Does American Still Produce Men?
Short blog post today, the answer is, unfortunately, “NO.” That’s all for today. Haha.
OK, I was just kidding. Sure America produces men even by the archaic yardstick I use to define manliness, but the real problem is we are not producing enough of them and we have lost our definition of what that means thereby producing incompletely finished men.
Sort of like making great cars, but forgetting to install an engine.
Why the Hell do we want men anyway, Big Red Car?
Damn good question. In these days of voluntary gender assignment and re-assignment with unlimited Mulligans, do we even need men?
Who needs a man when sperm banks have such easy withdrawal policies?
We need men to create a balanced family unit with a good woman in order to create a solid nuclear family in which to raise the next generation and pass along healthy American and personal values.
Larger perspective — we cannot be a good country if we do not produce good men.
In that organizational unit, responsibilities can be assigned, burdens can be shared, and a child has a heightened probability of making it from the cradle to adulthood.
Children benefit from a constant example of what they should become.
Since the 1965 Moynihan Report, we have known that many of the ills in black America can be laid at the feet of absent fathers which means failed nuclear family units.
From a 30% level of cracked families in 1965, we have progressed to a level north of 75% and the problem is not getting better. [I am not making an argument in which race figures into the issue, but the Moynihan Report is a great signpost in this discussion as it spelled the nuclear family problem out so clearly 55 years ago.]
Even a man who decides not to mate brings to his world a sense of order if he has been raised to certain standards.
What the Hell is a man, Big Red Car?
We are tempted to mouth the dictionary definition mumbling some recognizable utterance about male qualities, masculinity, bravery, or strength.
As I use the notion, I am speaking of a male who adds to the world’s order, safety, and calm by his presence thereby making it a better place to live or visit. [I am convinced we have been visited by UFOs and persons from other planets.]
The definition of a Southern gentleman is a man who makes others feel more comfortable in his presence.
Building on that theme, I am looking for a man to be someone who sees the world with steely clarity and takes action to make it a better place in things both large and small.
The dark side of that same mirror might be the idea that this same man reduces the ugliness of life making it better by subtraction rather than addition.
I was once stuck in first class traveling a great distance in a silver tube that levitated me and a dead heading flight attendant for a long period of time. [I was working for an oil company building gargantuan projects separated by great distances and they had given me an Air Travel Card, a magical piece of red plastic that guaranteed me the best available seat on any flights of the largest airlines in the world. It was a wonderful bit of kit.]
She was an attractive woman; we had a nice meal; and there was wine though neither she nor I overindulged, but the loosening of one’s tongue can be accomplished on a single glass.
Somehow the discussion turned to what she “liked” in a man. I will certify to you that for an unattached, unmarried man, recently released from the bondage of military service, beginning my business career, looking sharp in a suit sporting a hand folded, 4 crisp points, Irish linen pocket square with rolled edges just like the dummies in the window at Brooks Brothers, I was quite interested in the conversation.
She said something like this:
“The most important qualities in a man are competence, kindness, courtesy, manners, and looking in my eyes when we speak.”
As I had a recent MBA in finance, I diagrammed her sentence from an investment perspective and concluded that the possible dividend from such an investment — adhering one’s behavior to her standards — was a very handsome outcome.
She did not stop there, however.
“I want to be with a man who makes me feel safe, who makes me laugh, who can dance, and respects me.”
We traveled a great distance and more was said, but I think I have made my point which is this — being a man also pays attractive dividends in the game of life, or to be slightly more direct — in the mating ritual.
How do we produce men, Big Red Car?
Asked and answered, dear reader — fathers, fathers, fathers — but also priests, rabbis, omams, coaches, scout leaders, platoon sergeants, colleges (not so much unless you attend a school like my alma mater Virginia Military Institute, a story for another time).
In addition mothers in a more subtle way and, of course, lovely flight attendants on long flights.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
OK, let me use the sharp edge of the knife, cut through the fat and expose the muscle.
What we are seeing today in the public square is a wholesale failure of manliness. It is on both sides of the square and I can spare you the toil as you know exactly of what I speak. We are acting like children.
The first step toward adulthood and, ultimately, manhood is to abandon the ways of a child.
America needs to go back to basics, recall who we are, what we have done, who did it, and face the future in a manly way that says, “Sure, we have some problems, but we are persons who solve problems including the character of our male children.”
A small pause — I am not espousing anything about roles, but characteristics. I don’t care if you are a plumber or a titan — a kind man, a courteous man is the spice that makes our national soup more savory and who doesn’t like a nice cup of soup?
To men — God damn it, start acting like men.
To women — beloveds, start demanding that your men act like men.
To mothers, special women — raise good boys as they are the feedstock for good men. You are the real rulers of the Universe and the Universe is a little wobbly these days. Hand that rocks the cradle and all that.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a manly Big Red Car, muscle car actually, that runs on pure testosterone and there is nothing as manly as screaming through the Hill Country with my top down when driven by a real man with his lady. God bless America.
Here is a useful website: