To a mature man, the idea that growth must come from pain and suffering is a given. Although traditional rites of passage for young men are on the steady decline, most are still faced with enough external and internal stressors to adapt to become well-adjusted men. Consider the following excerpt from day 296 “Growth” of Deng Ming Dao’s “365 Tao”:
We only grow when we are challenged. Muscles do not strengthen without resistance. Mental faculties do not sharpen without critical thinking. The spirit does not soar without something to excite it.
Taken in the context of opposition to disapproved social norms, a young woman’s burgeoning personality and worldview today is tainted not only by external stimuli, but also by the complete absence of opposition to how this stimuli manifests itself. A generation of young women have been raised on Disney movies with a deep-seated princess mentality, yet once the appropriate age is reached to be exposed to the harsh realities of the world, the veil is not lifted. In fact, extra layers upon layers are thrown over her head, further blinding her to natural social and sexual dynamics. The trend continues on, perpetuating itself as young women are encouraged to cherish once insulting terms like “slut” and “bitch” as they revel in the depravity that is their lives.
At best, they remain emotional children, a toddler fiercely attached to an entitled princess lifestyle, stuck in a grown woman’s body. At worst, a manipulative, deceitful, and sadistic murderer. Consider the following two women’s stories, and how they reflect back on our culture of unwillingness to discipline women.
Born into a middle class family in New York, Wurtzel was raised by her mother and only had brief contact with her father from time to time. In 1994, her memoirs “Prozac Nation” were published, written about her major depression during her childhood up until her time spent at Harvard University as a journalism student. As to be expected, the book deals with her largely self-imposed prison of depression, as she seeks refuge in drugs, alcohol, meaningless sex, and general rebellion.
Despite the subject matter, her book was subsequently turned into a full length motion picture in 2001 to critical indifference. Following this, Wurtzel managed to find work as a music critic, while writing a few more mediocre books including “Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women.”
Regardless of her extremely low LSAT score, she was accepted into Yale Law School. By her own admission it was due to her “…other accomplishments,” perhaps implying her notoriety or mild celebrity status. After receiving her J.D. in 2008, Wurtzel failed the New York bar exam. Despite her lack of credentials, she controversially presented herself as a lawyer in several interviews during the years that followed. Upon finally passing the bar exam in 2010, making her legally able to practice law, she then proposed publically that bar exams be abolished, but not before penning the ultimate post-wall tell all at Elle magazine.
Unlike many feminists, Wurtzel had the brains (post-wall albeit) to finally bring into focus some misunderstood truths, as she states:
“Whoever said youth is wasted on the young actually got it wrong; it’s more that maturity is wasted on the old.”
Simply put, Wurtzel is another woman who was raised in a broken home, in an environment with little to no boundaries to stop her from drowning in her own sorrow. She then became defined by the very things she pretends to hate: attention seeking and diving into complete self-absorption, substance abuse, and promiscuity. Her later years were filled with writing more books about her regrets of those decisions. She’s another woman whose value plummeted with every passing year, but she never became self-aware of this fact. Wurtzel sums up her entire adult dating career with this gem:
“I attract (and seek) bottle throwing, foot stomping, door slamming, pot clanging, hair pulling, and, above all, a lot of loud screaming and walking out in a huff—usually leaving me crying, wondering what just happened, or, more often, too astonished to cry.”
Notorious rapist and murderer Karla Homolka showed early signs of mental instability. Born to a Czech immigrant father and Canadian mother, Homolka’s early life was marked by a drunk and emotionally absent father and indifferent mother. As a young girl she was known to abuse animals (foreshadowing sociopathic behaviour) as well as being bossy and domineering. As she grew older, constant fights with her parents became the norm. As she and her sister hurled insults at her alcoholic father, he withdrew into the basement to escape a house full of overbearing women.
During her high school years, she dabbled with alcohol, drugs, and surprised friends with detailed sexual encounters which included bondage, rape fantasies, strangulation, as well as her supposed suicide attempts.
Soon after, she began dating and eventually married Paul Bernardo, her accomplice in the infamous rape and murders of three women in the early 1990’s, one of them being Homolka’s own sister. Homolka had stated early on in the investigation she had been abused by Bernardo and was a forced accomplice in the rape/murders of the three women. She pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and served 12 years. Shortly before being released from prison in 2005, videotape evidence was found showing Homolka had lied and that she was a very involved participant, leading to nationwide outrage at her pending release.
In an article detailing the letters Homolka had sent from prison to author Stephen Williams, journalist Christie Blatchford went on to say:
“What is particularly compelling – and telling – is how radically different are the faces she presents”
Homolka’s lack of strong guidance during her formative years led to sociopathic and deeply narcissistic behaviours as an adult. She was a broken woman, shifting from one personality to the next in an effort to evade reality. Increasingly becoming detached from it, she found solace in the arms of a man as charismatic and strong-willed as she needed, but it was too late. The strong hand she was seeking was in fact that of a madman, and the intimacy she craved was distorted and corrupted, manifesting itself in violent sexual tendencies.
While only one of these stories is an extreme example of a woman gone wrong, they both share one important factor: the lack of a strong father figure in their lives. While it would be unfair to attribute all of their shortcomings on this, the commonality begs certain questions. How important is discipline to a young woman? What effects does a lack of fatherly discipline have on women? What can we do, as fathers or not, to prevent this type of behaviour?
Just like a winemaker controls the vigour of his vine to create a more pure and elegant vintage, or the blacksmith tempering steel to construct incredibly strong objects, women must be checked in order to avoid uncontrollably adverse behaviour. If the world shapes a man, then women must be shaped by us.