This past week, Sen. Josh Hawley, the man Simon & Schuster canceled for daring to criticize cancel culture, once again inspired the ire of our nation’s intelligentsia. What was the senator’s crime this time? He dared to champion “manhood” and urged men to act like men.
Let’s consider Mr. Hawley‘s own words.
Last month, in an address given to the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida, Mr. Hawley challenged what he called the trend of American men to withdraw into “enclave[s] of idleness” as the result of being taught that their “manhood is the problem.”
This week, in an interview with Breitbart, the senator elaborated. “I just think the left does not want to own up to the fact that their broadside against America also involves an attack on American men…. ”
When asked by Axios to define “a man,” Hawley responded, “A man is a father, a man is a husband, a man is somebody who takes responsibility.”
He then added, “When you tell men that to be assertive, to be independent, [and] to exercise the kind of qualities that … have been widely observed [as positive attrubtes] in men for millennia; [When you teach them that masculinity] is inherently problematic … I think it’s paralyzing to young men. I mean, it leaves them with a profound crisis of action, a profound crisis of identity, and I think that’s one of the reasons why you see them withdrawing … and I think that’s bad. I mean, men not taking responsibility for the children that they father is bad, men dropping out of the workforce is bad, men not supporting the women that they say they love is bad … “
Well, you guessed it, as predictable as the sunrise, the smart folks on the left responded to Mr. Hawley‘s common sense by losing their mind.
The Guardian’s Arwa Mahdawi, is one example. In her “The Week in Patriarchy,” she conceded that American men are in crisis but then argued that those who embrace traditional masculinity “are worse off than the men who don’t.” Her reasoning? Well, apparently, males who conform to historical gender roles are much less interested in psychological services than those who do not. One has to wonder how Ms. Mahdawi misses the obvious: Perhaps the reason traditional men don’t seek therapy as frequently as those emasculated by her progressive pablum is because they don’t need it.
The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman piled on by calling for Mr. Hawley to support “adequate child care” if the senator truly believes in helping young boys grow up to become responsible adults. We can only assume that by “child care,” Mr. Waldman means the kind of “care” foisted upon us by an overbearing government as opposed to the care given by a responsible father. You know, the kind of “care” brought courtesy of LBJ’s Great Society; the kind of “care” that resulted in more devastation to the Black family than anything Bull Connor could have ever dreamed of; you know, that kind of “care.”
In 1960, only 10% of children were raised without a father in the home. Today, the number is 40% and climbing. It is 70% within the Black community. Half of last year’s births among millennials were to unwed mothers, and just shy of 50% of this same group now reports that they don’t believe a child needs both a father and a mother to grow up happy.
A mountain of data (otherwise known as empirical evidence for those who pretend to be so interested in following the science) proves that this is not a good thing. Here’s just a sampling of what the research says about a masculine presence (aka a father) in a child’s life.
Children in father-absent homes are more likely to be poor. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44% of children in mother-only families live in poverty, compared to only 12% of the boys and girls living in a household headed by a married couple.
Children with responsible fathers do better in school. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students whose dads are highly involved are 43% more likely to receive top grades in class.
Children without fathers are more likely to go to jail. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one of the most predictive variables in incarceration is fatherless homes. Thirty-nine percent of all inmates say they were raised in a mother-only household before being locked up.
The list goes on and on. Children without fathers are more likely to abuse drugs. Children without fathers are more likely to be obese. Children without fathers are more likely to be promiscuous. Children without fathers are more likely to sire more children without fathers.
The conclusion for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear is, frankly, quite simple. Masculinity just might be the cure for all that ails us rather than the cause. And thank the Lord for men like Sen. Josh Hawley who are willing to say so.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”