic. I guess only time will tell.
Hierarchies Aren’t The Problem
The right kind is both the way of the past and the wave of the future
“Another type of hierarchy is one of actualization. This is an organizational structure where the leaders not only expect support and respect from those whom they have authority over, but they also give it back reciprocally. Organizational goals get achieved through collaboration and relatedness, rather than paternalism or threats.
A leader in this type of hierarchy is someone who recognizes people’s potential and develops it in alignment with the greater goals of the organization. Special ops groups such as the Navy Seals use this type of hierarchy because it is much more agile than a more paternalistic style in which every move has to be approved from above.”