I was originally not going to post twice today but I’m upset about what happened in the Denver movie theatre shooting. This is more evidence that there is a crisis of masculinity in the US. It’s not women that are committing these acts. It’s men. Often white men around 18 to 25. This is a serious problem. It needs to be addressed.
The United States needs to get its act together with respect to masculinity, and soon. It’s a world leader and the world has historically mimicked its trends. Here are some of the problems as I see them:
1.) The United States has no established and accepted rite-0f-passage for boys to mark their journey into manhood. (This is no small detail since most cultures throughout history have had this).
2.) Multimedia (including video games, movies, music, etc.) needs to stop exploiting the international monetary potential of maximizing violence in their “works.” If a society only tells one story: violence equals masculine power, then it’s members will actually have to fight against this story and imagine a contradicting story. [Right now sex and violence are proliferating internationally marketed “works” because multinational corporations know for a fact that violent and sexual acts are universal and therefore need no translation or subtitle.]
3.) Drugging young boys with antidepressants and ADHD medications are not the universal answer. Boys need real exercise, real experiences and real mentorship to explore their masculine nature. Yes, this means taking a “risk” that they might get hurt… and learn something. Unfortunately, these tasks are not well suited to a classroom or to a video arcade.
4.) Manhood needs to exist as a real thing – not to be scoffed or ridiculed or seen as a threat to women. If we don’t establish manhood and maintain its standards, we basically bury it under the rug and let it fester and become whatever it wants to become.
5.) We need to stop living atomized lives of alienation. The problems that we’re facing now are not much different from those that first began with the mass migration of people in the US from agrarian to city life. People moved into the cities and gave up their roles in their communities. They gave up their gender roles and their family roles and this made them feel powerless.
It was at this time that modern psychology was first introduced to our lives. Of course, the Freudian method is basically the act of giving someone in need a friend to talk to so that person can get things worked out and not feel so powerless. We need person-to-person contact. We need to put down the technology and interact in more natural, traditional ways.