Be a Man, by Spencer Klavan.
In the late 500s BC, the military dictator Aristodemus took over the Greek colony of Cumae. He slaughtered his enemies en masse and undertook to ensure that no Cumaean man would ever be more than his slave.
Here is how he did it, according to the essayist Dionysius of Halicarnassus. “To ensure that no noble or manly aspiration would arise in any of the citizens, he decided to feminize every young man by means of his upbringing in the city’s schools.”
Aristodemus had the boys of Cumae wear long hair and embroidered gowns; he made them listen to soft music and keep out of the sun; he starved them of adult male guidance. This was so none of them would ever grow up strong enough to stand against him (Roman Antiquities 7.9).
Don’t want real men challenging your rule, eh global elitists?
21st century culture war:
What a paranoid and oppressive autocrat did to the sons of his subjugated people, American mental health professionals now propose we do to ourselves. …
Professional ideologues … are making their best efforts to train biological males out of their natural impulses toward strength, endurance, physical courage, and emotional self-control. …
What conservatives typically emphasize in response is that biological sex does matter, that men’s yearnings to be manly are indeed authentic and spontaneous. This is entirely true. But it misses something, something that Aristodemus knew: there is also a part of gender which is learned and taught. We experience certain natural ambitions, but then we build societies and traditions which honor and channel those ambitions. Most boys are born with an interest in fighting and competing, but no boy is born knowing how to play football or hold a gun. We school one another, generation to generation, in the ways of manhood.
Therefore if you train impressionable boys to disassociate themselves from their sex, they will indeed lose the sense of grounding and orientation that comes with proper instruction — they will indeed become “feminized” like the children of Cumae.
That is why the efforts to degender our society are often focused on children. …
There is nothing harmful in exhorting a boy to “be a man.” If he is not yet — and no boy is — he will be told by activists and perhaps his teachers that he does not need to be. But the longings of his heart will tell him that he should, that he can. It is the business of gender theory to extinguish those longings. It should be our business to defend them at all costs.