Nov 19, 2023·edited Nov 20, 2023

Sitting down and making a comment on the program feels a bit like your lead in: tenuous. I have made a few starts and stops. There is just so much to be said on this subject. First, thank you for starting a public discourse about the need to acknowledge the very real negative affects that modern feminist dogma is having on men, especially the ones coming of age in the auspice of heightened digital consciousness. The social restructuring that happened with COVID ushered a whole generation of children into an new way of relating with each other and the world around them. I have been a direct witness and it is quite startling. The backbone of feminism's finest marketing strategy promises equality under the misguided quest for power while in actuality, it bares an unequivocal victim consciousness. Think Animal Farm. Equality (consent built on standards) is not actually what is needed, it is balance (desire built on self trust). I am also reminded of something my friend Byron Katie said: "a victim is a very dangerous person."

One of the things that you mentioned is the importance of initiation in the context of seeking a first sexual experience with an older or more experienced friend. This mom of a young man is all thumbs up. In regards to a traditional concept of initiation into adulthood, there are no clear ones for young men anymore. Young women have it built into their biology by virtue of bleeding. Pretty clear. Something is different now. James Hillman wrote extensively about the value of traditional mentorships in "The Soul's Code". I have sought out opportunities with many men in my community to mentor my son. Ultimately, what I mean by that is to befriend my son. A few men stepped up a little here and there, but mostly the reaction that I get is a "backing up slowly exit stage left" deal.

One of the larger themes through out this discussion, and a major part of the head fuck of politicizing sex for everybody, is in respect to privacy. As a mother of a young man I appreciate the idea of encouraging young men to "hold their cards close to their vest" regarding their sexual life. In this commitment the respect extended to a playmate is as much a part of the sacred reverence to sex as it is a self respecting promise. Integrity is always its own reward and sure doesn’t rape anybody either.

Patience isn't always easy in the face of desire. I am also assuming it isn't always super cool to talk to your Mom about sex either. One fact that cannot be belabored is the modern coming of age is harrowing at best, with much more aloneness and loneliness and confusion than the one I experienced when I was 16 in 1988. Adults these days are unable to speak to this cataclysmic shift in the same way this generation cannot fathom what life was like before constant device influence. No concept or reference point coming or going. My son is a private hearted guy and we have a limited (on his insistence!) repertoire about sex. He has however expressed genuine confusion about girls using the phrase toxic masculinity in conversations. I try to employ the phrase positive masculinity like a tasteful drum fill when appropriate and have been thrilled to support his self led drive to learn Boxing. We did have what he might consider "the talk" that was necessitated by an accidental porno sighting over his shoulder on his desktop screen. Speaking of privacy, I ALWAYS knock on his door and wait for him to invite me in, so that was his bad. Some of the things I said to my son are in the accompany booklet: About Sex: Suggestions & Ideas for Young Men. I am going to print off the document and pass it along to my young guy. It’s full of all the things I would gladly welcome a mature, kind and respectful male friend to say to my budding young man. Thanks for inviting my participation, Eric (and Nadine & Iva!). I will keep you abreast of any feedback. Don't hold your breath.

Expand full comment

Very interesting essay. These young men have so much to consider when sex is so available as in Tinder. I always told my son, now 21, have her text you what she wants to “do”. At least it’s in writing.

Expand full comment