Men are sparse on the SMU campus. I don’t mean to say that people of the male persuasion are difficult to find, because there are certainly many boys running around SMU. However, manhood is something that has become increasingly disrespected and marginalized in modern society, and the perpetuation of adolescence and boyhood has become the ideal. We can see this very clearly through our culture on campus.
What is manhood? When a boy becomes a man he adopts certain characteristics that distinguish him from his boyhood. He wants to provide for a family. He works diligently to earn money for his family or the family he will one day have. He carries certain convictions that he does not stray from. He knows his own mind and makes rational decisions. He makes commitments and keeps his word. He leads with quiet assurance and a strong sense of purpose and faith. His main resolve in this life is not to have “fun.” He does not live in order to satisfy his own needs, but the needs of those he cares for. He is not selfish but loving and devoted. If you feel like I’m subtly pointing to the family dynamic then you are spot on in your analysis. Yes, being a man means you get married. The mere fact that I have to line out what it means to be a man for fear of lack of knowledge among my male peers simply reinforces my contention that manhood is decaying in modern society.
I admit most of the definitions of manhood I find are from the Bible. Obviously, if you do not believe in the Bible, then I am probably going to be hard pressed to convince you of the importance of manhood. So take from this article what you may. That being said, in the Bible there was no transition period between boyhood and manhood. You grew up, got married and started leading a family. You didn’t date to “have a good time,” there was an intention and purpose in pursuing a woman: family. Now don’t misunderstand me. I am certainly not advocating rash decisions when it comes to matrimony. However, I am encouraging a matrimonial mindset. Be intentional in your pursuit of women — this is a defining trait of manhood.
I have a few theories as to where this perpetuation of boyhood took its roots. Because until fairly recently the family dynamic of husband, wife and children was generally regarded with esteem. The feminist movement did have its place in history, I will say. Women were, to some degree, oppressed by men. Women did deserve the vote, and they did and still do deserve equal pay for equal work. However, modern radical feminism is nothing but a popularized contrarian group that glorifies the debasement of men and their roles as fathers. According to our justice system, mothers are the primary concern in a child’s upbringing and it is now legal for a mother to terminate a pregnancy even if a father wishes to see his child come to fruition and live a full life. These abhorring social constructs are both a result of the feminist movement. The modern women’s rights movement has put women at the forefront of every issue and left men utterly powerless.
And what happens to men who live in a world where they search for respect to validate themselves but don’t find it? They find it in meaningless, noncommittal sex with strangers. And what are the physical and emotional repercussions of casual sex?
Men of SMU, embrace your virility fearlessly and lead your peers honorably.
McClaran is a first-year majoring in English and accounting.