Last week I read an outstanding article by Brett McKay on the Art of Manliness website that I wanted to post here. The title, “A Generation of Men Raised by Women,” is taken from the movie Fight Club, which I have not seen.
The article outlines in some detail how three key social institutions–the family, the school, and the church–have historically taught boys how to become men. However, these institutions have become “feminized” over the last hundred-plus years as a result of several factors, including the Industrial Revolution, rising divorce rates, and changing views of man’s sinful nature. The cumulative result of these trends has been an absence of male leadership in the institutions that are supposed to define masculinity.
McKay lays out what he thinks are reasons for optimism about the future of manliness. He may be grasping at straws here (for example, the falling divorce rate he cites may be more the result of increasing numbers of people cohabiting without bothering to get married in the first place), but I guess we’ll take whatever we can get. The main strength of the article is in showing the magnitude of the crisis we face. Take a look at some of the charts and other evidence he presents; it’s good reading.