Brooks, Noonan, Kissinger, Judge Alito, the Colorado Massacre and Our Young Boys and Men
The Demasculinzation Syndrome (DMS) and Fearless Mothers
The broad based intellectual, David Brooks, was hired by the New York Times as the conservative balance to its liberal op-ed columnists and editors. Well, it hasn’t quite turned out that way. It appears that he has a soft spot in his heart which, not uncommonly, leads him to join his liberal colleagues looking toward government as the major player to solve certain problems. So I was pleasantly surprised by his recent “conservative” column, Honor Code, where he boldly sounds the alarm that we are systematically demasculinizing our men.
He starts with nursery school where teachers, as a policy, not infrequently send notes home to parents about their kids’ behavior. Johnny had a hard time today, and Johnny was disruptive to the group. And later, if Johnny continues, maybe he has ADHD and the parents should have a conference with the school to determine whether the kid needs therapeutic counseling and/or psychotropic pharmaceutical medication. As another example, Mr. Brooks describes what happens when an elementary school teacher catches two boys wrestling. They are suspended!
Mr. Brooks adds that, unlike in the past, males are taught to be sensitive and nurturing which is not in their nature so they withdraw from this “foreign” culture. He claims they lose interest in our educational system and turn to violent video games and aggressive music. In my hometown, there were 10 students who got perfect SAT scores. Nine were females and the other Asiatic male, solid evidence supporting this withdrawal.
A couple of days later, I read an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by the well- respected columnist, Peggy Noonan, entitled, Is That Allowed?’ ‘It is Here. It’s a positive article, not common these days, regarding the opportunities that our country offers immigrants. She tells the story about an immigrant who landed on our shores at age 16. The lad could hardly speak English and entered New York City’s public school system. But his family needed money so he got a job during the day at a shaving-brush factory and transferred to night school. At work he wore big, heavy rubber gloves and squeezed acid from the bristles. After, he attended City College, part time, and then joined the Army. His name? Henry Kissinger, one of our great Secretaries of State.
About a year ago, I was invited to attend a luncheon by NIAF, the prestigious National Italian American Foundation, in honor of Supreme Court judge, Samuel Alito. He reminisced about how his family emigrated from Italy to the United States. It brought back memories of my family so I naturally connected with the man. Here’s what struck me the most about his story: His immigrant father, at age 16, came home one night and discovered that the landlord, for certain reasons, had thrown his parents out on the sidewalk with no place to stay. This young man took charge and managed the entire situation until his parents were securely settled-in again.
Can you imagine one of Mr. Brook’s prototype 16 year old males taking the bull by the horns like Kissinger and Judge Alito’s dad did? I read in the New York Post about how three young men lost their lives trying to protect their girlfriends from the massacre at the midnight premiere of Dark Night Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Matt McQuinn (27), Jonathan Blunk (26) and Alex Teves (24) used their bodies as shields to protect their sweethearts from the lethal hail of bullets. Upon reading this, a number of thoughts and feelings entered my mind, the prominent one being that these guys had the right stuff and died like heroic men. After that thought came another theoretical one. If there were a government committee in the theater they would have ordered the men not to risk their lives and run for the exits. If they did otherwise they would have been- what’s the word- ‘suspended’?
For a number of years, I’ve wondered how the Brooks’s male came to be. Sure enough, many have written about the ongoing male transformation but, and this intellectually puzzles me, no significant counter movement to this revolutionary cultural change has arisen. Perhaps we, as a country, have accepted this ongoing pattern. Influential male leaders, including angry fathers, are nowhere to be seen for they fear to speak out. A pox on their house! There’s a huge message behind this silence and inaction which I’ll address in future posts. But whatever the reasons, I believe that the solution to permit normal male behavior which has the best chance of success must be based on a step-by step legal-political combination approach. One can lament forever but nothing will happen unless there is an organized force. All major successful movements such as Civil Rights, Women’s Liberation, Diversity and now Disability Reimbursement have been based on effective legal and political power, the major one being getting the vote. In my opinion, the only source to energize the movement is for current and future mothers to establish legal-political organizations from local to a national level to remedy the attack on boys and young men.
One final encouraging note: It’s is highly probable that these three brave men were heavily exposed to what I term in my book, the Demasulinization Syndrome or DMS, where they were taught not to push others and inform on others if they do naughty things. These acts of ultimate heroism send out a clear message that man’s basic instinct to risk their lives not only for their sweethearts but for others from the trenches of the battlefield to the family is a sign that DMS has not yet won the day. One writer waxed nostalgic when describing these acts of heroism as “old- fashioned chivalry” which sadly reflects the broad cultural acceptance of the DMS. It is not old-fashioned. It’s still in man’s nature and very much alive. It’s, in my opinion, up to fearless mothers to take up the ball to fight and win the battle.