Updated: Jul 29
I know I was going to try and keep politics off this blog, but I figured two things. First, where I was posting these was getting ZERO traffic (I suddenly had an influx of "subscribers" with very Asian business sounding names that didn't have accounts within a week- but nothing else) and I wanted to start a dialog on these ideas. Second- I figured the piece on Miller did well, so why not see what happens with something else. So I'm going to put pieces like this up alongside my works of fiction. The fiction works I'll interconnect, and anything that isn't fiction I'll ensure are titled so you can avoid or target them. My opinions will have the "Battle Specter Opines" title block like my Scab serial has Scab in the title block for easy navigation and quick perusal.
I think you get the point... So... The post...
A while back I had the chance to sit down with a fellow Marine I met while going to school for my Creative Writing Degree- we rarely get the chance to sit down and converse, but when we do, the conversations are always excessively interesting. While we sat there discussing things, he opined that societies that give up their masculinity fall to those that don't. I've been thinking about this idea off and on for the last couple of days- generally when I'm busy doing something that requires little with regards to mental capacity or when listening to NPR. And the more I think about it, the more I think my friend has a point.
We can see this loss of masculinity every day. Overweight men living the lives of overgrown children. Working junk jobs, with no real responsibilities or aspirations, chugging along from paycheck to paycheck content that they can afford fast food and video games. Society has no desire to make them do anything else, and they are completely ok with that. Then there are, as some people call them, the "soy boys." Males that are "enlightened" as to how terrible masculinity is, and work hard to suppress it at every corner. These men seem to be trying to change the way being a man is viewed. Skinny jeans wrapped tightly about pencil legs topped off with t-shirts and ties under suit jackets. Scruffy faces and a sincere belief that femininity is superior to anything a man can do.
But it goes further than mere stereotypes (which the above examples are). Grown assed adults can now stay on their parents insurance until 26. In some states you aren't allowed to smoke until you're 21. You can't get a beer until you're 21. You can't buy a pistol (even a simple revolver) until you're 21. What kind of society are we creating that won't trust 20 year olds to smoke. drink, own a pistol, or make enough to buy their own health insurance? Is this really the kind of country we wan't to make? Trust them to bleed for their rights, perhaps die for Joe Sixpack who'd rather play video games in his mom's basement until she croaks and eat cheeseburgers every day while complaining that life's too hard.
And I find that rather troubling. I may sound like a dick saying this, but really think about this. Are we really willing to give away a persons ability to choose how they live their life at the age of majority, and shift that age backwards to a point that may constitute a THIRD of their lives? And there are KIDS who want us to believe that they should be allowed to vote at 16- but restricted from buying a firearm until their 21... And the reason they give is utterly mind boggling. They really think they have the maturity to VOTE, but not the maturity to OWN A GUN. By that logic, they don't have the relevant maturity to serve in the military either, and if you can't serve in the military (because you're too much of an incompetent child) than why in the hell would we let you wield political power? Either they're able to own guns when they're able to serve when they're able to vote, or they can wait until they're 21 to cast a ballot when they buy their "medicinal marijuana."
What happened to the father of the house looking his young son (maybe seven to ten) in the face before he goes off to war to say, "You're the man of the house now. Your mom and siblings are counting on you to get the job done. Don't let me down."
I type this knowing that my kid couldn't do it, and for that I feel ashamed. My son's smart, but his maturity isn't quite there yet. Our society has gotten soft- it's lost its masculine edge and we can see it everywhere we look. Sure, there are exceptions- but the exceptions are getting fewer and far between. I work in industry as a machinist, and the overwhelming majority of the men I work with are either overweight or skinny-fat. Granted, I only see a small percentage of the population of the country in my place of employment, and only interact with true city dwellers from time to time (I generally stay rather secluded in my four acres of freedom), but those I see most often don't impress me. Soft, pale, devoid of a fight response. Men with strong words, but little bite, and that's on "both sides" of the political spectrum.
I'm not sure how to fix this, or even if the problem is as bad as I seem to see, and I'm sure someone is going to have an aneurysm reading this, but it does worry me. I am curious to see what others think. Are men getting soft? Does my friend have a point- will the loss of masculinity drag us into cultural suicide? Let me know what you think.