Novaseeker has recently posted an excellent piece on why chivalry needs to come to an end. In thinking about chivalry myself, I wonder if men's rights activists need to look more at how men are affected by their mothers in this regard. No one challenges the truism that the "hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," so why aren't people who are interested in men's issues discussing the ramifications of what this means?
I'm certain there will be plenty of men that deny that they are under the control of their mothers. There is a stigma attached to men who are. They are called "momma's boys." However, watch what happens to a man if you insult his mother. You may accuse me of waxing Freudian, but we are stupid to deny that there is a special bond between a mother and her son. Even if the bond is dysfunctional and characterized by abuse and neglect, the influence is still there.
Here are some inarguable facts: The mother is the primary caregiver for a boy the moment he comes into the world. This typically lasts well into middle school years. If there is no strong male figure around, this can last into young adulthood. Let's be more specific about the primary caregiver role. Human beings are born with a need for physical intimacy, quite apart from any latter considerations about sexual development. A man's first experience with physical intimacy comes from his mother when he is an infant. She additionally provides food, dress, clothing, warmth, and relief from psychological distress to her baby son. Finally, she is the first contact he has with the opposite sex. A very young boy may refer to grown women as "mommies" before he learns better.
I will not linger on restating the obvious of developmental psychology, here. True, boys grow into men, and usually make a significant psychological break from their childish idealization of their mothers. They may talk of marrying their mothers at age 3, but not at age 13. But let's not kid ourselves. A man's relationship with his mother usually has an impact on how he relates to women.
We hear the term "momma's boy" bandied about. Unfortunately, it may be misused against grown men who have a healthy relationship with their mothers and who are merely trying to honor their mother as the Bible commands. I think of envious wives and girlfriends who resent the affection a man may have for his mother. Unfortunately, in some cases, the only woman that may truly care for a man is his mother, and I think it is by virtue of the fact that he is her child. Women often give to their own children the unconditional love they seem incapable of giving to men their own age.
Yet, there is perhaps some men who truly haven't quite cut the apron strings. To many people, these men seem admirable and responsible. But in actuality they have simply transferred their childish idealization of their mother to women in general. A gynocentric culture may reinforce
this childish idealization of women by men. This may lie at the taproot of the chivalry we see.
I hear so many fellow men talking about how they can't live without women (whether it be due to the sex, the intimacy, or whatever). These men extrapolate from their own insecurities and assume that other men are equally beholden to women. It's truly galling and nauseating. Like male infants who haven't formed an identity separate from their mothers, these men refuse to form an identity independent of what women think of them. I think these men need to cut the apron strings in their minds.
Men need to stop treating women like Mesopotamian fertility goddesses. Women are not going to magically make the crops grow, put food on your table, make everything in your life fall into place, etc. We may feel naked in the face of the existential abyss. Indeed, we are. Running to the arms of the opposite sex is not going to make the abyss go away, however. Only God can touch the deepest longings, loneliness, fears, and vulnerabilities of the human heart.
Women are only human. They can be just as messed up as men are. In a gynocentrist society, they are oftentimes even more messed up than men. They are not the default solution to men's problems. In too many cases, women are the problem. The Bible tells us men how to treat women, especially the ones in our families. We can honor them, we can provide for them, sacrifice for them, and love them as Christ commands us. But please, men, stop worshipping them. If more men heeded this advice, we might make some progress in securing justice for both sexes.
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