We have a growing problem in America. A problem that I believe will become a potential catastrophe unless current trends are reversed.
The problem that I am referring to is the emasculating of American boys. You might be asking what I mean by that, and my answer is simply this: American dads are too disengaged in the raising of their children, in this particular instance, their sons, leaving their wives to teach boys how to become men.
It is my humble opinion, that women can't really teach their sons to be men, especially if they spend a lot of time, as many women do, attempting to neuter their sons, or worse, make girls out of them.
Don't get me wrong. Boys have lots to learn from women, but only dad can teach them how to treat a woman properly. Only a dad (a good dad) can teach a boy (mostly by example) how to treat a lady. A woman can't really teach a boy how to be a gentleman... he will have to be taught these things by a man (or a book and lots of episodes of Star Trek, in my case).
Maybe this isn't happening everywhere, but I see what I see. When I go to pick up my 7 year old daughter from school, I see swarms of moms (I'm joined by a scattering of dads) chasing after their boys and re-zipping their jackets, and putting their hats on their heads, telling them not to run, telling them to be quiet, not to push, not to shove, admonishing them about fighting, etc... On the surface, most of you reading this will say: "So? whats wrong with those things?" Well, usually, nothing is wrong with those things. The problem is that when taken to extremes in "minivan-mom America", we wind up with grown men that depend too much on their mothers (and later, wives), men that don't know how to be fathers to their sons, men that are passive, men that don't know how to head a family, men that won't/can't fight. In short, we raise our boys to become Alan Alda. Don't get me wrong here, I think Alan Alda is a brilliant actor... I particularly enjoyed him in "Same Time, Next Year" which remains one of my favorite movies.
Let me ask you something: How many of you know any men that have NEVER been in a fistfight? I know several, and it makes me ill.
Now, I know what you are thinking: "Did he fire five rounds or six?" (No, you probably aren't really thinking that, but big points for getting the movie reference). What you might be thinking is: "Do you have to have fights to be a man?" The answer is no... but only a qualified no. You needn't be a brawler to be a man. You needn't be a loud, pushy, or swaggering oaf to be a man. However, a man SHOULD be able to fight... how else will he protect his family when forced to? A man should be assertive. Not pushy, but assertive. A man should be strong.
When I train new agents these days, I always ask: "Who here has never been punched in the face... hard?" You'd be surprised at the number. When we finally get around to giving them a good whack to the head/face, you'd be amazed at how many curl up and quit.
If current trends keep up, one of these days, these girly-men will be the only ones left.
We'll be in big trouble then.
So, what is the answer? There are two, and here they are:
Men: Raise your sons. Teach them to be strong, teach them to tell the truth, teach them that courage and bravado aren't the same thing. Teach them to stand up for those that are weaker than they are. Teach them that fighting isn't wrong when you are fighting for the right reasons, teach them that women must be treated with respect and that they must treat other men with respect or you will get none in return. Teach them to be committed. Show them these things, by your own example, and we won't have to worry about having Marvin Milktoast in the White House... or running the Army. Most importantly dads... YOU HAVE TO BE PRESENT IN YOUR SON'S LIFE!
Ladies: Here is what you can do: I know that so many women are the primary caregivers for our children, but you MUST make an effort to make sure that your boys are allowed to be boys. We aren't as far from our hunter/gatherer forebears as we'd like to believe, and boys still need to be rough in order to be tough and strong later in life. Don't coddle it out of them... it will serve them poorly later in life.