The Dating Culture: How Women Can Help Build Heroic Men
by: Stephanie Zawada
“What happened to men?” is a common topic amongst today’s women. With an flood of goofy television fathers, from sports writer Raymond Barone to stay-at-home Robby Ray Cyrus, portrayed as the societal norm, young men-liberal or conservative, religious or agnostic, 20 or 30-have grown up subconsciously exposed to the dogma that men are the less capable, less intelligent sex. There exists a kaleidoscope of female empowerment clubs and movements on today’s higher ed campuses, and men are expected to partake in and support feminist events or risk being considered the campus cavemen.
With a constant focus on the oppression of women in society, young men, for the most part, have taken a rain check on maturity. And who can blame them? Today’s male has been given the boot by society, and they’ve turned the other way, only looking back every once and a while to wonder “Do I even have a role in the world?”
The result? Today’s dating world.
It has been ingrained in the minds of our male contemporaries that women get what they want and are all-powerful and self-reliant in the process. On top of that, anything a young man might say or do, from “Your skirt is pretty” to holding the door, can be considered offensive by someone somewhere. The amount of risk undertaken for a simple compliment, let alone sending flowers or inviting a girl to dinner, is just not worth it. This largely explains why most young men are averse to and cautious about being gentlemanly until they have known a girl for awhile. Forget being comfortable; it’s great to know that you won’t file charges against him for picking up your pencil.
If we ever want to see real men again, it is you and I who must begin the cultural restoration, in a local way. The majority of us young women do not see marriage in the near future, and some of us will never be called to that vocation. Most of us won’t be raising little gentlemen for awhile!
What can you and I do, though, in hopes of getting society back on track, since waging a male empowerment war is certainly not the answer? Be cultivators, nurturers, and protectors of true friendship.
Religious differences aside, Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, “When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” Notice how Sheen did not specify that the woman discussed must be the man’s wife? Think of how Mother Teresa, while remaining a world leader in her own right, always lent her support and offered her works for the promotion of Blessed John Paul II’s ministry. There is a true harmony to be achieved via the work of our single male counterparts and our own.
Young ladies, friendship allows men to take a deep breath: they don’t have to worry about wooing you. In friendship, we grow in silence, learning from one another, challenging and reevaluating our opinions, willing the best for each other, answering those: 11 p.m. phone calls, and, eventually, loving one another. Whether that love transforms to incorporate the romantic, only time will tell, but you will have a treasure trove of male friends much more capable of empathizing with and supporting women from “I do”, through the birth of each child, and during the trials and tribulations work, family, health, and life will certainly bring.
Thanks to today’s serial dating epidemic, the overwhelming majority of young men have not formed such friendships. As a whole, they understand woman as the physical being, but have no clue understanding women as human persons who process and identify with life in some very different ways.
The more encouragement you offer your male friends in becoming better men, the more effectively you will shape your world in a “counter cultured” way. Today’s men are unsure of themselves, and while I do not advocate that you chase after men, I do encourage you to initiate friendships with your male colleagues, just as you do with the girls you work alongside. I’m asking you to change your attitude at work, at school, and at home. Be an unwavering rock of support for the evolution towards good for your friends, and keep peace in your relationships so as to offer your counterpart an atmosphere of joy and tranquility.
As John Bosco, who dedicated his life to seeing that the destitute young men of: Turin, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, received the opportunity to live a better life, once reflected: “It is not enough, that we: love: the: boys,: but: they must feel: and know too, that: they are loved”.
The more support you provide for your male counterparts in cultivating their own individual manhood, the better fathers and husbands they will make for you or another girl. You’ll be taking back America: and: Western Civilization, one guy at a time.
This blog post was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “Lady’s Nook”: column.
Anna Maria Hoffman