Well, I hate to keep harping on this whole, maybe we shouldn't be drugging our kids to keep them quiet thing, but I'll be gosh darned if another "event" didn't just get my panties all in a bunch again.
This time it involved my dear, long time friend Gwendolyn, and her quest to enroll her 2 year old son in one of those "statistically proven to help your child do better in school" preschools, in that liberal landmark of the left, the ever so politically correct (BART here!!??) enclave of Marin. (One just pictures the children skipping around amongst butterflies, not hurting anyone's feelings, and under absolutely no circumstances, playing ANY game to win.)
It seems, however, that pre-schools are now big business, not to mention exclusive, and one can't simply pop in with your child under your arm, scrawl your name on a form, hand them your dear child and run out the door before they notice that you wrote "Martha Stewart" on the intake. Noooooooo. There are appointments, and interviews and evaluations where both you and your child are evaluated on your fitness to attend preschool.
It was during one of these "evaluations" that the event in question occured. As Gwendolyn told it, she was sitting there listening attetively to the preschool teacher extol the virtues of their "Program", when the teacher lowered her voice a notch and said in one of those conspiritorial tones, "Of course, I have to tell you that some of the boys have had disciplinary problems, and had to be medicated so that they could continue to participate in the curriculum". She then went on to explain that the disciplinary problems involved not sitting still nicely, instead choosing to run around and disturbing the girls in their reading efforts. Mind you, we are talking about 2 to 4 year olds here, (whose parents obviously place a lot of value on being able to read at a very young age).
Now I grew up one of three sisters, and granted I spent at least a good 10 years convinced that the so called "differences" between boys and girls were merely the product of the white male opression of just about anything that moved and was not white and male. Girls only liked to play with dolls because their foolish parents stereotyped them at an early age, and boys would be just as happy with the same said doll as their sisters. That's what I thought, at least, until I had a son. From then on, all bets were off and I was faced with a small bundle of energy that never seemed to tire of running, jumping, climbing and generally making a racket. Not that my daughter is any shrinking violet, she just doesn't seem to have the inclination to try and hit the 15ft high ceiling with my excersise ball over, and over and over.
And let me dispell any armchair diagnoses that perhaps there is some hyperactivity going on here. In fact, when my son's friends come over, if the ball is in view (and I am not), it will invariablly get a kick, or at least an energetic toss heavenwards. It is, I learned, the nature of the beast, and in fact perfectly normal and desireable.
But Wait! Wasn't it just such similar behavior that was the reason for the little preschooler's precocious sponsoring of the pharmaceutical companies? Such behavior is considered "disruptive" up in Marin Preschools. In fact, an elementary school principal did actually suggest that I take MY son to the "Therapist" and seek some calming remedy in pill form after he and another boy had gotten into a pushing fight in the school lunch line. And it seems, the more often I tell that story, the more often I hear similar tales from other parents.
Somehow, the combination of the feminist Movement, political correctness, increasing violence in schools, an increasingly female school staff and a general acceptance that it is OK to trash the white male and blame him for just about anything has produced the general notion that normal male behavior is aberrant, undesireable and unhealthy and needs to be treated as any illness would be.
In other words, Diagnosis Male.