In the background of the gun control debate, and many other political debates, is the implicit assumption that there will always be enough “good guys” around—and they are mostly guys—to fix our stuff and keep us safe when crap hits the fan. However fashionable it may have been to hate on cops two years ago, we all still want someone to pick up if we have to call 911. Especially if our kids’ safety is involved.
But it turns out we’ve begun to exhaust our supply of good men. Feminism hasn’t helped, perpetual war hasn’t helped, the opioid crisis hasn’t helped, “Progress” in general hasn’t helped. Many men are shirking their duties as men, precisely because the payoff for being a man just isn’t there. Boys will be boys, but many men will only be men if you give them good reason to be. Our society hasn’t given most men such reason, and so here we are.
But we need good men. In particular, we need courage, the paradigmatically masculine virtue. The problem is that we’ve jacked up our courage supply chains even worse than our baby formula ones. And that problem cannot be fixed by anything less than a civilizational reset.
And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. … In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
We call cops pigs and expect them to risk their lives in active shooter situations. We laugh at masculinity and are shocked to find dead children in our midst.