It's Mother's Day and I'm blogging from the nation's capital where I am for work for the next couple of days. I could always post a traditional, somewhat sentimental Mother's Day blog, but what fun would there be in that.
Our 'progressive' society has fostered the disintegration of the nuclear family and all too often, it has fallen to mothers to raise boys. I'm not blaming women (or men) for this situation, but when men are raised by feminist mothers, they grow up learning the value of sensitivity, gentleness, thoughtfulness and the inappropriateness of aggression. In order to remain 'nice boys', they have forsaken those aggressive aspects of themselves in order to retain the primary source of love and admiration: the mother. The result is an unhappy, if polite, man with no fierceness who doesn't know what he wants.
Barbara Rogoff (2003) researched cross-cultural themes of human development. Her work found that in societies where boys have low contact with male role models, such as when children are raised with the women and men living in separate dwelling and there are none of the 'rites of male passage' that are common in father-son interaction that there are two likely results: (1) Young men are likely to gang together and create initiation experiences of their own through gang activity. (2) Males identify with female qualities and activities. "Interestingl, absence of fathers and initiation, high gang activity and high risk behavior and an increase in feminine or 'soft' males are all widely observed in modern American culture.
William Pollack wrote, "Indeed, we live in a time of fallen heroes. The monuments built of men, by men and for men are tumbling...even men's virtues are now suspect as vices: Power has turned out to be oppression, strength [to be] rigidity, and self-sufficiency [to be] an inability to be emotionally close...It is a difficult time to be proud of being a man. In fact it is a confusing time in which to understand what being a man really is (Wm. Pollack - study, 1995, pp. 62-63)
This persisting cultural disorientation is accompanied by distressing demographic trends. Research shows that boys are performing less well in school than they have in the past and depression and suicide among boys is rising rapidly (Pollack 2006). Boys account for 80%-90% of the ADHD diagnosis in the country (APA 2000). Though it's not politically correct to bring gender into the mix these days, it seems to me that a great deal of what is considered to be ADHD might have to do with boys needing to be men and having it repressed at home and at school.
Progressive and liberal culture has taught modern men that fierceness is wrong, as is winning (we're ALL winners) and that the traditional male role as protector/killer/hunter/provider is (and from the liberal mindset always was) wrong. However I argue that self-actualization for men can only come when they are allowed to be men - allowed to be protector and provider. When you remove that part of the equation, you end up with a dysfunctional society -- like the one we are proudly building.