Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wimpy Eye for the Barbarian Guy

In his 2004 article, “Wimps and Barbarians: The Sons of Murphy Brown,” Terrence O. Moore discusses the implications, both current and future, of a society that devalues manhood and elevates male roles that are far removed from historical understandings of proper manhood. By categorizing much of today’s American male culture into two extreme categories, “barbarians and wimps,” Moore shows that true and proper masculinity is found in Aristotle’s “golden mean” rather than the extremes of the male psyche. Of these extremes Moore comments, “one suffers from an excess of manliness…the other from a lack of manliness.” The male found in a mature state of manhood is one who values, among other things, honor, ambition, virtue and justice. Manhood, by Moore’s definition is a “sustained act of character.”

Much is to be gained from Moore’s article, but most importantly is the simple message he brings about the necessity of correct masculinity in our society. Society elites of our culture tend to not only tolerate those who exist within the extremes of manliness, that is the barbarians and the wimps, but to elevate them to a higher standard than those men who choose to value virtuous qualities. Moore points to the elevation of barbaric activity promoted by pop culture in rap, heavy metal, and professional wrestling. In each of these venues, barbaric activity that elevates violent and physical attributes of manliness while devaluing women is glorified. On the flipside of the coin, wimps are praised on television. Men are the butt of jokes and are dependent upon the women in their lives to make decisions and deal with their feelings. The elevation of women in our society has been beneficial (at least in some ways) for females in our education system and society as a whole, but “what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.”

The promotion of wimps and barbarians in American culture through education, pop culture, and major media outlets has disabled the ability of the American male to perform in a proper state of manhood without ridicule. Men who choose to be “men” by standing up for their beliefs, providing for and protecting their families, and refusing to bow to the dictates of radical feminism are called chauvinistic and closed minded. Men who send their wives to the work force and stay home to coddle the children are praised. Even more radically, our major media outlets have recently (this was not in the article) rewarded and praised a rap artist for writing about the difficulties of being a pimp. The state of manhood is dire in our society. Moore’s article is a wake up call for men across our land to stand up and be counted as leaders with virtue and integrity.

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