This may seem like an article about just my dad. It is that, of course, since I and all people only have one father, who deeply shapes how we each think of fatherhood. But it is also about how my dad expresses or represents an archetype not just of dads, but of what it means to be male. This basic idea, so enduring throughout human history and established with creation, is receding into the distance. But to lose a conception of fatherhood is to lose something about what it means to be human; if we lose it entirely, a part of humanity will die.

My dad is a man in a woman-oriented culture. He’s obviously not the only one. Allow me to use some archetypes of male and female behavior to make a few observations, with the understanding that individual men and women don’t always fit the archetypes.

My father, who grew into then spun off from the family farm business and now manages several enterprises, is a doer, not a talker. That seems to be common among men, and it is certainly a dominant-enough personality style across the human race. Yet the entire business world is saturated in chatty-Kathy-style “collaboration,” “buzz-building,” and “consensus-building.” My dad doesn’t have time for such frippery. He’s busy getting the job done.