OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ author/Pres of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Where did all the REAL men go?
"What do you mean, caring can be macho?"
There has been a nagging thought, just outside of my reach, that’s been chewing on me for the past decade or so. Something that never comes up and bites me in the butt but rather circles about and lightly taps me on the shoulder now and then in an effort to confuse and distract me at the most inopportune times.
Jerry Finch, founder and president of Habitat for Horses, and I have brushed up against this topic over a beer or two but never managed to hammer it down. I have lightly danced with the subject matter under the watchful eyes of several boss mares, as of late, but it really did not kick me between the eyes until I recently spent three days co-hosting the outstanding and successful International Equine Conference in Washington D.C.. Every thirty minutes myself and Vicki Tobin were before a jam-packed house of eager equine advocates and as my mouth worked with a mind of it’s own my brain was gazing out across the sea of enlighted faces and asking the profound question,
“Where the hell are all the men?”
Now granted, we had our regular noted stallions and renowned speakers, (John, Craig, Jeff, Rob, James, others and illustrious presenters) but where were the guys, the gender that prides itself on being rough, tuff and out front in any confrontational situation leading the defenseless females forward through the trail of life ensuring that the “fairer sex” is free of hassle and danger. Boys, you ain’t there!
It actually dawned upon me, while introducing winning women of clarity, integrity and great courage, that my contemporary heroes are not testosterone ladened males of valor but instead intelligent, educated woman who have kahungas bigger than any contemporary dude that I currently know. When did you guys loose your gonads?
I am thankful that the entire issue of horse training is turning over to the more compassionate, natural and gentling side of things but how about the equine advocacy, where are the guys? Does it speak to a lack of compassion? Is it a matter of image? Does it all center around an antiquated concept of false machismo? I don’t know but one thing is for certain, men are sorely lacking in positions of leadership within benevolent and humane organizations and that absence is shocking.
A recent article in CNN online cited that men have slipped backwards in earning, working and the morale thermometer of life as compared to women.
When I was in nursery school back in 1970, men earned 60% of all college degrees. In 1980, the figure fell to 50%, by 2006 it was 43%. Women now surpass men in college degrees by almost three to two. Women’s earnings grew 44% in real dollars from 1970 to 2007, compared with 6% growth for men.
In 1950, long before I was born, 5% of men at the prime working age were unemployed. As of last year, 20% were not working, the highest ever recorded. Men still maintain a majority of the highest paid and more “powerful” occupations, but women are catching up with them and rightfully so.
The diluted male sex hormone in men stretches far beyond their wallets. Men are currently more distant from family or their children then they have ever been. The out-of-wedlock birthrate is more than a disgusting 40% in America. In 1960, only 11% of children in the U.S. lived apart from their fathers. In 2010, that share had risen to 27%. Men are also less religious than ever before. According to Gallup polling, 39% of men reported attending church regularly in 2010, compared to 47% of women.
This decline in founding virtues — work, marriage, religion and disregard for community — has caught the eye of social commentators from all corners. In her seminal article, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin unearthed the unprecedented role reversal that is taking place today. “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed,” writes Rosin. The changes in modern labor — from backs to brains — have catapulted women to the top of the work force, leaving men in their dust and this is glaringly obvious in the movement of equine advocacy.
Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing idiot video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys. While women are graduating college, finding good jobs and doing something for the good of the world in-between, too many men are not going to work, not getting married, not raising families and sitting on their dead asses doing little or next to nothing to make this world a better place to live in. And I am not even going to venture into the inane indulgence of grown men watching other grown men being paid millions of dollars to play with their balls. That is what we did when we were little boys but many American males never matured and now sit in front of the TV watching “sports” while women, and a few enlightened males, spend their time trying to make a damn difference and progress humanity on an otherwise dying planet.
Sorry boys, you have pissed me off. I am from the old school where you gained an education or skill, worked hard and took care of your family, whether immediate or extended, and protected your country but during these current pressing times, you boys have missed the mark. Men are notably absent from anything that is good in this world and right in the middle of everything that is bad, like try our government for an example. So man up little boys, it’s time for you to take that thumb out of your ass and grow a few for a change.
But in the meantime, while you infantile little children attempt to figure out how to get your testicles to grow myself and several other self-actualized males will be over in that large herd of boss mares, picking up a few skills, learning a tad more about life and trying, like them, to make a difference in this world and pass on some enlightenment to others that may be in need. But don’t wait too long to mature, because we migrate and are about to take our herd to the next level, you wouldn’t want to miss out on that fun now would you?
So see ya around boys; either stand with us or eat our dust because we are going to make a difference either with you or without you, the choice is yours. Our minds are already made up and the herd is on the move, giddy-up.