Who’s blaming the sons?

chivalryHere we go again…

With Miley Cyrus’s recent debacle, conservatives and family values champions have taken to the blog-o-sphere to lament societies failure to our daughters and the absence of fathers in the home. And though I agree that we have indeed failed our daughters by teaching them a sexual body image is the norm and is expected of them to attract a mate, and I agree that fathers are indeed absent from being positive male influencers on their daughters, there is absolutely more to it that just that.

Dear conservatives, family values champions, blog-o-sphere elite, and society in general…we are failing our sons too.

God designed the family with purpose and intent. Both mother and father have a specific role to play in the lives of daughters and sons. We cannot lament the fall of one without the other. Mothers are supposed to teach their daughters how to be women. Mothers are supposed to teach their sons what to expect from women. Fathers are supposed to teach their sons how to be men. Fathers are supposed to teach their daughters what to expect from men. And both mother and father are supposed to be the EXAMPLE of how those interactions operate.

This is the Biblical design of the family.

And we’ve lost it, hook, line, and sinker.

(I know that families have broken down too, but that shouldn’t stop single parents from finding friends or family that can be positive female or male role models for their children and to have them step into a mother/father role if it is absent.)

So even though daughters are going bat-crazy when they come of age, is anyone talking about the sons? They are growing into men that EXPECT women to act that way. This further complicates the issue because young women do not feel like they can attract a mate WITHOUT showing their skin. And who can blame them with so much skin out there? If they don’t, they may miss the man they crave. So they show out.

Peer into their past…you may or may not find a mother who was the proper womanly example. You may or may not find a father who was the proper male figure. You may or may not find parents who loved each other and provided a wholesome example. That isn’t always a factor. But you know what is?

Nobody’s blaming the sons.

How can we proclaim the detriment of womanhood without also proclaiming the detriment of manhood? How can we blame women who show skin, when the mates they are trying to attract don’t know there are other virtues to look for in women? There’s a simple anthropological mating principle going on here. One gender attracts the mate, the other chooses the mate based on the one who presents the best attraction. And in our current society that means skin and sex. That’s what women think they need to do to attract a mate and that’s what men look for when choosing a mate. If you want young women to stop showing skin, then young men need to stop expecting it.

It goes both ways people. Young women need to stop putting themselves out there on display and show a little modesty. But young men need to STOP expecting them to, and STOP thinking with their hormones, STOP making excuses for their inappropriate attitudes, and START realizing there’s more to women and more to choosing a mate than body image and sex.

You know that Miley Cyrus incident? There was a married man on that stage with her. Nobody’s calling him out for his role that night. He participated, he condoned it, he supported it, he perpetuated the idea that THIS IS RIGHT. He’s showing the example to young women out there that Miley is doing the correct thing to attract a mate. He’s showing that to his daughters. He’s showing his son that this is what you expect from a woman. He’s showing ALL young men that this is appropriate behavior. He’s showing that his wife attracted him in the same manner.

And EVERY time any other man out there participates or supports such behavior they are doing the same thing. Stop blaming young women for their immodesty, stop blaming the absence of fathers or the bad example of mothers, and start looking at the sons. Because the truth is, if we start teaching our sons NOT to expect such behavior from women, then the young women won’t feel like that’s the only way they can attract the spouse they crave.

What would we be saying today if Robin Thicke had walked off the stage that night? Take it one step further…what if all the men in the room walked out? What would the message have been? I think we’d be seeing a whole different headline about it.

I have a theory and I think it is right. A Lady can never influence a man to become a Gentleman. But a Gentleman can influence ANY woman to become a Lady. If we want more young women to become Ladies, then we need to expect more young men to be Gentlemen.

-k

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Who’s blaming the sons?”

  1. Until families decide enough is enough and reject the cultural notion that men are idiots, unfit to lead, and couldn’t possible understand anything more subtle than a mostly-nude mating dance, things will continue to deteriorate. Men (and subsequently boys) will only ever rise to the standard the people around them demand, like you say, Keven. I thank you for this call to responsibility on the part of all parties.

    1. I started noticing several years ago how media presented men as hormonal idiots. Kinda resented that. But who’s the idiot now when women are basically bowing down to those hormonal idiots and giving them the very thing everyone thinks they want?

      Boy what a mess this country has made. We need a do over.

  2. I disagree that “A Lady can never influence a man to become a Gentleman.” It may be rare, but it’s possible. I’m reminded of the literary example of Tom Jones and Sophia Western.

    Otherwise, I agree with all your observations. I did time as a single mom, and it’s not impossible to find good male role models for our kids. But one must be intentional about it, just as we need to be intentional about the cultural influences we let our kids be exposed to.

    1. Intentionality is the secret to most every good endeavor. As for ladies and gentleman, I think we’re on the same page. Sure there are exceptions, but the point is that society thinks men are the ones that need to be changed and the women are the ones to do it, when it’s not that way. The truth is women are demoralizing themselves in a futile effort to change men. What men are women usually reflect. I want to put the blame back on the men. They need to straighten up, be the men God wants them to be, and I believe you’ll see the image of women change. Women can’t change men (as a general rule) because in reality men have CHOSEN to be the way they are because women are giving them what they want. Women stop giving it to them. Men stop expecting it. The circle will complete itself and we’ll see a better moral foundation develop.

  3. I think I agree, mostly.

    I will say I’m probably a complete ignoramus, and I have no idea what is going on concerning Miss Cyrus, nor, to be honest, do I really feel the need to know.

    However, I have to say I firmly believe that it is always the man’s responsibility. I don’t care what a woman does, or does not do, it is always the man’s responsibility to act in a respectable manner. Hormones? I don’t care. I have them too, along with everyone else from the most deplorable of society to the most noble. Genes? Even if something is genetically determined, environment nearly always plays a part as well. (Meaning: One is not a slave to ones genetics in matters moral.) In my mind, a man is responsible for any and all thoughts, expectations, feelings, and actions, he has in regard to how he behaves towards other people. Yes, I know, all humans, be that male or female, are human, but still, I feel that men ought to be held responsible for their own deeds, intents, and so forth.

    What is not acceptable, and even in cases such as Miss Cyrus, is to start piling on the labels, this is more damaging in the long run to society, and to both men and women, than anything that Miss Cyrus may or may not have done. I implore those who would seek that, to stop, consider that she was someone’s daughter once. Ask yourself, if she was my sister, my daughter, my best friend, how would I feel? Could I still easily condemn her?

    I will say that even though I am a man, I have do have a bone to pick with my own gender, and am heavily biased against most men, and I can be a little, too supportive, of women, I suppose, if that is possible, but I do not apologize for my conviction that it is a man’s responsibility to be a better man.

    I sometimes see graphics and such that say something along the lines of “If more women would be ladylike, maybe more men would be gentlemen.” I disagree. I believe that if a man cannot look upon someone who has become in the state of Miss Cyrus, and not behave himself in a respectable manner, he is by no means a gentleman. I think a true gentleman seeks to promote virtue, yes, but not by tearing the person down.

    1. Yes, we are I. Agreement. Personal responsibility has given way to a culture of victims. It’s time we stop playing the blame game and take responsibility. Women, it’s not your responsibility to fix and/or attract a man. Men need to become something worth attracting again…the right way.

  4. You’re right, Keven, there’s many sides to this issue. And our society has dropped the ball on every side.

    “How can we blame women who show skin, when the mates they are trying to attract don’t know there are other virtues to look for in women?”

    I wonder, though. Is it really an issue of skin? I’ve heard that in the Victorian age, if a woman showed her bare ankle (or some other area of skin usually covered), it might be considered scandalous or it might be suggestive and arousing to males.

    In some cultures, they want women covered from head to toe.

    And yet, you can have nudist colonies where skin isn’t considered an instant trigger for arousal.

    So… All this suggests to me that it’s not the specifics of the ratio of skin to clothing so much as the mindset. What is happening in the mind and heart of the male looking at the female? What is happening in the mind and heart of the female walking by or interacting with the male?

    Body language, words, eye contact, pheromones, intention all play a bigger role (in my mind) than the skin itself.

    What our culture needs more than anything is to love like God loves. Respect the inherent value of the other human being. Don’t look at others as an avenue for your own gratification (whether physically, mentally, emotionally).

    And that’s only going to come from Him. A good placeholder until He comes (into individual hearts and back to the earth) is having a basic moral code… but much of that has been lost with the rejection of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

    1. I completely agree. Spot on. Perhaps you missed my statement just a couple sentences down from the one you quoted… “And in our current society that means skin and sex.” The methods and standards for attracting mates has varied through history and across cultures. This is America’s right now.

      1. Yep, missed that connection, thanks for pointing it out.

        Our Christian knee-jerk response has often been focused on surface issues like what we’re wearing rather than teaching our kids how to live secure in their God-given value and identity in a godless, immortal society.

        Honestly, I suspect most Christian parents have not worked through enough of their own insecurities and worldly habits of thought to effectively model this to their children.

        Thanks for starting this conversation!

  5. Our language would look different, but I think you hit at a really important issue. Here’s a secular left-leaning article that I saw a while back and really enjoyed that also highlights the problem of expectations for sons. My husband and I pray that we guide or son and daughter in the path that God has for each of them which is one of love and responsibility.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/the-problem-with-boys-will-be-boys_b_3186555.html

    1. We can’t point the finger at daughters without doing the same to the sons. And we can’t say all sons are hormonal idiots and all daughters are manipulative whores. Personal responsibility is needed on BOTH sides, and a better mutual respect and admiration wouldn’t hurt either. I pray I can raise both my son and daughter to have both respect for themselves and for the other gender in accordance to what God has ordained.

    1. Not sure I’m up for leading a revolution, but I’m more than willing to be vocal about the devolution of Biblical manhood. I’m honestly disgusted at how boys act today. They need just as much of a slap in the face over the way they treat women as some women need for flaunting themselves in front of them.

  6. “Nobody’s blaming the sons.” Or the fathers, which is the more important lack. But well said – well said.

    I don’t want to oversimplify here, but I’m struck by the various cultural imbalances of what makes for female attractiveness on the one hand (which have been mentioned above), and how much those imbalances depend on the fathers not having a right relationship with God, mothers and children on the other.

    In the Law of Moses the fathers were to take the lead in setting the right example and teaching it (consider Deuteronomy 6:4ff in this light) and this carried right on into the New Testament.

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