As our society unlearns masculinity and feminizes every stage of male life, boys pay a steep price.
In place of teaching men to channel their aggression and adventurous spirits in productive ways, we ask them to stifle their truest natures.
As I read this essay – with which I agree 100%, it should go without saying, and which I strongly recommend to your attention – I could not help but be reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous warning (in The Abolition of Man, 1934):
“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
Lewis had it right, more than 80 years ago (!) now. We have for decades scoffed at, and even actively attempted to suppress, traditional masculine traits like virtue, honour, and enterprise, and are then surprised that they are largely absent in our society. Elon Musk – of SpaceX and Tesla fame – is somewhat of an exception where “enterprise” is concerned, but I wonder how much of that is because he is an immigrant with an exotic-sounding name. If he was an American-born WASP named Kevin Smith, would he be as popular? I do wonder…
We condemn the masculine inclination to aggression which, properly directed, can and should be focused on protecting the weak and helpless – and particularly one’s family, people, and nation – and are surprised and shocked at the many examples of misguided, disordered aggression we see around us: drug and gang-related violence, school shootings (which are blessedly less common that the mainstream media makes them appear, but nonetheless tragic), violence committed by immigrants on indigenous populations, etc.
The argument, of course, is that we all need to sit around the fire singing “Kumbaya,” and then all the world’s problems will be solved. Well, maybe… if we could magically cause that outcome to occur. But in that, we are up against human nature, and the chance of radical changes in that – short of the Second Coming – are slim to vanishing. In this as in much else, Christianity has a far more clear-eyed view of reality than does the secular Left. Worse yet, elements of the secular Left would like to force everyone to sit around the fire and sing “Kumbaya,” and history has shown time and again that trying to bring about social change by coercion is a recipe for tyranny and disaster.
What we need to do is stop the play-acting – the LARPing, as it’s called these days – and admit to ourselves that while yes, there does exist a very small handful of truly intersexed persons, and yes, it’s a bad idea to try to hammer square pegs into round holes, nonetheless for the vast majority of people, the vast majority of the time, boys are boys and girls are girls; men are men and women are women; and it’s precisely our complementary and dynamic differences that make us interesting.
And furthermore, that these differences are built into us by Nature and by Nature’s God, for the benefit of our society and our species. As David French accurately points out in the linked article,
“In place of teaching men to channel their aggression and adventurous spirits in productive ways, we ask them to stifle their truest natures. In place of teaching them to protect others, we lie and declare all violence to be bad. Instead of telling the truth that men and women are different, we try to transform men into women. We privilege the stories of those who found traditional gender norms oppressive (like gay men and their metrosexual cousins) and celebrate the demise of traditional masculinity that better served the vast majority of men and boys. Is it not possible to preserve masculinity while demonstrating compassion for those who don’t conform? Must we burn it all down?
“There are few sights more profoundly meaningful than watching a son grow up with a good father, to see him take on his dad’s best characteristics, while at the same time forging his own path. It is important to see and know that throughout that young man’s life, his dad wasn’t just nurturing him, he was also challenging him — pushing him to be stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally. To that end, it’s time to remember that strength is a virtue, rightly channeled aggression creates and preserves civilization itself, and there is nothing at all inherently toxic about masculinity. The feminization of everything doesn’t just fail our boys; over the long run it will fail our nation.”