But regardless of how you define masculinity, here are two jobs that only men can fill: Only a man can be a husband. Only a man can be a father. And those jobs have a purpose and meaning that transcends the purpose and meaning of virtually any profession or career. In a world where men often struggle to find a distinct masculine purpose, two of the most important purposes that any person can pursue are right there, in front of them, and theoretically available to the vast majority of America’s men.
We shouldn’t pretend that getting married and building a family are the exclusive virtuous paths for young men (as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians, there is great virtue in purposeful singleness, for both men and women). But a healthy culture and a healthy politics should make family formation easier, building structures that help sustain those families through good times and bad.
A healthy culture should also continue to destigmatize marriages where women are better-educated or make more money than their husband. Education gaps need not necessarily lead to marriage gaps, and data indicates that strong majorities of both men and women report being “very happy” with their marriages when the wife has a degree and the husband does not.