Some years back, a South African game reserve was faced with a problem: they could no longer support all the elephants on the reserve. As such, they decided to move some of the elephants to another reserve. Given the enormous size of elephants, only helicopters could safely transport them. Since adult male elephants are much heavier than females, the reserve decided to only transport female adult elephants and young males to another reserve.

baby-elephants

After a few weeks at the new reserve, the rangers started to find the bodies of rhinoceros’ violently gored to death. The rangers couldn’t suspect poachers, as their tusks were intact. So, they found out it was the juvenile male elephants who had killed the rhinos. Further, it wasn’t just the rhinos who had been stomped on and gored to death, as other animals on the reserve had been attacked by the young male elephants. This sort of behavior bewildered the rangers, as such violent behavior is unheard among male elephants.

The rangers realized that the problem was the lack of adult male elephants. They decided to find a way to helicopter adult male elephants to the reserve. Within weeks, the young males had stopped goring other animals and began to comport themselves as male elephants generally do.

While man is not a wild animal like elephants are, we both share a sacred duty to our younger kin. We both shoulder the duty and privilege of shepherding young males into the seriousness of adulthood. For human males, the ritual of ushering young boys into confident, masculine men is one of sublime gravity. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed as such back in the 1960’s:

From the wild Irish slums of the 19th Century Eastern Seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken homes, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations for the future – that community asks for and gets chaos.

On the grossest consequences of feminism and the concomitant collapse of the family is the devaluation of fatherhood. Feminism fosters and encourages “independence” from men in women. To be a single mother is a badge of pride, a social sign that you don’t want or need provisioning—of any kind—from a man. In order to make this socially tenable, the concept of fatherhood must be ruthlessly devalued in order for women to make believe their male-free families are meeting the needs of their children.

raising boys without men

Media and academia aid this devaluation in many ways.  Books like Peggy Drexler’s Raising Boys Without Men and Lenore Weitzman’s The Divorce Revolution strive to convince women that men simply are not necessary for a functioning family. It needn’t be argued that Women’s Studies and the constellation of Critical Studies programs in academia have greatly aided in dismantling fatherhood. The swarming mass of media targeted at women serve to allay any concerns that women might entertain about being a single mother or tossing out her husband out onto the curb.

While this approach is loved by society—scads of single mothers who exist purely to spend men’s money on products branded by capitalism—the effects are deleterious. Study after study finds a clear and direct correlation between fatherlessness and violence, sloth and depression in young males. Sites like ROK have to spend all sorts of time guiding, aiding and counselling young men who have no father or grew up with a weak or distant one. We see the malaise in real time, with movements like MGTOW, PUA’s, MRA’s, and even sites like 4chan give voice to the angry and conflicted souls of modern men.

A common sentiment that threads all these disparate movements together is the poverty of the modern man’s soul.  Unable to properly value themselves or find solid footing in life, young men find themselves adrift in society, coping with porn, video games, drugs and—most unfortunately—violence. They stew endlessly in their own juices, much like a middle-aged English teacher who fiddles with a couple novel manuscripts when he’s had too much cheap bourbon. Unable to reasonably appreciate their place in their own life and society, they simply pass from experience to experience, none the wiser from it all nor any happier.

The bulwark against this listless melancholy is fatherhood. When fathers are present and strong, they combine both the firm hand of experienced maturity with the soft touch of love that allows boys to grow into strong, self-assured men. They place demands on their young from a place of paternal love in order for them to have clear, level-headed views on life and their place in it. They are there when the winds of cruel fate batter mercilessly on the souls of their young boys; they are there when their sons achieve their wildest dreams.

Fatherhood isn’t just a necessity for raising healthy boys, it is a necessity to prevent social destruction. One need only take a cursory glance at black America to realize the structural problems that inhere when men are not present as fathers. The violence, laziness and general indifference of the stereotypical black man speaks mostly to the collapse of black men as fathers. Unable to transmit masculine values to their sons, boys grow up dominated by their mothers and their adulthood reflects this. You get men obsessed with shoes, fashion and unable to mediate their own testosterone-fueled aggression. They grow up to be men with no grounded sense of masculinity.

Boyhood-friends

Some years back, I heard some news about a friend from my youth. He grew up in the shadow a sulky, working class mother. His father was a garden-variety felon with a strong like for cheap booze and loose bar skanks. His mother moved on from unstable loser to stable douchebag without a care for his needs. Despite her constant proclamations of love and devotion to her son, it was a cloying and superficial display that betrayed her ambivalence about her son. He was a smart, capable and handsome young man, but he had no stable sense of self or masculinity. Marijuana and whiskey were his choices as an adult to cope with the depressing reality of his life.

I got a call not more than a couple years ago and a friend told me that he had cashed in all his chips with a .38. I remember sitting back, remembering playing Twisted Metal with him and listening to crappy Top 40 radio in junior high. I remember trading tall tales about where we would go in life after we stole a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade as sophomores. I remember graduating high school, the world before us, a world that was fit to be conquered by us.

I also remember hearing that he had taken his own life a few years later. His relationship with his mother was one of conflicted frustration, but what I remember most was his distressed relationship with his father. Being a man with an involved father, I couldn’t understand the foreign look in his eyes when he spoke of his father. Some boys are called before their time to shoulder burdens that should be carried by adults. He had to learn to be a man with no man to teach him.

I can’t help but wonder what his life would have been like had his mother and father ditched their ego’s and put their children first? What if he knew he could call his father at any hour of the night, knowing his father is always there to help him navigate the confusing tides of life? I don’t doubt for a second that he would be alive and well today if that was the case.  Given his talent and smarts, I have no doubt at all that he would be a successful young man with a bright future ahead of him.

Yet, that is not the case. He lived in a society that tolerated and openly embraced men absconding from fatherhood, a society that revolves around what women want from men. If that is money, then she gets a child support order; if that is to be celebrated for having some random seed vacuumed from inside her, then break out the champagne. He lived in a society that devalued the positive value men bring to the table as devoted fathers.

He was simply one man, who is interred in a lonely cemetery in town nobody has heard of, but his story is emblematic of so many men. Listless with no substantive demands made of them by caring fathers, modern men are a rudderless rendition of their grandfathers. His fatal decision is an aberration for most men, but his personal disquiet is mirrored in the souls of far too many men in America.

Fatherhood isn’t a concept to be taken lightly in any sense of the word. Fatherhood is the capstone of masculinity in a healthy society. The deleterious consequences that result from the erosion of fatherhood cannot be understated. Fatherhood, simply, is the bedrock of society. Any society that openly embraces the rearing of youth without male influence is a society due for a serious reality check.

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