Tag Archives: future men

No Swords (or Pruning Hooks) Allowed

This article in TIME by Christina Hoff Sommers is well worth a read:

As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”

In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn’t the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools are becoming hostile environments for young boys.

Exhibits X, Y, and Z in the Ongoing War on Masculinity. ‘Cause boys are just so freaking violent. If you see one behaving, y’know, the way boys normally do (wrestling, sword-fighting, playing army, etc.) be sure to call 911. We’ll send a squad car and a straightjacket right away.

What was it Lewis wrote in that magnificent little volume The Abolition of Man? “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Even this scathing indictment is too generous for us. We remove the organ because we hate the function. We make men without chests because we’re scared of what they might do if they had them. We laugh at honor because we know that honor is an antiquated notion best left to the Victorians. We castrate because the last thing we want is fruitfulness.

In Future Men, Wilson argues that “men who follow Jesus Christ, the dragon-slayer, must themselves become lesser dragon-slayers. And that is why it is absolutely essential for boys to play with wooden swords and plastic guns. Boys have a deep need to have something to defend, something to represent in battle. And to beat the spears into pruning hooks prematurely, before the war is over, will leave you fighting the dragon with a pruning hook.”

Let us have our way, and pruning hooks will be banned, too.

On the Bookshelf XVIII

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All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Meyers
Os Guinness’ recommendation: “A magnificent and timely book. Fresh, witty, informative, trenchant, and eminently sane, Ken Myers’s book is a must for thoughtful evangelicals… I only hope there are enough of them left to read it.” My second read through. Let me put it this way: if this book isn’t on your shelf, your library is incomplete.
Is Christianity Good for the World? by Christopher Hitchens & Douglas Wilson
Another re-read. It’s short, and best read in one sitting, but there are few things more entertaining than to watch Hitchens and Wilson go toe-to-toe in debate. This book also contains one of my favorite lines ever: “… for you to make this move would reveal the two fundamental tenets of true atheism. One: There is no God. Two: I hate Him.”
Lonesome Animals by Bruce Holbert
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review, so I’ll be posting my full thoughts within the next week or so. Holbert’s novel has been hailed as heir to such classics as True Grit and Blood Meridian – that’s quite a bit to live up to. I trust the hype won’t have a spoiling effect.
The Presbyterian Doctrine of Children in the Covenant by Lewis Bevens Schenck
An Historical Study of the Significance of Infant Baptism in the Presbyterian Church.” Don’t let the mile long title scare you; this is excellent reading. I’ll probably follow it up with Douglas Wilson’s To A Thousand Generations.
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards. Whenever a story opens with a line like this – “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” – odds are you’re in for a treat.
Future Men by Douglas Wilson
I love this book. I’m going to run out of highlighter ink before I’m even halfway through. “True masculinity accepts responsibility, period, while false masculinity will try to accept responsibility only for success.”

What’s on your bookshelf right now?