Anyone notice a serious lack of man power? I know you have. Consider this my disclaimer before I elaborate: I LOVE strong women, I consider myself a strong woman. I believe though, I can be strong and do important tasks while wearing a skirt and being openly feminine. I’m not interested in being a man under any circumstances. I’m happy for men to do manly things. There are many probably who will disagree with what I write below. Now you’ve been warned. Read if you wish.
The other day I had a BLAST with my son at a local nature retreat-area for little guys. We go there once in a while when we don’t have time to go anywhere far but still need the sun, fresh air, and activity beyond our four little walls. While there, I notice two women, both wearing the same uniform of spandex capris and athletic-looking fitted jackets, running shoes. A typical outfit for a jog or a play date. With them were about 6 young boys, maybe 10 years old each, a young girl, and a toddler. One woman never looked up from her phone, even when addressing me briefly about the weather. The other was constantly yelling instructions on how to play nicely to the group of kids, which is how I found out they were Cub Scouts. At this point my brain begins to ponder.
Where are the men? I’ve heard of “den mothers” but I thought that was in place for family activities, special events, not the main people conducting outings. If these women are the scout leaders, for shame. If this is the direction our communities and others around the country are going, for shame. Yes, on the one hand these women are providing their time in exchange for these boys to get out and do something besides playing video games and watching cartoons. Yes, I think boys need exposure to strong, kind, competent women to round out their development. However, strong, kind, competent women do not “Good Men” make. We women contribute to one part of shaping a boys life, a necessary, gentling part I hope. But we are not men. We can not pass on manly traits.
As I stated, I was the one outdoors with my son, I am with my son more hours out of a day than is father every single day of the year, for the most part. There have been one or two occasions where my husband was off work and I got to do something on my own for a day. I am more likely to do something outdoorsy than my husband. However, I know he feels the brunt of his responsibility to be an impacting presence in the development of our son.There are women out there who have to raise their son’s on their own. I get that. I support those women. In those instances though, I thought we would still hope there was a strong man in the community, at our church, or in the family who could come alongside and fill in that gap with strong, positive, male influence. I do not want to knock the women who gave their time for those boys in the Scouts. But I do want to rally men to step forward so women don’t have to. I mean, the boys weren’t even ALLOWED to PLAY with STICKS! Even my 18 month son has the desire, and the freedom I’m pleased to say, to pick up a stick and play with it. That is SO a boy thing! They NEED to do this. We must nurture their innate nature. It’s the early stages of hunter-gatherer.
We stayed long enough to see parents pick up there kids. One parent was a dad in a business suit. Did you catch that? A DAD. How was he not totally embarrassed that he was picking his son up from a CUB SCOUT outing lead by WOMEN? Why was he not out there with his boy going on a real hike in a real mountain building fires with kindling and a flint?
So this is me, feeling sad for our boys across the nation entering into manhood without seeing what manhood is supposed to look like. Hoping somehow, that there will be men stepping up in the community to give our boys a strong arm to guide them through their journey’s. Encouraging them to explore their natural tendencies to protect, defend, have adventures!