Another great column by Jewish scholar Dennis Prager.
What is a man (as opposed to a boy)? The traditional understanding was that a man is he who takes responsibility for others — for his family, his community and his country — and, of course, for himself. A man stood for ideals and values higher than himself. He conducted himself with dignity. And he was strong.
[…]Boys today have fewer adult men in their lives than ever before. Many boys are not raised by any father. More are not raised by a father who lives in the home full time. Nearly every teacher and principal American boys have in elementary and high school is a female. The boy’s clergy person and physician may well be women. And few male figures in contemporary film radiate manhood as defined above.
[…]America has become a rights-centered rather than a responsibility-centered society. Aside from helping to produce a pandemic of narcissism, the rights-centered mindset is the opposite of the obligation/responsibility-centered mindset that makes a boy into a man. It is not good for either sex to be rights-preoccupied; but it is particularly devastating to developing men, as men are supposed to be obligation-directed.
[…]Males no longer have distinctive roles. Men do best when they are relied upon, when needed; and they feel most needed when they do something distinct from women.
[…]Many churches and synagogues have been feminized. This has occurred in at least three important ways: Clergy are increasingly female (and touchy-feely males) — for the first time in Christian and Jewish history; God is often depicted as androgynous and no longer either demanding or judging (He just loves all the time); and religion has been changed from morally and theologically demanding to a therapeutic model.
I think one of the big problems today is that men have abandoned their responsibilities to protect and provide because they are no longer appreciated. Instead, people have shifted the traditional male responsibilities to the government. Men have been replaced with a police force, welfare checks, social workers, and single-payer health care. If there is no recognition for doing hard things, having good character, and filling an important role, then men won’t even try.