I am starting a Men's Group at my parish. There seems to be a whole spate of such groups and organizations forming across the country. Society also seems to generally concur that we face a deficit of virtuous men, though how much of that stems from feminist chauvinism remains to be seen.
Two recent blogposts speak to this topic. One from Catholic Thing makes the exact same point I made to my wife earlier today, when I admitted that I would not be the man I am today were it not for marrying her:
And yet, although there’s no doubt we could – and should – do a much better job of preparing our young men for married life, I still have this nagging concern: Maybe, as a guy, you’re never ready. That is to say, maybe it’s not until you’re married that you actually begin to grow up and become a civilized, responsible adult. Maybe that’s why wise cultures in the past tried to get their young men married off relatively early in life: not primarily because of the sex instinct, but because they wanted to turn their irresponsible, muddle-headed adolescents into worthwhile productive spouses who could, for the first time in their lives, do something really meaningful that would give them some true satisfaction.The second points out what a caricature has been made of men in pop culture portrayals, a point my mother- who raised three sons- has been making for years now:
Watch any TV show or movie, and you will start to notice a pattern of what the “modern man” looks like. The media, except for a few notable exceptions, has embraced a destructive caricature of masculinity, and turned the modern man into a impotent bumbling fool who needs the strong leading hand of either his mother or wife to help him take care of himself...Each is dangerous in their own way, as each takes what are possibly virtuous characteristics and adds them with sinister vices which makes us associate the virtue with the vice-ful man. Furthermore, it encourages society to associate men, and masculinity, with extremely fallible men who have particular characteristics that make them extraordinarily weak. They create an association between men and their idea of masculinity that can be extremely harmful to both men and women, as men no longer know how to act, and women do not know what to expect of men.
What we must do is promote virtue in men, something the Church has always proposed in its Saints.