In case anyone’s interested (hah, of course you are) these are the individual ‘Batches from this. The only one not included is Creeperbatch (Paul Marshall). But I think that’s OK. I know every ‘Batch is Sexybatch, but… yeah. No. We can live without that one when we’ve got ten others to visually please us.
The Johnstache in all its glory, Sherlock filming 21 May, photos by Yuzhe Wang
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For months, every morning when my daughter was in preschool, I watched her construct an elaborate castle out of blocks, colorful plastic discs, bits of rope, ribbons and feathers, only to have the same little boy gleefully destroy it within seconds of its completion.
No matter how many times he did it, his parents never swooped in BEFORE the morning’s live 3-D reenactment of “Invasion of AstroMonster.” This is what they’d say repeatedly:
“You know! Boys will be boys!”
“He’s just going through a phase!”
“He’s such a boy! He LOVES destroying things!”
“Oh my god! Girls and boys are SO different!”
“He. Just. Can’t. Help himself!”
I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn’t have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, “What red-blooded boy wouldn’t knock it down?”
She built a beautiful, glittery castle in a public space.
It was so tempting.
He just couldn’t control himself and, being a boy, had violent inclinations.
Her consent didn’t matter. Besides, it’s not like she made a big fuss when he knocked it down. It wasn’t a “legitimate” knocking over if she didn’t throw a tantrum.
His desire — for power, destruction, control, whatever- - was understandable.
Maybe she “shouldn’t have gone to preschool” at all. OR, better if she just kept her building activities to home.
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don’t “get raped” and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.”
Not once did his parents talk to him about invading another person’s space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. Respect for her and her work and words was not something he was learning. How much of the boy’s behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations and enforce the “rules” his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn’t much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle-time castle construction, said yes… but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down with unadulterated joy. You can’t make this stuff up.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he’s older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and uses words that she expects will be meaningful and respecte, “No, I don’t want to. Stop. Leave.”
The “overarching attitudinal characteristic” of abusive men is entitlement.
Okay well this picture has really bad quality, but let me tell you a story. There’s this boy, and his name’s Dyllon. He’s the biggest bully and he’s always throwing stuff at me in school and I get so annoyed with him like he’s so rude. But today, I wore this brown cardigan thingy and the sleeves went down just past my elbows, so you could see some of my scars. In English I went to go hand him a pen or something and he saw them and he grabbed my arm and he like stroked one of them and smiled at me and I got really red and I thought he was gonna make fun of me for them, so I turned the other way. But he grabbed me and he hugged me and told me he loved me and then he showed me his arm and he had them too and I started crying and he told me it wasn’t worth it and that it’s okay and then he gave me his number and said if I ever needed him for anything to call him and he would do anything for me, even take the bus to my house if I needed him. It was the most serious I’d ever seen him be and i just love him so so much