When my grandfather was 13 years old, he was asked by his parents to drop out of school. He had just graduated 8th grade, and it was time. His father told him it was time to start earning a living and make something out of himself. My grandfather got a job at a cattle ranch as a cowboy. His first summer of employment, and he was to ride on a cattle drive. The drive would take the cattle from the panhandle of Texas to western Kansas. The trip would be a long one, taking more than a month just to get to Kansas. The cowboys slept on the ground in cotton blankets. They ate hardtack and beans. They had coffee to drink. My grandfather ended up doing that drive twice that summer. The job he got hired to do was ending. My grandfather heard there was winter work up in Montana, so off he went, on his horse. In Montana he worked 6 days a week, from sunup to sundown. 13 years old.
Notice that my grandfather's father told him what to do. No mention of a 13 year old being owed anything by his parents. No mention of welfare or food stamps because he was only 13 years old. No mention of fair treatment at work. Work or starve. Be a man. Pride.
Both of my grandfathers came from desperate poverty. Both of them worked pretty much all of the time in their working life. 6 days a week and long hours. Both of them had very little education. Both of them wanted to become men. Men that took care of their families. Men that acted like men. Men that dressed like men. Men who worked hard.
What have we done as a country to our men? We have boys that want to be men. Boys who live at home until they are 30 years old. Boys who get their girlfriend pregnant and do not support her or the child. Boys who live with the mother of their child, and live off of her foodstamps. Boys who grow up without a father. Boys who call women derogatory names. Boys who think work is for fools. Boys who have been taught that they are owed something by society. Boys who were raised by single moms and have no clue what a man is supposed to do or be.
What have we done with our men?