A friend of L’s has a 16 year old son, a 12 year old son, and twins (girl and boy) age 11. All but the oldest were fosterlings she adopted.
The 16 year old, Skaterdude, regards L as a close friend/family member/aunt-type-person. Skaterdude had been having some problems with friends, school, life in general, as would seem to be required of his age and gender.
L usually enjoys his company, and in the past, I have found him to be a fun, bubbly, caring person, but this year, this 16 year old, has acquired some bravado and, well, machismo, that seems out of character and is just lame and gross and frustrating to be around.
We’re not sure what we can do to help. It seems like much of this teenage boy crap he is projecting comes from his environment. They currently live in the most suburban suburb of a city which is mainly a suburb itself. In other words, he is trying to grow up in a complete cultural wasteland made of strip malls and housing developments, all cheap, all new (within the last 15 or 20 years or so), all total crap. All shiny surface, pretty signs, plenty of parking for the shiny SUV’s, and just about nothing else. No where to walk to, no nature to explore, no cultural activities, just crap.
And he’s taken to calling women “bitches” and/or “females”. When we’re in the car and we pass a group of girls or women, he comments on their prettiness, their sexual attractiveness. If they’re talking or laughing together, he denigrates them, calling them “loud, stupid females”.
It’s completely shocking. He wasn’t raised like this, his mother is a fantastic woman, he loves and respects L… but… holy effing christ, where does this misogyny come from??
He needs to be confronted about it, but the thought of it, of possibly causing him further psychic pain (he’s currently dealing with depression), is too much to handle.