US: Crisis in Masculinity

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.

About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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16 Responses to US: Crisis in Masculinity

  1. Vickieann says:

    Well said

  2. Vickieann says:

    My boys are now 21 and 23 and grew up to be wonderful caring gentle men who are also masculine. I made sure they were involved in any sport they chose, boy scouts and any other group that interested them. I also encouraged outdoor things like fishing and hunting (gun safety required) They learned to take care of a pet and themselves (Laundry, cooking and cleaning) Yes I ran around like a crazy woman but as a parent that is my JOB! And I consider all these tasks a great privilege as a proud mother.

  3. Honie Briggs says:

    I couldn’t agree more, especially with number 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.”
    As a mother of a son who is a 23 years old college student, I believe strongly that young men of character need to be taken seriously and supported by society.
    We moved to Colorado not long after the Columbine shootings, just as my son, David was entering high school. That tragedy had a profound effect on students at his school, which was not far from Littleton. Aurora, where the movie theater shooting happened, isn’t too far from Littleton either. My son has friends there and I know this unspeakable act will have an impact on them.
    As I sit here keying in this comment, I can hear him on the piano, he does that when he is thinking, processing. Thank you for speaking up. Young, educated role models like yourself are needed. Desperately needed.

  4. Mason says:

    Right on, Dave. Keep saying what needs to be said.

  5. Dan says:

    Bravo to this. Thank you!

  6. Hi David, I really agree with your comments above about young men not knowing where they stand in society. We have become so protective of any access to real life that young boys are afraid of being themselves and learning through imaginative play, exploration, risk taking etc. So many parents, mothers especially, are either afraid of being judged as a bad parent by not protecting their child from even a tiny scratch from play that they end up making their child unfit to cope with the real world as a young adult and, more scarily, as a future parent. The world is going mad and it seems to me that the quality of a free thinking and intelligent society is at risk of being lost forever as we turn our kids into false fed cotton wrapped ghosts of real people. The only experiences they will be able to draw on in future life will be TV or game related. How sad is that? Fight on and you have many who agree with your efforts to get the world to realise many parents are currently doing a very bad job.

    • Great comment, Trevor! Thanks for your input and insight into this. When they start having public campaigns to convince women to breast feed, you know are society is becoming too mechanized.

  7. Wow, this post really resonated with me. It’s the reason we homeschooled our two sons and involved them in Boy Scouts. They’re both Eagles and confident young men, secure in their masculinity. :) Thanks for posting this!

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