126: The Attack on Boyhood—Dr. Anthony Esolen
Who cares about boys? Almost….nobody! Our culture focuses on feminist concerns, the wage gap myth, girls’ health, and so on. Boys and boyhood are simply not interesting or valuable enough for the elites to talk about.
Dr. Anthony Esolen had enough. So he wrote a fine book, Defending Boyhood, which lays out the problem, provides some historical context along with tons of examples from novels and movies. The need to support and defend boyhood is urgent and (if you have eyes to see) obvious.
In this episode you will learn
- Why there is no perfect “golden age” where things were perfect but the principles and values of boyhood were much healthier
- The effect of the failed Sexual Revolution on the world of boys
- Why boys are in special need of rituals of self-discovery in ways girls are not
- The connection between absent or abusive fathers and the homosexual impulse
- How contraception disrupted the relationship between men and women, and hence the family, and how this affected our perception of boys (and children in general)
- Why boys love to sing if the songs tell manly tales
- How to survive in a culture bereft of institutions and clubs devoted to the care and growth of boys qua boys.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World by Anthony Esolen
- The Works of Rudyard Kipling
- Penrod: Illustrated Edition by Booth Tarkington
- Touchstone Magazine featuring Esolen’s contributions
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Question of the week:
How can I create a solid culture of affirmation and challenge for boys in my home or parish?
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