Column: Manliness: Is it really a virtue?

By John Bambanek

I just celebrated my first Father’s Day as a father this year. That single day, once a year, is the solitary break from the typical societal hammering of fathers and men in general.

Take a look on any television show that features a father. Usually the father is a bumbling boob struggling to keep up with his much more intelligent wife. There exists not one single show that depicts an involved and intelligent father.

While Miller Lite commercials and puerile shows like “The Man Show” celebrate what they consider manliness – what they are really celebrating is boyishness.

This boyishness has been enshrined into the gold standard of male sexual expression by feminism.

Feminism, at least the branch typically described as feminism, holds two lies as truth: The first is that all men are basically as mature as a typical seventh grader, or more coarsely, they think only with their penis.

The second is that women can achieve fulfillment and happiness by imitating these “men”. The problem is that neither of the above are true.

What has happened is that by holding up seventh-grade sexuality as the model to be imitated, many of the boys emulate what has been expected of them. It became socially acceptable for “men” to bound from bed to bed.

With this, along came date rape, objectification of women and the decline of any real commitment in marriage. The reason abstinence education “doesn’t work” isn’t because of abstinence. It is because in every direction society is telling boys to sleep with anything that walks.

This is most decidedly what manliness is not. Despite the claims of the “adult” entertainment industry, manhood is not glorified penis-idolatry. I enjoy meat and beer as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t make me a man.

Manhood involves responsibility, taking on not only the responsibility of a job, but of raising children. Real men are directly involved in their children’s lives and don’t relegate the duties of parenting to woman.

Manhood involves being able to relate to a woman as a human person, not as a collection of a preferred set of genitalia. Real men can realize that women have intelligence and talents that are useful outside the home. They leave pornography to the boys.

They live lives with a purpose. While boys are running around looking for ways to amuse themselves, men are at the very least providing for their families.

More often, they are pursuing some noble end. The Founding Fathers were men. Hugh Hefner is a boy.

They love their wives. By love, I mean completely and for reasons going far beyond sexual gratification.

They don’t view marriage as a relationship where they are recipients of benefits, but as a relationship where they invest their heart and soul into the woman they love, who in turn invests her heart and soul back.

Manhood should not be confused with boyishness and at least one day a year society seems to know the difference. Manliness is a virtue and a pillar of any good society and it is about time we stopped idolizing boyishness.