American society is in a state of crisis. Violent crime is on the rise. Drug overdoses and suicides continue to be silent killers. The population seems more divided than ever, and millions of citizens are racked with fear and anxiety. Each of these outcomes is driven by multiple factors, but one that is undeniably tied to all of them is the failure of men to protect, provide, and lead.
Put simply, America is in trouble because American men are in trouble.
It's not just low testosterone or men in dresses that are the issue. The problems most prominently on display are a loss of virtue, honor, dignity, courage, and responsibility. To quote C.S. Lewis, we are producing men without chests. When men are weak, women and children suffer.
Picture a raging mob that comes to the home of a local family. The ringleader bangs on the door, and when it opens, he sees a teenage girl holding a rifle staring back at him. He immediately knows the girl has been forced into her role because the man of the house is either asleep or absent. It is possible that the girl is a master marksman who is up to the task, but the most likely outcome is that the entire household will eventually fall under the control of people who seek to exploit it, not protect it.
Such is the case in America. Over the past 60 years, the government has provided incentives for men to abandon their responsibilities to their children and for women to look to bureaucrats to play the role of husband and father. Over that time we've also seen a radical shift in cultural norms around sex, marriage, and family. We see the results of those changes. Marriage rates have been on a steady decline for decades, and the nonmarital births have been increasing for just as long. Families are constantly being undermined by an ever-encroaching government and a culture that uses everything from classrooms to cartoons to catechize our children.
A generation ago, people like the Rev. Calvin Butts and C. Delores Tucker played the role of protector in the black community. They were shaped by the civil rights movement but foresaw what a destructive cultural force gangsta rap and other elements of hip-hop would have on a community that often looked to artists and entertainers to advocate for social change. They didn't mince words about the impact of lyrics promoting the murder of black men and degradation of black women.
Image source: Delano Squires
Leaders like that, regardless of race or political affiliation, are missing from today's landscape. Congresswoman Maxine Waters actually said she is proud of the vulgarity that so many of today's female artists have embraced. In her mind, the exploitation of women is a social good as long as women are the ones profiting from it.
Compare the public displays of unrestrained sexuality from the female rapper Megan Thee Stallion with the conspicuous silence of blue-check Twitter's cultural geldings — docile, rhetorically castrated men who are unwilling to say anything publicly that would get them labeled "toxic." That's the perfect metaphor for our current cultural decline.
The United States is at the midpoint of a massive social experiment. Since the 1970s, radical feminists have used law, policy, and culture to convince our society that girl power means mimicking the sexual behavior and social norms of men. Over the next 50 years, we'll find out the impact of using the same mechanisms to convince mainstream society that gender is a social construct and that men can actually get pregnant. Only time will tell how this experiment ends, but it is no surprise that men today seem more insecure, passive, and fragile than ever.
If things are to turn around, it will require a new generation of men who have the moral conviction, strength, and wisdom needed for this moment. I hope to be a voice for those men. My worldview is decidedly Christian. As the father of three young children, part of my job is to culture-proof my kids so that they don't become the type of people whose only standard for truth is how many celebrities, politicians, and activists hold a particular opinion. That means I turn to the Bible, not the crowd, to guide my thinking on issues of race, gender, nationality, marriage, work, and family.
This country needs men of every background who value strength, courage, independent thought, faith, and love. We need men who are unafraid to stand up for their wives and children and who see protecting and providing for their families as their most important vocation. My words of encouragement to these men are simple: Be strong. Be bold. Be courageous.Be Fearless.