In defense of patriarchs

In defense of patriarchs January 18, 2019


12 Strong movie poster
I watched this film again a week or two ago on one of the flights home from Cairo. While I certainly don’t think that warfare is the best expression of masculinity, let alone the only adequate one, it seems to me that defense of the right and protection of the innocent is among its highest expressions, even when (as sometimes sadly happens) that requires the use of justifiable violence.
(Theatrical poster, fair use)


Masculinity is under ideologically-motivated attack in some quarters.


You may perhaps have missed these items:


“Grown Men Are the Solution, Not the Problem: With young men in crisis, the American Psychological Association wrongly declares war on ‘traditional masculinity’”


“The APA Can’t Spin Its Way Out of Its Attack on ‘Traditional Masculinity’: Our culture has grown more disdainful of common, inherent male characteristics.”


And now there’s a new controversy:


“Procter & Gamble’s Toxic Sanctimony: A new ad for Gillette razors parrots crude leftist stereotypes of men.”


“Gillette Is Not Wrong: The razor company’s newest ad has been savagely received on the right, but its message is more conservative than the critics acknowledge.”


“What Have the Men Ever Done for Us?  Plenty. Someone should tell Gillette.”


“Gillette Joins the Fight against ‘Toxic Masculinity’: We need more masculinity — genuine masculinity — not less.”


“Forget the Gillette Ad, This Is What an Attack on Masculinity Looks Like”


And, in a separate but related flare-up with overtones of religious bigotry:


“For Tender, Heroic Men — the Knights of Columbus”


Here’s some older material that’s still worth reading:


“Dear Feminists, ‘Male Vulnerability’ Isn’t a Virtue: Among the great gifts a father can give a son is a sense of masculine purpose.”


“The Question That Reveals the Heart of the Culture Wars”




Finally, I think that more than a few among my readers here will find this intriguing article, by an anthropologist based in Oxford, both important and extraordinarily interesting — as I did.  I’m not enough of an evolutionary primatologist to be able to determine how much of the tale Dr. Anna Machin tells is a stimulating just-so story and how much rests upon well-grounded fact, but it’s fascinating and it makes an excellent case for the importance of fathers as parental complements to mothers:


“The marvel of the human dad: Among our close animal relatives, only humans have involved and empathic fathers. Why did evolution favour the devoted dad?”


Really, I strongly recommend Dr. Machin’s article.  It’s quite thought-provoking.



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