Upon discovering an article titled “Men Are Becoming The Weaker Sex, And That’s A Problem For Everyone”, I couldn’t help myself. I had to read it and see what the author discussed. Glenn T. Stanton claims that the process girls undergo when becoming women is natural, where the process boys undergo to become men is unnatural. Boys have to be taught to be men by older men, where women are natural products that nature forms. I find this problematic. If we blindly subject anyone (boys in this case) to a broad sweeping and all-purpose curriculum designed to shape their identity, we not only neglect the individual spirit, but we force people into a pre-fabricated mold. A single mold that is supposed to be steeped in the True nature of being a man.
If we followed Stanton’s assertion that men are by-products of a teacher’s efforts, this means that all men ought fit into a precast mold. Boys are not to become what they desire. Yes, this cancels out the bad desires, but it also eliminates the good ones. If, for some reason, in the world Stanton describes, men were not supposed to be healers, there would be no male doctors. Say they forbidden from practicing medicine because the act of caring for another is not taken to be masculine, but rather strictly a feminine job. Only women would be doctors because it is not socially acceptable for men to be doctors. Notice that one’s ability would have nothing to do with what they become, social standards would dictate what we become and what careers and jobs we pursue. One obvious (and cliché) pitfall of such an education is that we might convince the next generation’s greatest scientist to forgo their pursuit of science, and take up wielding.
If we attempt to coerce people into believing that someone (boys, for example) are supposed to think and act according to a certain set of guidelines, we are constructing their world view for them. We would be taking away their chance to build a world view of their own. Some might argue that if we all had world views of our own, we would be in constant competition with one another, trying to convince each other who was right and who was wrong. This is true. Everyone would be launching debates with one another, trying to argue for their point of view. Where is the harm in this? Lively debates do not spark confusion, rather they are an investigative tool used to discover the Truth.
Some proponents of teaching boys to be men might suggest that we ought to just skip the debates and teach the boys the True way of being a man. However, this way of thinking is flawed. This presupposes the teachers are knowledgeable of the Truth, in regard to manhood. Who is to say that the American definition of manhood is the True definition? The men in Ethiopia might have discovered the True definition of manhood, or perhaps, the Chinese or Russians possess this knowledge. In our country alone, inner city definitions of being a man differ from definitions that pop up in the Bible Belt. It is absurd to think our definition of manhood is the True definition just because it is our definition that we grew up with. This is reasoning is invalid.
Arguments must be shared in order to discover the Truth. Without a series of debates, we cannot hope to discover The Way men ought to act. Furthermore, this search for Truth is built on the notion that an ultimate Truth even exists. Such a truth may not exist, however, this should not restrict our search or cause it to stop. Even if no True way of being a man exists, we can still build a way that we, in our contemporary setting, deem the Truth. Of course, in time this definition would become inadequate and a new definition would have to be written out.