The cheapening of fathers, men and boys

Here’s a great Father’s Day thought: Men and boys need help. They’ve become more self-destructive, more apathetic about success and more violent. Fewer are moving on to higher education, and boys and men alike are being outperformed in school by girls and women.

On this day, Fathers Day, the culture continues to redefine masculinity, but struggles to know what it means to be a “real” man. Meanwhile, the bashing of the traditional male role continues without surcease.

A case in point: CBS’ Sunday Morning on Sunday celebrated Fathers Day by asking in its lead piece: “As  gender roles change, are men out of step?” It’s a scatter-shot piece, badly in need of focusing by a skilled editor, and it never really answers the question. Yet not a single defender of traditional role of men and fathers appeared to suggest why boys and men have gone off the rails. Instead, there is the demeaning reference to “out-date He-Man ideas.”

Dean Jennifer Delahunty of Kenyon College in Ohio is interviewed extensively, raising alarms about the declining number of young men applying to the formerly all-men’s college. In a New York Times op-ed, she apologized to all the women that she didn’t admit to the college because there was some kind of unspoken quota to equally “balance” men and women in the student body. Getting a lot more applications from women than men makes that harder, she explained.

In the CBS interview, she was asked if she thinks there should be “… a sort of affirmative action for boys?

Here’s her breathtaking answer:

[Affirmative action’s] not the answer. The answer is to look at this problem systemically. I don’t believe in affirmative action for men in higher education.

I don’t either. But I also don’t believe in it for women. Presumably Delahunty does.

The CBS piece by correspondent Susan Spence rushes on, suggesting that the “Delahunty hinted [that affirmative action for men is] happening anyway. She wrote [in the New York Times], ‘The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants,’ and she apologized to girls who’d been rejected because of ‘demographic realities.'”

The hypocrisy of it all is stupefying. Title IX of the  Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act states:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.

Here, public policy is at war with itself. The law requires that there must be no discrimination regarding sex, yet affirmative action programs for women abound. (I should note too that equality among the sexes also is a principle argument of proponents of same-sex marriage, but the liberal mindset requires no harmonizing of that idea with the idea of affirmative action.)

CBS chose on this Fathers Day, of all days, to reopen the gender wars, with a one-sided piece that somehow suggests that changing male roles has had nothing to do with the the increasingly sorry state of manhood in general and fatherhood in particular. For decades now, the two traditional roles have been variously ridiculed and degraded. Spence continued that disservice by gratuitously dragging up the “out-dated He-Man” model of masculinity, as if that always was a widely accepted definition.

As a father I find that idea “offensive,” as the politically correct like to say. The virtues of taking responsibility for yourself and for others, achievement, caring and so forth, were and are cornerstones of the traditional definition of masculinity. They have been lost, and not found, in the newer definitions, as played out by an increasing disengaged stable of men and fathers.

Laugh it up, if you will, at the “outdated”  traditional culture that gave us such unrealistic TV shows as “Father Knows Best,” but it was not in that culture that young men were gunning each other down along with innocent children on a daily basis on the streets of Chicago. It was not that culture that seems to have spurred more and more young men to lose their sense of responsibility to their own children their mothers. Marriage and the commitment it involves is endangered. The rise of strident and radical feminism cannot be exclusively blamed for a phenomenon that is the spawn of much larger causes, such as the emergence of extreme individualism. But the radical feminist devaluing of manhood cannot escape blame either.

Nor can a CBS correspondent stumbling around for a new definition of man.


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  • "Radical feminism" has nothing to do with urban gang warfare. There are socio-economic conditions that create a hotbed for the violence; conditons such as poverty, hopelessness, and high unemployment.

    Traditional is not necessarily the same as what is right and just. It took over 130 years for women to get the vote in our country. And they are still not equal in the workplace despite the great victory for equal pay under the Lily Leadbetter law passed in Obama's first term.

    BTW, traditional marriage has been weakened more by divorce than by radical feminism or same-sex marriage. The rate of divorce was high when "Father Knows Best" was being aired. FKB even at the time had little resemblence to the reality of an American family.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    ""Radical feminism" has nothing to do with urban gang warfare."

    You're damn right it does. Those socio-economic conditions you blame have been exacerbated by the radical feminists devaluing of fathers, dismantling of families and undermining of men in any aspect it can manage, including jobs and education.

    "Traditional is not necessarily the same as what is right and just. "

    True, but it hasn't been demonstrated the aspects he described aren't right or just, or need to be changed. It also hasn't been demonstrated that the resulting change promoted by radical feminism et al is itself right or just. In fact, given the current state of men, I'd argue it clearly isn't. Because while things may not have been ideal for women, that dynamic was set up at a time where it was the best of bad options. When society changed, social dynamic was slow to change, because nobody knew better. But the last 50 years, people have known better, yet have done to men what they feel men had done to the women in the past.

    "And they are still not equal in the workplace despite the great victory for equal pay under the Lily Leadbetter law passed in Obama's first term"

    And they never will be until men are treated as equals in the home. Women will continue to fall behind men in the workplace so long as the workplace is all men have. So long as women can pick and choose which they want to focus on, knowing the man or the state will pick up their slack.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It took 130 years for women to get the vote because they didn't want it. See the reason that men got the vote is because men fought the wars, and many women even during the suffrage movement were afraid that if they got the right to vote they would also have to face the possibility of military service. Essentially they were given the right to vote but no responsibility.

  • In reply to Ryley Reis:

    Huh? Women didn't want the right to vote? That's a new one.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    No, actually, it's not. It's over a century old. But it's not a convenient truth, so feminists rarely, if ever, acknowledge it. It isn't hard information to find if you really wanted to. But yes, most women didn't want the vote, and when enough women did, they were given it, without the responsibility men are still required to accept, to the day, to earn their votes with.

  • @Aquinas...

    I am looking forward to getting off the train and home to reply to your comment. Still pushing the debunked "pay gap' myth? smh

  • fb_avatar

    Feminist sexism and feminist discrimination has destroyed a generation of men, and is now destroying the next generation of boys. Why do feminist public schools systematically dehumanize and denigrate boys in K-12 education? Why do feminist courts systematically destroy the relationship between fathers and their children? Why do feminist institutions support women, but not men, who need help?

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