But in their effort to eradicate the destructive male tendency, the Left has pushed emasculation as a solution. While they champion the notion that women can do anything they set their minds to (true!), they simultaneously castigate men as the barriers to progress and masculinity as a condition to be avoided. The goal of the Left, therefore, becomes to train boys not to become men. Instead, boys should be feminized; they should never be encouraged to “be a man.” That’s too pressure-filled, too nasty, too mean.
But boys want to become men; men want to be men. As Christina Hoff Sommers points out: “Most boys evince healthy masculinity. . . . telling a boy to ‘man up’ can be harsh and degrading. But teaching him to ‘be a gentleman’ is another matter.”
If men are not told to be “gentlemen,” some will be emasculated, but more will become destructive men. If men are not trained by good men, they will be trained by bad men; if they have no good males to follow, they follow bad ones. The Left routinely speaks about a world run by women and why such a world would create better men. But the most male-free environment in America exists in black communities, where well over half of black children grow up without fathers. This hasn’t made black boys less violent; it’s made them far more prone to criminality than their non-black peers. Many of these boys follow teenage role models, many of whom have lacked fathers themselves, and lack the training to be a gentleman. They live in a world of risk that requires masculine defense but have no one to teach them to distinguish between defense and aggression.
The Left’s dichotomous choice between emasculation and toxic masculinity leaves men out in the cold — and leaves them searching for meaning. If they are not the defenders of their families, what are they? If they are not providers, what are they? They become non-entities — or they become societal tumors or at least tacit supporters of “men who are men!”