March 6, 2011

Where Have the Good Men Gone?

March 6, 2011

An essay, Where Have the Good Men Gone? by Kay Hymowitz, posted on the Wall Street Journal website has created quite a stir.

Although it is not clarified what her idea of a “good man” is, she provides an in-depth look at today’s young American male population. Much of the same things we have been hearing and seeing for some time.

It is indeed a real cry of this generation’s women: “Where are the good men?” What they mean by that of course is a topic for another discussion.

Kay points out some obvious traits of our male culture:

“At the same time, young men were tuning in to cable channels like Comedy Central, the Cartoon Network and Spike, whose shows reflected the adolescent male preferences of its targeted male audiences. They watched movies with overgrown boy actors like Steve Carell, Luke and Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Will Farrell and Seth Rogen, cheering their awesome car crashes, fart jokes, breast and crotch shots, beer pong competitions and other frat-boy pranks. Americans had always struck foreigners as youthful, even childlike, in their energy and optimism. But this was too much.”

The most pertinent point she brings up, in my opinion was how “It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills.”

I couldn’t agree more. Boys had to pass a test.

Where is our test of courage? Our test of strength? The premise of the Bible on masculinity is that a man is called to an inner strength and valiance. Debates rage on about these issues. Perhaps its the fault of society, or the government, or the feminist movement for “busting our balls” and cutting us off at the knees of our masculinity. Indeed, it seems women who want to run the show are everywhere these days.  But the real issue as I see it is that men want to be needed. The wiring of masculinity has a lot to do with providing security, giving guidance, and fighting for noble causes. That’s why men dream of looking strong, hate asking for directions, and play so many video games.

But it’s as though men aren’t needed anymore. Men still need women and that hasn’t changed. Yet the woman’s need for men seems to be changing a lot. When masculinity is not needed, the masculine spirit is killed.  And so we’re left a society with an enormous male population that doesn’t know what to do with themselves. How do I know this? When the question “What does masculinity mean?” reaches the mainstream media and makes for New-York Times bestsellers–that’s how.

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