It’s what a friend of mine in college would say when she wanted to make a point. Yes, random. But I thought of it as a I read Matt Walsh’s blog post, “Dear son, don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you.” I don’t know Walsh, but his post is an absolute must-read.
In this debacle of commentary surrounding the recent Miley Cyrus MTV stunt, which is taking center stage as the world is about to erupt in World War III (duly noted by Walsh), the conversation has centered largely on Cyrus’s behavior, with no mention of Robin Thicke’s culpability. Walsh writes:
A 36 year old married man and father, grinding against an intoxicated 20 year old while singing about how she’s an “animal” and the “hottest b***h in this place.” And what happens the next day? We’re all boycotting the 20 year old. The grown man gets a pass.
The fact that the conversation centers largely on Cyrus also suggests – at least to me – an implicit misogyny in our hypersexualized culture. It takes advantage of women and then blames them. How convenient. By “it”, I mean all of society, both women and men. It’s twisted and perverse.
I’ve written a lot about the role of women, most recently addressing Pope Francis’s comments on the theology of woman. (More on that next week.) I’ve always insisted that the only way forward is to see women and men as complementary and that we need a parallel new masculinism or theology of man. But a woman can’t do it.
Here’s hoping that Walsh is starting a movement. Meanwhile, if he’s the real deal (and I certainly hope he is), he won’t be kissing anyone but his wife. Here’s the letter to his son from the post above:
Don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you.
Don’t let any of these pigs and perverts you see on TV be a lesson to you. They treat women like garbage; they possess no chivalry, no self control; they are disloyal and dishonest; they spend all day pursuing pleasure at the expense of others, and they encourage you to do the same. You might be tempted to follow suit. In fact, you WILL be tempted. These male pop stars and celebrities, look at them, you’ll think. They take advantage of emotionally broken, self loathing, confused young women, and they are rewarded handsomely for it. Look at their nice clothes and their nice cars. Look how they are admired and loved. Look, they treat women like trash and other women fawn all over them because of it. This must be how real men behave, you’ll think.
And you’ll be wrong. You’ll be wrong about a lot of things in life — this is what it means to be human — but never will you be more wrong than when you feel the temptation to buy the lies that pop culture sells about the nature of true masculinity. Son, there is nothing glamorous or fun about being a man of low character and no integrity. What you see on TV is a facade. It’s a sales pitch. It’s poison. You see the bright lights and the sexy women, but you don’t see what happens when the cameras are off and these pop culture gods return to their lives as mere mortals. You don’t see them in their big, empty, lonely houses. You don’t see the emptiness in the pit of their souls. You don’t see all the alcohol and drugs they have to use to dull the pain of living a life devoid of real, committed relationships. You don’t see the hatred they have for themselves and for humanity. You don’t see the jealousy they have towards normal, decent men.
Your dad is no celebrity. He’s just an average, boring guy. But he’s got something that every famous and non-famous womanizer envies: He’s got the love and commitment of ONE beautiful, smart, faithful woman. He’s got your mom, and he’ll only have your mom until the day he dies. He ought to be waking up every day shouting praises to the Lord because of that.
Listen, son, don’t let the world tell you how to be a man. They don’t know anything about the subject.
Men are loyal. Men are honest. Men respect and honor women. A man goes out and finds one woman, and he vows to protect and love her for the rest of his life. A man would never betray that vow. Even the weakest and most cowardly man — if he is a man at all — would die for the woman he loves. Your dad is no hero, but let someone try to hurt your mom and watch him suddenly turn into Superman (or Batman, whichever you prefer).
See, son, you don’t have to be big and strong to be a man, although I think you will be one day. You don’t have to be “cool” or athletic. You don’t have to play guitar or fix cars. These are all fine things, but they don’t define a man. A man is defined by how he treats women, by how he keeps his promises, and by how he protects and serves the ones he loves. That’s what makes a man a man. My dad taught me that, he taught it by example. I pray I can do the same for you.
Oh, and by the way, if I ever catch you disrespecting women, I will sit you down and talk to you about it. But first I’ll kick your butt up and down the street. That’s a promise.
Your old man