The desperate cry of America’s boys

The desperate cry of America’s boys, by Suzanne Venker.

In response to this week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a man named Michael Ian Black, whom I’ve never heard of but who’s apparently an actor and comedian, invited a “conversation” on Twitter that began with the following statement: “Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken.”

This is an absolutely, 100 percent true statement.

Unfortunately, Black quickly veered off course. … Mr. Black is not the first to attack masculinity and suggest it’s at the root of all evil. Indeed, the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’ has become boilerplate language in America.

It’s not a hard sell, either. After all, it is boys and men who are typically to blame for violent acts of aggression. Ergo, testosterone — the defining hormone of masculinity — must be to blame. But testosterone has been around forever. School shootings have not.

Mr. Black is correct that boys are broken. But they’re not broken as a result of being cavemen who haven’t “evolved” the way women have. They’re broken for another reason.

They are fatherless.

Broken homes, or homes without a physically and emotionally present mother and father, are the cause of most of society’s ills. “Unstable homes produce unstable children,” writes Peter Hasson at The Federalist.

He adds, “On CNN’s list of the “27 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History,” seven of those shootings were committed by young males since 2005. Of the seven, only one — Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho — was raised by his biological father throughout childhood.”

Life for Nikolas Cruz was no different. His adoptive father died when Cruz was very young, and his adoptive mother had a difficult time raising him.

Indeed, there is a direct correlation between boys who grow up with absent fathers and boys who drop out of school, who drink, who do drugs, who become delinquent and who wind up in prison.

And who kill their classmates. …

Farrell’s explanation about how masculinity can be a force for good or for evil is enormously instructive. “Without dads as role models, boys’ testosterone is not well channeled.” …

The solution to male violence is not to spout off drivel about the evils of masculinity. Masculinity, channeled well, is the reason assistant football coach Aaron Feis died this week. Feis shielded students from bullets by pushing them inside a classroom.