RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.
*Written in 2016.
*This is the third part of an ongoing series where I am building off of what was discussed in the previous parts.
It has taken me quite some time to get to the third part of this series but here we are.
One thing I wanted to touch on was some of the reasons for why we are a generation of men raised by women and what can be done to prevent that in the future.
To start, many males from my generation were raised by mothers. Fathers were either part-time, minimal or completely absent in our lives. I’m not 100 percent sure if it was the effects of our parents’ “free love” generation or just advancements in women’s rights and the politics and social climate of the times but for whatever reason, these are the cards that many of us were dealt as young boys.
I know that in many instances, many of us had to deal with dead beat dads. Men who either just didn’t give a fuck about their responsibility in creating a life or who were just general pieces of shit that our mothers didn’t want around for our benefit. Regardless of which, there were a lot of shitty sperm donors.
A great number of us have grown up without a true rite of passage into manhood or a strong male figure to teach us and guide us in life. Regardless, we have gone on to survive.
Many of us have also gone on to be great men and good people despite the challenge of having to learn everything on our own. Sure, some have faltered, some have continued their dead beat dad’s shitty ways and some are just complete weaklings but I would say that most of us turned out pretty solid. And maybe that self-reliance and self-teaching actually benefited those of us adept enough to learn and see things clearly.
The point is, those of us aware of our situation and the challenges we had to overcome, who are no longer a big ball of angst about it on most days, can use our knowledge, our skills and our compassion for others in a similar situation to not make the same mistakes our fathers did. Empathizing with others who have walked a similar path can keep us on track of doing the right thing when it comes to our children and future generations of other little humans, male and female.
We know what it is like to have no one there or at the very least, just part of the time. We can relate to only having one side of the parental coin. Many of us didn’t have that strong male presence we needed and we know what kind of path that forced us down.
Our generation can choose to not be the shitty generation that birthed us.
The son of an abusive father can either carry that abuse on to his children or he can be smart and compassionate and strive to be nothing like his father. And while historically, abuse has trickled down through the ages, we are getting smarter. We see the forest for the trees better than any generation before us and we know that certain behaviors are absolutely not acceptable. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be bad apples in the mix but being a bad apple is a choice.
I don’t currently have children but if and when I do, it is my duty to be a father. Even if the mother and I aren’t a couple, it is still my duty and my responsibility to make sure that the child has a proper father figure.
We may not have had the rite of passage into manhood that we all wanted but that doesn’t mean that our children should be subjected to a similar fate. The truth is, we are actually stronger than the fathers who weren’t there – well, those of us aware of our situation and the broader picture.
If you’ve grown up and gotten your shit together, despite the challenges you faced, you are better off than most people. Additionally, you should be teeming with confidence at this point. You have had a different path to adulthood and turned out just fine.
If you still have a lot of pent up angst, get over it. In the real world, Project Mayhem would be treated like terrorists.
Besides, we had better get it right because snowflake Millennials are already starting to have kids and that is pretty fucking scary.