Clint Eastwood is now 86 years old. In a recent interview last year, in regards to the culture wars, the political correctness, and media bias he says (among many curse words) “We’ve lost our sense of humor” and “It’s a sad time in history”
To introduce you to this growing concern I point you to Brett and Kate McKay’s well-researched article here: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/08/22/the-feminization-of-christianity/. Brett and Kate have done their homework and rightly identify that the Industrial Revolution was the major “fertilization”, or turning point, that led to a mass “feminization” of the Church in the West. Books such as Leon Podle’s The Feminization of Church and David Murrow’s Why Men Hate Going to Church are a couple of prominent works on the subject. What did the Industrial Revolution do to promote this? Mainly, it separated the man from his family, and split society into two spheres: the “man’s sphere” and the “woman’s sphere”. Yes, it wasn’t always so. Society was a singular reality. But because this was a couple of centuries ago and all spheres of life since then have been subjected to feminization, especially in the last century, it is almost impossible for us now to think of what a masculine society was like. Or what masculine churches were like.
But there are books out there preserving these realities. From the 17th century, to the mid 18th century prior to the Industrial Revolution, one can see a stark contrast in the character of Christianity when compared to today. Men would be obliged to bring their rifles to some churches in early Puritan America because of the threat of hostile and violent Indian tribes. Churches were raided. Other churches were under constant threat of wolves, and again the men had to hunt and protect. Talk about feeling useful as a man. This was also the time of preachers such as George Whitfield, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Fox, and Martin Luther. Ironically, these men are treated as though they were the last great heroes of Christian spirituality. Whitfield throwing his head back on a pedestal crying out, “If you won’t weep for your sins, George Whitfield will weep for you!” Fox getting kicked out of faithless churches and beat up all the time. Luther locked up in a house for years to translate the Bible into the common man’s language. Edwards preaching the famous Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Wesley’s preaching on sin and damnation. Since then, it’s as though history has failed to produce men of the same caliber. All one needs to do is read their work and life stories to see how tough and thick-skinned they were as men. They were strong and authoritative. These were aggressive preachers and evangelists, highly devoted fighters for the cause, manly in every sense of the word. As the industrial revolution appeared, this Christian manliness seemed to have disappeared. By the end of the Industrial Revolution (1850-1900) preachers appear to be scrambling to deal with a male crisis in the Church as books like The Manliness of Christ, J. Thain Davidson’s Talks with Young Men started to be published and organizations and guilds for men were established (YMCA, athletic guilds, etc.).
Feminization has been happening to the Church, no doubt. Its slow process has made it largely undetectable, and before you knew it, men were complaining that it was “a place for women”. It’s not just something that inadvertently happened—there are many who promote the feminization of Church and even the feminization of the Bible (if that were even possible). But there is more to the puzzle of why more women go to church than men than this. It’s not merely a church problem. George Barna’s research found that women are 29 percent more likely to read the Bible than men. Is the Bible feminized? No. If it was, women would not be complaining about the Old Testament being so harsh and brutal making it a challenge for them to take interest in it. One of the big reasons men are lacking is because for men Christianity is really, really, hard. Simple to understand and even simpler to believe, the Christian path is anything but simple to follow. It is the absolute hardest thing a man can do.
You have to understand it this way:
If the whole Bible targeted mainly women for their short-comings; if it called Eve out for letting sin and death enter the world; if God beat up a woman (instead of Jacob) to make her the founder of a set apart nation; if God commanded women to go to enemy nations to tell them to repent and stuffed them into the belly of a sea creature if they refused; if God handed over a successful, renowned, and obedient mother and wife to Satan to smash her family, reputation, and life to pieces and plague her with boils all over her body; if God commanded female prophets to speak all the unpopular truths and judgments against the nations (the books Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) that incited people’s fury and brought wrath on their heads; if Jesus selected twelve female disciples and sent those women out as apostles to suffer, face hostilities, and die for his cause then you would perhaps find that there would be a lot less women than men in the congregation.
Too many women are completely clueless about just what it is that men have to face and deal with if they seek to follow God. This is the primary reason the Bible teaches wives to submit to their husbands. Christian women are too often under the false impression that the teaching of submission is because of what they are—that is, they need to submit because they’re women. It’s not because of what women are, but because of what men have to face. She helps and supports him in his battle—a battle she should be grateful she’ll never have to face. If she was subjected to what all these men of God in the Bible were, it would easily be called abuse. But as it is, a man’s tolerance for pain is much, much higher than a woman’s. Abuse by definition is inflicting harm on something that cannot handle it. Discipline is inflicting a harm that can be handled. The man is not abused but being disciplined. The writer of Hebrews says to men,
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Heb 12:7
Her support, help, and respect to him in his battle earns her love and cherishing that cannot be measured in return.
The very Bible itself is a violent breach into the sphere of men. Far from apologizing for itself, it burns and breaks men like dried twigs.
Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jer. 23:29
Life is harder on men and God intended it to be that way. Because they’re worse than women. I leave the second part out of the title to let the hypocrites grind their teeth at. If life weren’t harder on men, the world would’ve never survived unto today. We know that women live longer than men. Well, it was God who shortened our life-spans (Gen. 6:3). And he shortened our life-spans because if he didn’t we would have grown to be just as corrupt as the people before the flood. And that is truly a world you do not want to be a part of. Thus, He did it for our sake and, obviously, he shortened men’s lives just a little more than women’s. I imagine he would have shortened them even more than he did except that children needed parents to survive and parents needed grandparents to have stability. God saw that that was sufficient. Sufficient for the human cycle of life to continue on this planet. It was a salvage plan to keep humans, the children of God, coming. Even the institution of marriage was a salvage plan. There needed to be a covenant between the husband and wife to keep the marriage continuing and thus life on earth perpetuating. That institution of marriage spread as humanity spread across the earth. It took on varying forms but has remained intact. So far the salvage plan has worked: we are here. In all the wonder and beauty of the wedding there’s nothing like the marriage contract to tell us how bad we are. The whole world has been in this salvage plan of God ever since, awaiting the day of its renewal when marriage is no longer necessary and when God no longer has to beat sense into men and cut down their lives. Think of the disease we would have grown into had God let us live forever in our sin.
And who would’ve thought—to say life is harder on men is considered hate speech. I have been coming to terms with that reality since launching this site. To champion men, address the crisis they are in, and show them they have value is categorized as hate speech in today’s corrupt social economy, even though I love and respect women and I appreciate them in countless ways. But like God’s love which seeks to keep us from evil, my love for women means I’ll do whatever I can to keep them from evil—even if that means the possibility of severe retaliation and hostility from them. And it has. It didn’t take long after starting this ministry to receive vitriolic and cursing comments in response to the idea of “biblical manhood” and that was long before writing anything about feminism. What many don’t realize because they are all too quick to judge a site by a handful of titles (which are often a play on words for the very reason of stirring things up, because that’s just what I do) is that I am also against masculinism. It’s quite the challenge to convey that you do not support a male-centric worldview when you focus a ministry on men. Movements focused on identities are called separatist movements. The Civil Rights movement was not a separatist movement. The Black Power movement was. Martin Luther King wanted to cooperate with whites. The Black Power movement wanted to maim them. Which one worked? Which one achieved a unity? The men’s rights movement, the women’s movement, the feminist movement, the Red Pill movement, the MGTOW movement—all these movements are incorrectly aimed and I do not support any of them because they can never in a million years achieve harmony, unity, or solidarity between all. They are about as unequal as unequal gets. They can only bring more discord and destruction as they are doing. How do I know this? The identity labels are sufficient. But neither has there been one iota of accord between the sides, ever. God made us male and female. Beyond that no more categories are given. The highest and most powerful level of human unity is when men and women get along. The apostle Paul started the Christian church with the words,
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. (1 Cor. 11:11-12)
It means that God set a unity into motion that was intended to go round and round like a harmonious dance. The unity itself would be a new, glorious thing altogether: Adam. What is this thing called “Adam”? This thing, mankind?
Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (Gen 5:2 KJV)
What is this “Adam”, this humanity? It is male and female. Not male or female. It was something that could not exist without both dancing together. Today that dance has been lost, and this thing, Adam, seems nowhere to be found. Where did Adam go?
This ministry is about rallying men to get up and fight for others. It’s about getting them to stop serving and living for themselves and start giving a damn about the welfare of their wives, their families, and their neighbors. If this means fighting against destructive values and lies that hold those whom we love captive, then we do it. We do it even if it kills us. If God hated us he would tell us, “Do whatever you want. I could care less because I actually want to see you rot in your filth and die.” Misogyny would say just that to women. The real spirit of this ministry is not apologetics or a defense of manhood. That would only defeat the purpose. The real purpose is recapturing the manhood that lives and dies for women, children, and our neighbors. To revive a 2500 year old cry,
And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (Neh. 4:14)
It encourages and reminds women that certain roles are necessary to make the dance and sustain humanity. Woman is not independent of man, nor man of woman. This is as equal as equal gets, and such a statement is found in no other religious literature, anywhere. When we stop fighting for ourselves and against each other and start fighting for each other, then you will see a revival of humanity. Adam will suddenly show up and God will say, “Ah, there you are.”
I’ve come to the realization that in order for manhood to be more properly understood it needs to be seen under the concept of “oneness” that I have always advocated for in my writing on the subject. Oneness is the wholly new thing that comes into existence when two or more parts combine. It a logical result. Notice how the world spends all its time setting apart everything and everyone. Holiness is “set apart” by definition and belongs to God alone. When you set apart men from women or women from men you end up in a battle of holiness—who’s holier than who? Trying to find equality of holiness between men and women as independent creatures is about as productive as cleaning up an oil spill with cotton swabs. They can never be seen correctly by themselves. They must be seen as part of a whole—Adam.
This has led me to relaunch the site as The True Man and begin working on my next book on biblical womanhood, Gentle: The True Woman.
Of the vast numbers of commentaries that came out of the 19th century, this is one of my favorite. I have been using the Pulpit Commentary for almost a decade for my biblical research. It is a monumental work covering 30 years of work with contributions by over 100 authors, preachers, and theologians. It is one of the best selling sets of its kind and an ultimate go-to resource for any student of the Scriptures. With the 23 volumes it might be an expensive set of books to purchase for some but thankfully the entire work is available to search and read through on the internet. All 22,000 pages of it.
Every father should be a resident theologian of his home and I highly recommend that he make use of this resource. It is accessible enough that anyone who has the ability to read can utilize it to great worth. It’s absolutely indispensable.
To say that one deserves honor and respect based on none other than an inanimate fact—a.k.a. I am a male thus I deserve honor and glory, or I am a female thus I deserve honor and glory—only cheapens the honor and glory to about the worth of a knife for eating soup. From time immemorial it was only the runner who ran and won that received the crown and those who made an honest attempt, honored. Only in today’s world are crowns given to people for doing nothing. Twenge’s and Campbell’s book The Narcissism Epidemic explains this perfectly.
Biblically, real glory and praise have one standard of measurement:
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Love. Jesus, by saying “no greater” teaches us that the ultimate measure of love is found in death on behalf of others. Death, the very thing hailed as the supreme enemy of the human being, is also somehow the supreme measurement of honor and glory and ultimately one’s capacity to love. Jesus, in speaking about his impending death said,
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:23
Glory through a prolonged, bloody death. Because of this one act of one man, and none other, Christians have worshiped him saying, “You are the master. You are worthy.” The idea of being worthy is not so archaic in our times thanks to all the war and warrior games that sell by the tens of millions every year. A worthy man is the one who does not merely say he is willing to take risks, but actually takes the risks. Not thrill-ride dare-devil risks, but sacrificial risks. Risks that require denial of self for the good of others. Risks that put personal safety below community welfare. By this standard alone, the world of men is completely redefined if we are to look thoughtfully at the factual evidence that over 90% of military deaths and injuries are men and over 90% of workplace deaths are men. Are men being forced into these occupations? No. I once heard a miner speak in a news interview that mining was his life. Mining is an incredibly dangerous job where a man is deep underground the whole day. But by and large men have always chosen the more dangerous occupations. Why? Are men insane?? There’s plenty of low-risk, comfortable jobs out there for crying out loud!
But the reality is these men are often driven by a selflessness. They see the risk as an honor because they know how necessary they are to their community, and their community respects and honors them for that. The community pays homage to the soldier because they know how valuable he is to their welfare. They know they cannot have the welfare they do without his risky work. This is why so many men take pride in their dangerous work—they are praised by their community. They are serving someone other than themselves. You.
Plenty of men in dangerous occupations have a hard shell they hide in and act like jerks. Even so, there is an element of love at work somewhere deep in the recesses of their souls; they know honor is only to be found in the sacrifice and risk taken for the community, and so they love their community. Love requires reciprocity. It’s a circular flow, not a linear one. So when a community shuns men who take risks for its good, it is to their own shame and destruction. The 33 Chilean men who returned from the depths of the earth after 70 days were bombarded with gifts, publicity, and honor galore from their community and the rest of the world. $18 million was spent on their rescue. But what started out as an epic story of glory soon faded behind an entourage of exploitation and abandonment. They later felt cheated by their own country when it was decided no one would be prosecuted for the disaster and the miners left without any justice. The imperative of honoring men for being men and banging their knuckles, bleeding, cutting themselves, getting bruised and scraped, losing fingers, becoming handicapped, crippled, and even dying can’t be overstated. The logic is simple enough for a six-year old to understand: If a community shuns and exploits its men, the men will quit risking their necks for said community, and that community will soon end. And if you don’t think that is happening now check out Helen Smith’s Men on Strike. The writing is on the wall.
Having said all that, the Church is the one place and one hope for men in a male-shaming society. Because there the command still stands after two millennia, Love one another with brotherly affection [philadelphía]. Outdo one another in showing honor. Rom. 12:10
One thing to consider: There is nothing that Jesus asked us to give up that we haven’t already lost. It’s that loss which the Bible calls, “the sting of death.” Whatever possessions, whatever fulfilled dreams, whatever accomplishments, we have already lost it. Death is already decided; your complete loss is already decided. Death stings you even now, does it not? So the good news that Jesus brought was that he was taking all of this loss to the cross so that all our dreams and desires could be fulfilled—not now, everything is lost—but in the resurrection. With death no longer in the picture there will be no loss anymore, only gain. Real gain. This is why God’s interest in your gain in the resurrection compared to his interest in your gain in your present life is like a million to one. It was not for Lazerus’ sake that Jesus brought him back from the dead, mind you, but for the people’s sake. What an awful deal to have to go through the process of death twice! Spare me!
The Church is the only place on earth that I know of where sacrificial love is honored in the highest regard. Or at least should be.
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. Phil. 1:21
The system really has been “figured” out in the secular dating world. The “pick-up” arts have practically become an entire body of literature and school of study. Men across the land pay good money for this knowledge and blogs offering advice are not lacking.
Hypergamy is defined as the female tendency to mate with dominate or high-status males or to be selective about one’s choice. It’s not a tendency based on love but rather love gets based on the tendency. Is this really going on with women? Well, considering the fact that the “pick-up arts” is basically a multi-million dollar industry and at the core of it is a class system that is said to be one of the most important things for a man to familiarize himself with, it would seem so.
The the pick-up artist connoisseurs have a male socio-sexual hierarchy for classifying men and if you peruse through any of the websites or forums for men and male issues you will undoubtedly come across these classifications. Pick-up artists will live by these like a code or rules. They have identified the system or reality, and now it must be beaten. The thing that makes the class system so accurate is the fact that it’s driven by the want of sex. They must be as pragmatic as possible. They could care less about ideals, morals, or ethics, honesty, or honor. That is the downfall of this attitude.
There are generally six classes of men in this pragmatic picture of the male social world and as an accurate picture of reality there is a lot that the Church can learn from this. For one, this is not to be tolerated in the Church. Whether class, male or female, rich or poor, divisions do not exist in Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28
Second, none of these classifications are reflections of the true man. If you find yourself pigeon-holed or stuck in one of these classifications then all the better for helping you identify your weaknesses. The true man is way beyond these low-level, finite, and hopeless pictures that the world tries to bind you to. The picture of the true man is eternal, endless, and rooted in God. True manhood is not something you’ll ever “settle into” or “figure out” but something you will be pursuing for eternity, given that you’ve secured salvation for yourself.
- The Alpha male. Alpha males are the leaders of men. The elite dudes. These are generally the guys every male wants to be because the most attractive women always seem to go for them. The pick-up arts are incessant about teaching men to “act” this part. Girl’s will be hanging on you all the time. Of course the reality is that women are attracted to the alpha characteristics of the guy and not his person. Put another way, it becomes all about what he is and not who he is. So as much as girls may be magnetized to this trait, the man, with all of his alpha-qualities, is still all alone. It’s machismo and even sociopathic in some cases. The attitude is a total breeding ground for a puffed up ego. Alpha males, with their long list of experiences with women and their tough guy shell, can and will still be just as depressed, anxious, lonely, and suicidal alcoholics as everyone else. Worse, most of these women who throw themselves at Alpha’s are idolizing his alpha-ness. They can’t control themselves around it so they bow in worship. This alpha-idolatry lust is as prevalent in women as sexual lust is in men. All women are subject to this temptation. That is why pick-up artists teach the alpha quality as a man’s best bet for bedding a gorgeous babe. Because even the most attractive women are weak against this temptation. Equally so, women will be taught to flaunt their sexuality in order to gain attention of the alpha-males because their sex is their best bet getting one and all men are weak against sexual temptation. This is the top of the sexual food chain, and wow, is it depressing.
- Beta male. These guys have popularity and do well with women, have some success, have good looks, and so forth. But they do not have the strength of character, courage, or confidence of the alpha male. They’d rather let the alpha-male be the generals and bear the brunt of the force. In some circles “beta male” is used as part of another scheme which more or less dichotomizes men between alpha male and beta male. The beta male in this situation is the one who is seen as immature, passive, or lacking confidence. Yet another scheme will break things down into a trichotomy–alpha, beta, and omega males (discussed below).
- Delta male. They would be the “normal” dudes. They’re typically intimidated more or less by the most attractive women. If they manage to land an attractive woman “out of their league” they’ll often struggle with insecurities of losing her…which is the very thing that drives her away. If you’ve heard the stories of some women who will actually remain (foolishly) attracted or drawn to an abusive boyfriend, this is part of the reason why. Abusiveness has a bit of an alpha-like flare to it and a woman who sticks around with a guy even though he is abusive is very weak against her temptation to it. Delta males are often seen as rhapsodizing their “better half” or playing the role of what has been dubbed, The White Knight. The White Knight is the nice guy who is always ready to rush to the aid of the woman. This is a mixed-bag with different views depending on where you go. It could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. For those men like pick-up artists whose end goal is to get laid this is a bad thing. You do not want to be “the nice guy”. But there are also other angles to this phenomenon as well. Emmanuel Goldstein of the secular men’s site Return of Kings writes,
We do not live in a patriarchy. We live in an age where traditional masculinity is taken to be broken, hurtful, antiquated – all in all, a hideous anachronism at best, a source of mass rape, murder and oppression at worst. Traditional femininity is reviled as well, in softer denunciations. We live in a time when women and their ways are declared to be morally superior. Ours is a society where women are the final arbiters of morality – it is they who decide who is good and who is evil. Women have conviction and men are convicts. The white knight is an expression of this reality.
Source: Why White Knights Voluntarily Enslave Themselves to Women
This Delta male, White Knight class presents an obvious problem and also seems to be a wide spread issue within the Church. It is an essential and fundamental truth that women are also sinners. Convicts. Liars. Thieves. Adulterers. Deceivers. Deceived. Proud. Arrogant. Abusive. Self-Righteous. Etc. There is nothing in Scripture that says to go easy on women with regards to sin. The soul that sins shall die. (Eze. 18:20). If we don’t say something, they will be dead meat, lost in eternity. Likewise, if we don’t uphold these truths with women who are saved, they will eventually be led astray by arrogance and self-righteousness. Being afraid of women, to confront them, call them out, or to stand up to them, etc. will only do them a disservice in this regard.
- Gamma male. These guys are the “posterior puckerers” They are hoping to score by being omni-present, omni-available, omni-agreeable… It’s an acute weakness that all classes of men suffer from except true alphas. Which is another reason the alpha-male is not an ideal man. The only women he’ll attract are unwise ones whose thoughts and opinions won’t count for anything substantial or ones who just want a piece of his success or power.
- Sigma male. These are guys who are loners but not just loners, lone wolves. They are on their own and want nothing to do with community or leading other guys. They are often challenges to alpha males and often mistaken to be alphas by women. Like a lone ranger on his own, other men warily respect and prefer to avoid him. He doesn’t want people’s trust, nor can people trust him.
- Omega male. They consider these guys “the losers”. They are those with no confidence, have a desperate need to belong, deal with rejection issues, and wouldn’t know what to with a woman if she tripped and fell on him. They are also prone to being the most dangerous men of all classes because of the issue of rejection and abandonment. The pain they have been subjected to throughout their lives, wherever it began, is a spiritual disease that grows and spreads the longer it is not dealt with. The festering wound can grow until it overcomes the patient to the point where the suffering of others is rendered completely meaningless to them. Pain is designed to force you to focus on it for a reason.
This is the class system which these pick-up artists have gone by in their endless pursuit of female conquering crusades. It’s pragmatic and it works. They know the reality of hypergamy in women and that women will seek to date or marry up.
And it’s all depressing.
While many of us easily fit into one of these categories, the path of biblical manhood will lead us straight out of these constricted, compartmentalized, and broken ideas of men. These classifications are depressing because they all speak of us being on a single spectrum in life and that is a spectrum of a highly fragmented, fallen, and incomplete existence. That is why these are indicative of the weaknesses which exist in us all, weaknesses which God looks to deliver us from. The same applies to women wherever they are on the spectrum of brokenness. The Church holds an entirely different and much higher standard than these for us. When we read and study the manhood of Jesus, and of God’s revelation, we see a manhood that makes these classes look like fake plastic action figures. They come nowhere close to the real thing. But we don’t attain “mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” Eph. 4:13 in this life. We only glimpse it and pursue it as our aim. The day is yet to come when we will all finally attain this fullness of Christ, and even then it will still be an eternal glory with no end.
This new label is defining a generation of men who are essentially trying to be counter-urban-cultural. Or counter-metro-sexual. It’s attempt to look the part of a man from a bygone era. I appreciate the attempt actually, because at least they are recognizing the symbols and tokens of a hard working man and desiring to look like one. It might also be an indicator of a growing interest among women to have such a man for themselves. Even if it is somewhat a facade.
From BirchboxMan.com comes this definition:
As for the lumbersexual, think of him as the buttoned-down, bearded version of a metrosexual, or a grown-up version of a hipster. He’s the kind of guy who enjoys craft beers and cortados, who cuffed his selvedge jeans until that went out of style, and who has his finger on the pulse of the latest technology, restaurants, or underground pop culture.
The article lists five main signifiers of the lumbersexual:
- Facial hair. I’m ok with this one because it’s not really their own making.
- Wardrobe. Flannel. What else?
- The home. Goes for the trendy neighborhoods until rising rents force him out to the fringes or another trendy neighborhood. On this point I think the author is spot on.
- Diet. Yep.
- Lifestyle. Yes. Or what we might call, the iStyle. Who needs a chainsaw when you got a sleek Mac Airbook?
This article, which finds lumbersexuality endearing, points out more interesting facts (more and more guys sneaking the use of their girlfriend’s/wive’s/sister’s beauty products.)
Now you’re stealing from girls. Stop it.
Go watch a real lumberjack…
I dug up a speech by Theodore Roosevelt given by President Roosevelt in Washington on March 13, 1905, before the National Congress of Mothers. The National Congress of Mothers was formed by a group of women who had a deep, growing concern for the welfare of children, their education, and up-bringing.
It’s always a wonder to me, as I dig up more and more relic literature and speeches of the past, how women’s movements of days gone by show entirely different motivations and concerns than the women’s movements of today. Most of the populace today seem to know about as much history as they know about nuclear fission. Which is to say, nothing. Why? I blame the educational system. When our schools taught us all history, it was all put through a filter to make sure we only learned about things that were more or less relevant to the liberal-progressive agenda. God forbid we ever present Theodore Roosevelt’s speech to mothers in a public classroom…it doesn’t serve our agenda, now does it? Yet even here, 110 years ago, Roosevelt has a thing to say about “progress”. Some things he says I don’t care for such as comparing the difficulties of the sexes. I don’t believe in or agree with comparison between the sexes because it’s a road that leads to absolutely nowhere. The male and female were not engineered for the purpose of comparison. This ignorant, divided way of thinking about the sexes always bugs me. Nonetheless, his speech really seems to carry prophetic weight. We are now “fulfilling” at least two of the warnings in Roosevelt’s speech.
One is the fact that “men of the soil” have largely disappeared putting our superstructure on very thin ice. In the last decade or so young men have been ditching the trades like women the home. The online music service Spotify was started by two guys after a just two years of development. It is now worth more than the entire U.S. music industry. Why spend decades developing a trade or craft when you can have an opportunity like that right at your finger-tips? The typical young guy, devoid of patience, living in a basement, or their mother’s house is convinced that he’ll figure out how to tap into this internet gold. Meanwhile, he is getting profusely ripped off by the mechanics because he doesn’t even known how to change his own oil. Educators for the trades like mechanics cannot fill their classes anymore. Once the older generation of tradesmen retires, we’re really in for it.
The second warning was against limiting oneself to one or two children for the purpose of allowing them to have more luxury. Roosevelt rebuked this hard with his hard-work ethic: “The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind of training that will give it strength of character.” The whole end of life is not luxuries. And if we limited ourselves to only two children, we would be a “race practicing race suicide” thereby showing ourselves unfit to exist. He also warned that deliberately forgoing children was as contemptible as a soldier running away from battle. For Roosevelt, duty was more important than rights.
It’s hard to imagine in our soft-male era that the United States had a president who, after getting shot at a campaign speech, bullet lodged in the side of his chest, refused treatment and continued his 90 minute speech while blood seeped onto his shirt. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot,” Roosevelt said, “but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”
In our modern industrial civilization there are many and grave dangers to counterbalance the splendors and the triumphs. It is not a good thing to see cities grow at disproportionate speed relatively to the country; for the small land owners, the men who own their little homes, and therefore to a very large extent the men who till farms, the men of the soil, have hitherto made the foundation of lasting national life in every State; and, if the foundation becomes either too weak or too narrow, the superstructure, no matter how attractive, is in imminent danger of falling.
But far more important than the question of the occupation of our citizens is the question of how their family life is conducted. No matter what that occupation may be, as long as there is a real home and as long as those who make up that home do their duty to one another, to their neighbors and to the State, it is of minor consequence whether the man’s trade is plied in the country or in the city, whether it calls for the work of the hands or for the work of the head.
No piled-up wealth, no splendor of material growth, no brilliance of artistic development, will permanently avail any people unless its home life is healthy, unless the average man possesses honesty, courage, common sense, and decency, unless he works hard and is willing at need to fight hard; and unless the average woman is a good wife, a good mother, able and willing to perform the first and greatest duty of womanhood, able and willing to bear, and to bring up as they should be brought up, healthy children, sound in body, mind, and character, and numerous enough so that the race shall increase and not decrease.
There are certain old truths which will be true as long as this world endures, and which no amount of progress can alter. One of these is the truth that the primary duty of the husband is to be the home-maker, the breadwinner for his wife and children, and that the primary duty of the woman is to be the helpmate, the housewife, and mother. The woman should have ample educational advantages; but save in exceptional cases the man must be, and she need not be, and generally ought not to be, trained for a lifelong career as the family breadwinner; and, therefore, after a certain point, the training of the two must normally be different because the duties of the two are normally different. This does not mean inequality of function, but it does mean that normally there must be dissimilarity of function. On the whole, I think the duty of the woman the more important, the more difficult, and the more honorable of the two; on the whole I respect the woman who does her duty even more than I respect the man who does his.
No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties as well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism.
Just as the happiest and most honorable and most useful task that can be set any man is to earn enough for the support of his wife and family, for the bringing up and starting in life of his children, so the most important, the most honorable and desirable task which can be set any woman is to be a good and wise mother in a home marked by self-respect and mutual forbearance, by willingness to perform duty, and by refusal to sink into self-indulgence or avoid that which entails effort and self-sacrifice. Of course there are exceptional men and exceptional women who can do and ought to do much more than this, who can lead and ought to lead great careers of outside usefulness in addition to–not as substitutes for–their home work; but I am not speaking of exceptions; I am speaking of the primary duties, I am speaking of the average citizens, the average men and women who make up the nation.
Inasmuch as I am speaking to an assemblage of mothers, I shall have nothing whatever to say in praise of an easy life. Yours is the work which is never ended. No mother has an easy time, the most mothers have very hard times; and yet what true mother would barter her experience of joy and sorrow in exchange for a life of cold selfishness, which insists upon perpetual amusement and the avoidance of care, and which often finds its fit dwelling place in some flat designed to furnish with the least possible expenditure of effort the maximum of comfort and of luxury, but in which there is literally no place for children?
The woman who is a good wife, a good mother, is entitled to our respect as is no one else; but he is entitled to it only because, and so long as, she is worthy of it. Effort and self-sacrifice are the law of worthy life for the man as for the woman; tho neither the effort nor the self-sacrifice may be the same for the one as for the other. I do not in the least believe in the patient Griselda type of woman, in the woman who submits to gross and long continued ill treatment, any more than I believe in a man who tamely submits to wrongful aggression. No wrong-doing is so abhorrent as wrong-doing by a man toward the wife and the children who should arouse every tender feeling in his nature. Selfishness toward them, lack of tenderness toward them, lack of consideration for them, above all, brutality in any form toward them, should arouse the heartiest scorn and indignation in every upright soul.
I believe in the woman keeping her self-respect just as I believe in the man doing so. I believe in her rights just as much as I believe in the man’s, and indeed a little more; and I regard marriage as a partnership, in which each partner is in honor bound to think of the rights of the other as well as of his or her own. But I think that the duties are even more important than the rights; and in the long run I think that the reward is ampler and greater for duty well done, than for the insistence upon individual rights, necessary tho this, too, must often be. Your duty is hard, your responsibility great; but greatest of all is your reward. I do not pity you in the least. On the contrary, I feel respect and admiration for you.
Into the woman’s keeping is committed the destiny of the generations to come after us. In bringing up your children you mothers must remember that while it is essential to be loving and tender it is no less essential to be wise and firm. Foolishness and affection must not be treated as interchangeable terms; and besides training your sons and daughters in the softer and milder virtues, you must seek to give them those stern and hardy qualities which in after life they will surely need. Some children will go wrong in spite of the best training; and some will go right even when their surroundings are most unfortunate; nevertheless an immense amount depends upon the family training. If you mothers through weakness bring up your sons to be selfish and to think only of themselves, you will be responsible for much sadness among the women who are to be their wives in the future. If you let your daughters grow up idle, perhaps under the mistaken impression that as you yourselves have had to work hard they shall know only enjoyment, you are preparing them to be useless to others and burdens to themselves. Teach boys and girls alike that they are not to look forward to lives spent in avoiding difficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties. Teach them that work, for themselves and also for others, is not a curse but a blessing; seek to make them happy, to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make them face life with the steadfast resolution to wrest success from labor and adversity, and to do their whole duty before God and to man. Surely she who can thus train her sons and her daughters is thrice fortunate among women.
There are many good people who are denied the supreme blessing of children, and for these we have the respect and sympathy always due to those who, from no fault of their own, are denied any of the other great blessings of life. But the man or woman who deliberately forego these blessings, whether from viciousness, coldness, shallow-heartedness, self-indulgence, or mere failure to appreciate aright the difference between the all-important and the unimportant,–why, such a creature merits contempt as hearty as any visited upon the soldier who runs away in battle, or upon the man who refuses to work for the support of those dependent upon him, and who tho able-bodied is yet content to eat in idleness the bread which others provide.
The existence of women of this type forms one of the most unpleasant and unwholesome features of modern life. If any one is so dim of vision as to fail to see what a thoroughly unlovely creature such a woman is I wish they would read Judge Robert Grant’s novel “Unleavened Bread,” ponder seriously the character of Selma, and think of the fate that would surely overcome any nation which developed its average and typical woman along such lines. Unfortunately it would be untrue to say that this type exists only in American novels. That it also exists in American life is made unpleasantly evident by the statistics as to the dwindling families in some localities. It is made evident in equally sinister fashion by the census statistics as to divorce, which are fairly appalling; for easy divorce is now as it ever has been, a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menace to the home, an incitement to married unhappiness and to immorality, an evil thing for men and a still more hideous evil for women. These unpleasant tendencies in our American life are made evident by articles such as those which I actually read not long ago in a certain paper, where a clergyman was quoted, seemingly with approval, as expressing the general American attitude when he said that the ambition of any save a very rich man should be to rear two children only, so as to give his children an opportunity “to taste a few of the good things of life.”
This man, whose profession and calling should have made him a moral teacher, actually set before others the ideal, not of training children to do their duty, not of sending them forth with stout hearts and ready minds to win triumphs for themselves and their country, not of allowing them the opportunity, and giving them the privilege of making their own place in the world, but, forsooth, of keeping the number of children so limited that they might “taste a few good things!” The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind of training that will give it strength of character. Even apart from the vital question of national life, and regarding only the individual interest of the children themselves, happiness in the true sense is a hundredfold more apt to come to any given member of a healthy family of healthy-minded children, well brought up, well educated, but taught that they must shift up, well educated, but taught that they must shift for themselves, must win their own way, and by their own exertions make their own positions of usefulness, than it is apt to come to those whose parents themselves have acted on and have trained their children to act on, the selfish and sordid theory that the whole end of life is to “taste a few good things.”
The intelligence of the remark is on a par with its morality; for the most rudimentary mental process would have shown the speaker that if the average family in which there are children contained but two children the nation as a whole would decrease in population so rapidly that in two or three generations it would very deservedly be on the point of extinction, so that the people who had acted on this base and selfish doctrine would be giving place to others with braver and more robust ideals. Nor would such a result be in any way regrettable; for a race that practised such doctrine–that is, a race that practised race suicide–would thereby conclusively show that it was unfit to exist, and that it had better give place to people who had not forgotten the primary laws of their being.
To sum up, then, the whole matter is simple enough. If either a race or an individual prefers the pleasure of more effortless ease, of self-indulgence, to the infinitely deeper, the infinitely higher pleasures that come to those who know the toil and the weariness, but also the joy, of hard duty well done, why, that race or that individual must inevitably in the end pay the penalty of leading a life both vapid and ignoble. No man and no woman really worthy of the name can care for the life spent solely or chiefly in the avoidance of risk and trouble and labor. Save in exceptional cases the prizes worth having in life must be paid for, and the life worth living must be a life of work for a worthy end, and ordinarily of work more for others than for one’s self.
The woman’s task is not easy–no task worth doing is easy–but in doing it, and when she has done it, there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind; and having done it, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all national happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1905.
The neighbor kids, three boys between 4 and 8, came over the other day as they often do to watch me work on a 1974 Land Cruiser restoration project.
I had a variety of tools on the ground which, as always, seem to catch their attention. In fact they were only interested in the tools, and what I was doing with them. They could care less about the classic 1974 FJ40. As they saw I was O.K. with them checking out all the tools lying around on the ground, they began to pick up the larger more powerful tools like the torque wrench and the tie-rod pry bar and proceeded to experiment with “helping” me on the Cruiser. I instructed them to be careful and let ’em at it.
When I was their age it was at this point I would hear “DON’T TOUCH THAT” when it came to just about anything in the adult domain. Whether distant family members or other elders, the communication was clear. Things of the adult domain were off-limits for kids. I don’t think I began to experience a little bit of responsibility stretching exercises from my elders until I was fourteen. Even then, it was rare.
Kids at this age need exposure, trust, and responsibility exercise. What they miss out on here at this stage of life they will inevitably make up for later in their adult life as seen through the all-too-common attitude, “Why should I do anything for them? Nobody does anything for me.” The early years of our lives is where that attitude gets birthed.
Don’t be that guy.
After the boys’ mother called for them to return for dinner, the youngest struggling to peel himself away from the raw power in his hands, I heard the middle brother run off saying, “I’m gonna tell my mom I’m gonna be a mechanic.”
Believe it or not, the nation’s supply of mechanics is in decline. And 98% of the nation’s mechanics are men. It is supposed that the advent of high-tech careers have caused other careers such as mechanical repair to lose their luster. I’m sure this is a factor, but what if we were also to factor in that 30% of boys grow up without their father at home? Add to that the percentage of fathers who are at home but still “gone”? And how many times have parents gawked at their children, “DONT TOUCH THAT” rather than taking the time to instruct them? Do you think that mothers, with their ever gentle and protective love are so apt to introduce their sons to “dangerous” things?
And now the demand for auto repair is very high, the supply low, and the wait lists long. But where we are really paying for it is that some 80%+ (by my counts and others) of auto repair shops are ripping the shirt and pants off you because they can. I have seen women from my church and elsewhere coming to me with quotes for repair jobs at $150/hour and parts that have been marked up 130%. I recently was handed a quote by a lady from church that had listed a part for $747 that I could have ordered for a little over $100. Another woman was minutes away from taking her car into a shop to have the ignition repaired for $350. I told her to bring it over, and I did it in a couple of hours with a $20 part. What’s particularly sad is that these shops are particularly taking advantage of women. They know they have money, they know they have jobs, and they know that they have no clue.
This book is the bible of the Men’s Right’s Movement. Maybe even an encyclopedia. It is the most thorough piece of literature you will find on modern men’s issues. It contains over 1000 sources of data and statistics which means there is plenty to discover.
In sum, he says men are gagged. And they are ready to be un-gagged more than ever. This was in 1993, so the book is 24 years old now. Warren Farrell is hated by a lot of feminists for this book even though he had served as a prominent speaker on behalf of the feminist movement prior to writing this and does not consider himself opposed to it as a whole and believes it has made positive contributions. He served on the board of directors of the National Organization for Women in New York City. “I slowly became good at saying what women wanted to hear.” He states. But he later became a defector, giving up his prestige.
Statistics do not lie, but they do not always tell the truth.
The book is insightful and rote. Interspersed with the thousands sources of information are his own thoughts. While the data speaks for itself, I found that much of Farrell’s opinions and personal thoughts made for an awkward flow and voice for a Ph.D work. His opinions on things were often confusing or conflicting. The title is not appropriate for the work. “The Myth of Male Power” is something you would title a persuasive paper, but this book is not a persuasive paper. It’s more like an encyclopedia. Neither is there a premise to start the book off succinctly explaining what “male power” means and why it is a myth. Male power as a generalization is not entirely a myth. They often do have power. Athletic power, political power, and monetary power. And more than women. At the same time there is another side of manhood where they are totally powerless. Hence, the reason for this website and my own book Strong. It could be right for them to have power and it could be wrong. It needs more discernment and wisdom to “rightly divide the truth” than merely comparing two numbers. Statistics do not lie, but they do not always tell the truth.
Nonetheless you will get to see very vividly the other side of the argument. He brings to light, through data, that men do suffer, die, and get bamboozled by the world too. One thing that stuck out was the discussion about how heroes are those who give themselves as slaves to a society.
Was a hero a servant? Yes. The very word “hero” comes from the Greek ser-ow, from which comes our word “servant,” as well as “slave” and “protector.” A hero was basically a slave whose purpose was to serve and protect. (Farrell, p.68)
He also does a good job pointing out how surveys and data alone are not sufficient for finding out the truth. When feminists point out that relationship loss is more pervasive for women than men, Farrell asks, “If it is, though, why do husbands whose wives die commit suicide ten times more often than wives whose husbands die?” (Farrell, p.169) He continues, “…even a 30-year-old man whose wife dies is eleven times more likely to commit suicide than a 30-year-old man whose wife is living.” For the sex that is often accused of being “unable to love” it is the loss of love that devastates men.
What privilege, what benefit, what glory do you actually get if you’re dead? It is those who make themselves slaves to a community, willing to die, that are called heroes. And it’s those who actually die at the height of their glorious service that are remembered as the greatest heroes. Type in “South America’s hero” in Google and this is what you will get:
Simon Bolivar, known as El Libertador (The Liberator) has a statue and monument in just about every major city in six Latin American countries. Each city designated a central park in his honor. By contrast George Washington liberated one country and has his face imprinted on every $1 bill. Type in “Switzerland’s hero” into Google and you will get “Willhelm Tell” or “Kenya’s hero” and you will get Jomo Kenyatta. The trend continues, country after country.
These men are honored as heroes because they made themselves slaves to their people. Being willing to die not for themselves, but for their people. So if one man chooses to serve and die for all the people of the world since the beginning what do you get? You get Jesus.
[Jesus] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil. 2:7 NASB)
This is a core Christian principle. We do not bother ourselves with issues of equality. There is no time or place for it where all are called to be servants. It applies to all of us as we engage the world and our communities. If Jesus did not care about his equality with God, should women care so much about their equality with men? If they want to reach men and see them changed, they won’t.
All the powers that be, the government, the legal system, the workforce, etc. are all burdensome things of the world’s making for everyone. They will weigh you down. They are designed to restrict because of the fact that humans are given to corruption. Freedom comes at a cost in this world. You are born into a war and you have no choice but to choose a side. It’s not possible to be neutral because the war comes after you. The completed work of Jesus and the future promise of universal renewal is the key of Christian freedom. This is what frees up a Christian to count it a privilege to suffer. This is the dynamic that completely destroys all comparison and competition between men and women in the Church. Fighting for freedom or a cause when it is totally safe to do is not couragous, not brave.