November 29, 2008

Are Fathers Really Necessary?

What do Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, President Elect Barack Obama, and cycling great Lance Armstrong have in common? They are all very successful men and they were all raised by single moms. Congratulations to their moms and all single moms. They are my sheroes, for their selfless commitment in the daunting challenge of raising their children alone. However, for one author (and a number of people I’ve heard from) the existence of very successful men raised by single moms raises the question if fathers are even necessary for turning boys into solid and capable men.

Peggy Drexler, author of a book called Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men, feels that while boys benefit from being around men, they flat out do not need fathers. What she claims in her book is that we shouldn't worry about fatherless boys because they will seek out the male influences they need in the world around them.

For the record, I do agree with Ms. Drexler that boys need good men in their lives, but I DO NOT AGREE with her premise that fathers are unnecessary. I think fathers are the most potent man-making force on the planet. I also feel that males raised without involved fathers, while fully capable of successful lives, live with a hole in their male psyche. I believe they have undefined masculine hungers that go unfulfilled in their lives. I believe they live with unanswered questions about their core masculinity, and a more feminized view of the world. I know because I am that kind of male.

One of the most interesting discussions I’ve come across on this complicated topic was in an article in The Washington Times by Roland Warren. It’s titled, “Despite Successes, Boys Need Fathers." We’d expect Mr. Warren to take an opposing stand in that he’s the President of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Without stealing Mr. Warren’s fire and spoiling the read for you, just one of the things I like about his thinking is that he feels, "Can single mothers do it?" is not the right question. From there he offers a variety of very helpful perspectives I think you’ll find very interesting.

What do you think, are fathers necessary in men’s lives? Leave a comment on this blog post.

PS: Just one of many conferences put on by people who firmly believe in Fatherhood is the Minnesota Fatherhood Summit. Their theme for this year's meeting is, Male Socialization: Building Fathers of the Future. If this concept calls to you, maybe you'll hold a meeting or start your own conference . . . that is how these initiatives get started, and just imagine the spin off man-making energy that will result!

November 10, 2008

Finally A Male Ringtone

Hey... this is a blog about men, boys, male culture right?

For that reason, I really do have to report the availability of a "guy ringtone."

I'll put it in the adolescent humor category, which makes me very happy when I'm around it.

Check out this clip and see what you think.

If the clip isn't visible here, go to this link to see it.

I'm just the messenger!

PS: Send me examples of what you'd consider appropriate "guy humor" and we'll run it up.

November 3, 2008

Joseph Campbell on a Boy's Rite of Passage

This old clip of Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers still works on me. Especially the photo towards the end showing a man restraining a boy for the ritual "trial."

That man's eyes say it all...

If the video doesn't appear click here.

Do you remember a rite of passage into manhood event? Comment below or here if you're not on the blog site.