10 February 2016

The History of Turning Boys Into Men

Young hunters, circa 1865.
The Spartans: By the age of 14, a boy is a survival expert. By 18, he is the deadliest warrior on earth.

Vikings: By the age of 10, boys were skilled in the use of a sword and hunting. By 18, an expert in survival and fighting.

American boys, 2016: From birth, he is programmed to believe that males are inherently bad and they should be more like females. By age 6, he is obese and playing video games. By 18, he's a delicate flower who needs a "safe place" so he won't get his feelings hurt by words.

(Adapted from Manly.Is.)

And this from Virginia historian, Philip Alexander Bruce, writing in Brave Deeds of Confederate Soldiers 100 years ago:
There were few young men who could recall the years of their earliest youth when they were unable at least to shoot off a gun. The father, returning home after a day passed in the stubble fields beating up partridges, rarely failed to require the small son, perhaps not ten years of age, to discharge his fowling piece; and should the little fellow be severely kicked, he was not permitted afterwards to show any fear when ordered to shoot a second time.  . . . and from morning until darkness came on, the boys were using their horses either in hunting in the fields and forests or in traveling to some distant mill-pond famous for perch and mullet. Every one of them looked upon himself as fully able to break in a young colt however raw and fractious it may have come from the pasture; and many a young fellow was seriously injured by his reckless indifference to the dangers of mounting such a wild beast before its spirit had been even partially broken.
And the American Indian:
When a boy of the Plains Indian tribe was born, he would be named after an elder or ancestor of the tribe.  As the boy grew up, unless he didn’t do anything important his name would change and would describe a brave act or famous battle they had been through.  As the boy grew up, he was kept farther and farther away from the girls because the boys would have been training on their fighting skills for war and horsemanship.  The most important goal for a male Plains Indian as they grew up was to be tough and brave . . . [Source.]
American boys are being taught that their ancestors were, for the most part, evil oppressors and not worth emulating. 

"The death of the spirit is the price of progress." ~ Eric Voegelin

Thoughts?

8 comments:

Jubilo said...

Dear Old Dom.,

Superb photograph eh ? Regarding the text, there's till plenty of gun-handling and survival tactics in inner city areas ! Seems Asians and whites fit the emasculated image.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"there's till plenty of gun-handling and survival tactics in inner city areas !"

Yes, and still plenty here in western Virginia as well. ;-)

Bill Washington said...

Maybe we have gotten to the point where handling a gun is not a sign of manliness nor does it need to be?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hi Bill. I don't think so. Ask Hollywood. It is simply an evolution of the spear, the knife, the sword, etc. and a means of self-defense and protecting one's property, seen as a masculine responsibility across many cultures and societies for centuries. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember who it was, but there was an English king who would routinely lead his soldiers to victory at the age of..... 14.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon - Hmmm . . . not sure - Richard II?

Al&Bea said...

You left out the final point on the trajectory of American boys - At the ge of 23, they wonder why, with a master's Degree in Gender Studies, no one will hire them except McDonald's. As a result, the only place they can afford to live is their parents' basement. BUT, they are passionate Bernie supporters.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Good point.