James Anthony Ellis
Let’s face it. Men are hurting. Men have scars. And men are losing. Big time.
I guess once upon a time, they were the ones seen as holding the leverage: scavenging, raping, pillaging … basically “winning.”
Even with worn-out memes of the past, I do recall other types of images of men in our media: the dads on “Father’s Knows Best” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” I recall the ideas from long ago: a man was his word; his word was his bond. There were images of the chivalrous man picking up the handkerchief for the lovely lady, the successful businessman earning a living for his family and the American Dream. Oh sure, there were the bad guys in the world, but they were all taken care of by Batman, Superman, Spiderman and even Underdog.
Look around the present landscape. Men, and males in general, are taking a big-time hit. And if you even attempt to discuss this phenomena, you are either mocked, belittled, or given some disparaging label. I don’t care. I’m calling it. Men are scarred, and this is where.
- Family Court – Here, in this realm of unfair disadvantage, the laws of Family Court have ensured men get screwed over regarding visitation rights, custody and alimony. If men can’t afford alimony, for whatever reason has befallen them, they can even end up behind bars. Losing!
- Paternity Fraud – Here is a despicable trend seen in the action of some unscrupulous mothers who falsely claim that a certain man, many times of the military, is the father of a child. This is done for financial gain. And though this can be solved through DNA tests, archaic laws state that a husband is automatically the “father” whether he is the biological donor or not. This destroys men’s lives; it harms the child who is left in the dark, and yet the money-grubbing life-wreckers do not care. They get what they want. Men lose again.
- Boys Falling Behind – In what Dr. Warren Farrell calls “The Boy Crisis,” boys and young men are struggling in present times – with drugs, over-medication, violence, suicide and poor performance in school due to the lack of male role-model teachers and the lack of enough physical exercise to allow for a clear mind, ready to learn.
- Fatherlessness – Studies have shown that much of the struggling of young men can be attributed to the reality that they are living a life without fathers and fathering. Boys are failing without that strong presence of a dad. Bottom line.
- No Place of Their Own – The tree house of the old days has been torn down. The Lions Club and Rotary are coed. The Boys Scouts now allow in females. There are few places for boys and even men to go and be on their own, in order to re-instill and regain the power of the masculine. Nothing against girls or females, but men and boys do need a space separate from the other gender for reasons that go beyond reason, but to a primal place of connection, reflection and identification.
- False Claims – In the era of “MeToo,” every man has become suspect. It’s not enough to hold accountable the dregs of society, such as a Harvey Weinstein. All women are now believed, and every man must be looked at sideways. The concept of “toxic masculinity” tells us that men are bad just by their very nature. This opens the door for some to make false claims, knowing they will be believed and knowing their boyfriends, husbands and coworker’s reputation will be damaged if not destroyed.
- The Death of Due Process – You find this loss of a basic human right in various parts of our society, even in our own Congress as certain statesmen and stateswomen jump all over the “guilty” without a presumption of innocence or the due process of common law. As well, the travesty is taking place to a large degree on the college campuses, where male students are deemed guilty just by simply being accused of a crime. Their lives are turned upside down, their educational lives squashed to bits, all without a day in court or a chance to face their accusers.
- Media Bias – There is indeed the male bashing that takes place in our nation’s media, and it continues mostly because men don’t have it in their makeup to be combative and defensive about such a dishonorable battle. The other form of media bias is found in our entertainment: characters such as Homer Simpson and Al Bundy star as the typical male duffus, while other male entertainers are simply placed into dresses … all for the sake of – ahem – humor.
- Isolation – In the way society is presently designed, we see young men graduating from their adolescence directly into a state of isolation. College buddies gone, community connections gone, it’s off to work and then back to home life. Not exactly sure of the origin of this tendency, but men are definitely going it alone. And this isolation – this disconnect from a larger picture – shrinks their joy in life, their happiness in relationship and their success as a man.
- Dishonor – The big loss. Men are losing themselves, and they have no one else to blame. With the help of the aforementioned scenarios, men are giving up on the honor that defined them, breaking their commitments that held them strong and destroying their “word” that was their bond. They are losing, and losing big-time. Losing their families, their liberties and their inherent value that would uplift and save them.
With all the losing, where is the comeback? If this were halftime, what are the corrections to be made to the game plan so once again men could regain that success so treasured by them?
Answers reside in some practicalities – fighting for more fairness in family courts and due process laws, standing up for the family and parenting, and ensuring that young men have mentors and father figures so future generations of men are successful.
However, the big answer resides in looking within to discover what can make men truly win.
Finding the value within themselves, so their presence matters in the realm of relationship, family and community.
Standing up for what’s right and just and fair.
Taking a stand for a masculinity that can take its rightful place on a sacred alter of honor … making sure, there will be a win.
A win-win for us all.