Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

September 5, 2013

Where are the boys?

By Nathan Harter
Daily News

---- — University attendance has been skewing toward the females.

Where exactly are the boys? The jobless rate for young men is terrible. They aren’t all in prison or in the military. I wonder: are they in mom’s basement playing “Call of Duty” into the wee hours?

I just read a commentator say that women are marrying less and less primarily for one reason: the men today just aren’t worth marrying. Why bother with marriage to all these slackers and bros? Women can increasingly earn their own wages, have protected sex that doesn’t result in pregnancy, look to the government for financial support as needed – and for companionship buy a dog.

Boys aren’t needed. Boys don’t care. The culture feeds them everything they could possibly desire, except meaning. Their parents cover them with insurance. Microwaves and fast food restaurants mean that nobody has to cook. Migrants hungrily take the brutal jobs. Drones defend the homeland. Those liberated girls we were just talking about seem to be fine with casual sex. And happily, boys have screens to occupy their time otherwise. LOL. What’s not to like?

The endeavors that do continue to attract boys tend toward concrete results and right answers. Sports, business, engineering, war. Boys want to know what’s required of them and then trust that if they perform, the system will reward them. They like to see the results, even if it means losing or failing, so long as the enterprise makes sense.

Add to this the epidemic of medications intended to flatten out a boy’s need to jump and wrestle and make violent noises. We expect them in school to sit in rows, read poetry, hear again and again the idiocy of political correctness, wallow in their feelings, and abide within regimes of zero tolerance for the very things that boys in particular do.

The educational establishment, populated as it often is by ideologues and well-meaning ninnies who don’t know what else to do with their own lives, operates from a fantasy of what it means to be a man – a fantasy constructed of romance novels, feminist agitprop, television commercials in which the man is invariably a doofus, and pompous professors in neatly-trimmed beards who drive tiny cars and in their soft cafes, rage, rage against their WWII daddies. (There, I said it.)

When do boys get to witness real men in action? In shoot-‘em-up blockbuster movies or head-spearing steroid-fests on ESPN or rapping onstage? Do you honestly think that the media has a vested interest in valorizing masculinity? Even “Duck Dynasty” is forever winking at you from behind the (heavily-bearded) mask that guys really are just a bunch of uncivilized goobers without our women.

“Where are the boys?” They seem lost. Maybe the better question is, where are the men? The men have to go find these kids, bellow a few words at them, drag them up out of the basement, and otherwise exhibit those virtues like dignity, courage, and industriousness that also seem lost. And then, when the ascendant woman and the sensitive males among us presume to rebuke you for being so masculine, do this: snort. Literally, snort through your nose and go about your business, which right now includes salvaging some pride.