I don’t want to talk about this. But we have to talk about this. America— our men are sick. And we are not addressing it. And it is killing people, everyday. It is the third month of the year, and though the month isn’t over— there have already been 107 mass shootings in 2021. 122 people have died. 325 have been injured.
It seems society is often tangled up in discussing the culture in this way and that— but what is happening to our masculine folks? Why is a majority of this violence unleashed by (mostly white) men? It’s not bad days— people have bad days all the time and do not carry out acts of mass murder. It is more than mental illness— there are deep-seeded, systematic issues— but what is the root?
Do we need to look at privilege? Being a white, heterosexual male is the pinnacle of privilege: a group as a whole who hasn’t had to fight for representation, the vote, their humanity to be acknowledged. So why are they so angry? So violent?
Let’s look to our congress, also compromised of mostly (white) men and we notice a pattern: we are in perpetual war. Causing genocide on a mass-scale world wide, not just in our grocery stores.
I keep seeing this vision of a hole, a gaping black hole, hellbent on destroying everything it can. The men, they are being used. Our society is missing something. We are feeding them to the void.
I have two white sons. They are still boys. They are inherently good— funny, caring, soft, curious, strong. In my bias over the “goodness” of my sons, I find myself asking— “When does it begin? What pushes certain men, who were born innocent and good, to grow into these men capable of such monstrous acts?”
This is a question too big for me, an individual, to answer. This is something that must be addressed by us all. America, what are we allowing to happen to our men that they become drunken on the agenda of evil? Where, as a society, are we failing them? What are we doing wrong? We cannot continue to allow this unnatural evil to destroy our people— we cannot lose another generation of boys to the violence of men.
So, what now?
I’m going to speak in binaries for a minute. I do believe gender is a spectrum, but I will be speaking on biological men who identify as masculine for the duration of this piece.
In his book, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine” Robert Moore writes,
“The crisis in mature masculinity is very much upon us. Lacking adequate models of mature men, and lacking the societal cohesion and institutional structures for actualizing ritual process, it’s “every man for himself.” And most of us fall by the wayside, with no idea what it was that was the goal of our gender-drive or what went wrong in our strivings. We just know we are anxious, on the verge of feeling impotent, helpless, frustrated, put down, unloved and unappreciated, often ashamed of being masculine. We just know that our creativity was attacked, that our initiative was met with hostility, that we were ignored, belittled, and left holding the empty bag of our lost self-esteem. We cave in to a dog-eat-dog world, trying to keep our work and our relationships afloat, losing energy, or missing the mark. Many of us seek the generative, affirming, and empowering father (though most of us don’t know it), the father who, for most of us, never existed in our actual lives and won’t appear, no matter how hard we try to make him appear.”
We have generation after generation of lost boys in men’s bodies and it’s killing us. They are dangerous. The lack of leadership, purpose, connection, creativity— has emptied them. They are sex-addicted, drug-addicted, emotionally-numb and wandering. And I will say it again: this is dangerous.
I want to be clear: I do not blame anyone but those who decide to pick up a weapon and take the life of another. The blood is on their hands. They made their choices. They harmed and will one day meet their maker. But, male-driven violence is a plague, one that will destroy us all if we do not address it and work to collectively change it. I do not want my sons to grow into these empty vessels lacking purpose. I do not want any of my children to be on the other side of these empty men’s bullets. I am tired of these headlines. I am full of the rage of the mother when I scream THIS IS ENOUGH.
Reconciliation must occur. This failing economy, this idea that men must waste their masculine attributes at a computer for decades on end, the lack of leadership and purpose, underpaid work, on and on it goes— drug addiction, sex addiction, domestic abuse— these things cannot be addressed by the mother. The fathers must step up. A mothers love only goes so far before the man looks to another man for direction.
Fathers, what are you teaching your sons? Are you leading your house? Or are you numbed, too? Wake up. Snap out of it.
Men: The war is here, and it’s a spiritual one. There is an enemy hellbent on destroying the world, and it’s recruiting you and your sons as it’s soldiers. It fills you with an endless void of entitlement and anger. You have forgotten yourselves. You must remember the creative powers you were inherently born with and reject the conditioning that has you an amnesiac destroying your neighbors, partners, children— the world at large. This is your fight, now. It is on you to be the change. You must heal to heal others.
I have more to say, but this has exhausted me.