Men are being marginalized in our country today. Not just white men, but Black men and Latino men, and Oriental men. All men. Things that men do hunting, fishing, playing sports—especially contact sports, are being attacked by the media and liberal progressive groups across the country. My idea of what it means to be a man is very different, I am sure, than most Ivy League Professors and media pundits. The difference between what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman are being blurred every day. I am happy that the women in my life have had opportunities open to them that my mother and grandmother didn’t have available to them. My Quaker grandmother marched with her Quaker mother in Philadelphia and New York City prior to the passing of the 9th Amendment.
They had very strong ideas about what it meant to be a woman and what it meant to be a man compared to feminists of today. The Feminist movement prior to the passing of the 19th Amendment was based on a very different ethic and morality than what is being promulgated by today’s feminists. Yesterday’s feminists were Christian and Jewish ladies, almost 100% prolife—Margaret Sanger was an outlier. Late in her life she became an abortionist and an advocate for eugenics. She was also a racist, advocating for the suppression of Black families by advocating for increasing Black abortions. Nothing “feminine” about killing little baby boys and girls if you ask me.
My grandmother raised me for most of my early life and I learned about what it meant to be a man from her. How to respect and honor women, and what my responsibilities were to my family and all people. She taught me how to pray and listen to the “voice within”. She believed and taught me about the Christian virtues and mostly she taught me about the value of hard work. St. Augustine stated that every woman was created to be a mother and every man was created to be a father. These were the two toughest jobs—and remain that way today. This doesn’t mean that every man and every woman should be a father and a mother. Only that those qualities are gifts from God and were to be deployed as each individual felt appropriate. And those qualities and gifts were different between the sexes. Such masculine virtues as temperate aggression, courage, strength and athleticism are under attack. For women natural beauty is not looked at as a gift, but a handicap and at times something to be apologized for instead of being grateful about. The greatest thing to happen to women since the 19th Amendment was Title IX. Women were now able to compete in all aspects of life—especially sports and academics, where they hadn’t been able to compete before. Today we see the radicle left trying to suppress these opportunities in sports by “masculinizing” women’s competition. And isn’t it interesting that those on the left who are agitating for “inclusiveness” never played sports or competed themselves in anything other than an SAT test. And talk about the masculinization and exploitation of women—did anyone watch the Super Bowl halftime show?! Can progressive liberals and conservatives all say together—OBJECTIVIZATION? And who could possibly be down for that cause—Focus on The Family or Mothers for America? NOT! Or any decent person who respects women?
Modern day progressive socialist sensitivity training regarding racial equality and gender identity would be anathema to the ladies who marched for equality in the late 19th and early 20th century. They didn’t want to be the same as men, they wanted to be able to use their talents and God given gifts the same way that men had been able to for centuries before, making their world and the lives of their families and children better. The early marchers wanted to make lives better for themselves and their families—sons and daughters. There was no sense of competition between the sexes, but rather a desire for symbiotic cooperation and the maximization of talents and individual productivity. What has been lost in the women’s movement since the early 1960’s has been the idea of femininity. There is nothing feminine about the modern feminist movement—rather I would argue it has itself become masculinized. The role of wife and mother has been marginalized—as has the role of father.
The qualities that make every woman a mother and every man a father need to be incorporated into how we teach our children about their own special identities and uniqueness. Men are today told to find their “famine side” and young girls are being told to “man up” by their soccer coaches. What is a “metro-man anyway?” This is craziness. How about telling our boys to learn how to act like men and telling our daughters to act like young ladies.
I know of mothers and fathers who are raising their children by themselves. They are Saints. In many cases they are helped by family, friends, churches, coaches, and teachers. I know a family of two sisters and a grandmother that raised an adopted child who is now a successful attorney. They will tell you it wasn’t easy and that they had a lot of help. Like me with my grandmother in my early life—family was the key. Sometimes we are called on to be mothers and fathers to help raise children that are not our own. That is also part of the call to be a mother and a father.
What concerns me the most about what has happened to our society and culture and what is reflected in our politics, is that the primary job of man—husband father, and woman wife mother, has been replaced by the role of man-woman—worker.
We know who serves the family, but who does the worker serve without a family? The State—maybe. And who does the child belong to when the role of man and woman is worker and not father-husband and wife mother? The State? Who educates our children, teaches them virtues, how to work, how to compete and who defines what is meant be being a “good person” when the primary job for men and women becomes that of being a worker? The State?
We need to start back teaching the basic Christian virtues. We need to teach them in the context of what it means to be a man. To be a woman. To be a husband and a father. To be a wife and a mother. I know in my own life personally and amongst many in my generation and my profession, we have not remembered what the most important jobs in life are supposed to be.
In the end it reminds me of the discussions surrounding “social responsibility theory” in business. The primary job of a business is to make things or provide services to customers who are happy with what they pay for and will come back. The job of business is to make a profit, pay employees and shareholders and provide jobs so employees can take care of their families. Sounds like a big ask in a competitive world. If they take their eye off the ball and plant too many trees they may not have a business to make widgets and pay employees to support their families. Just like the job of man and women. If we stop taking care of our families, we may not need to have any jobs or businesses to support them. The job of family will be taken over by the State. The purpose of family will be to produce workers, not virtuous people.