Last Sunday the subject at LifeTeen was women and womanhood. Last night the subject was men and manhood. My buddy the youth minister claims to be unfamiliar with the manosphere, Christian or otherwise, but the talk he gave was nearly identical to something you'd hear from Dalrock or Vox. "Guys," he said, "St. John Paul II said you are not who the world says you are. The world wants you to be tame little consumer slaves. The world wants you to grow up into beta male chumps who keep their mouths shut and work like mules. But first the world will encourage you to spend your time in college obsessed with sex, whether it be fornication or pornography. Don't listen to the world."
Couldn't have said it better myself. I enjoy working with the kids. I think all men enjoy being mentors and being mentored. In an ideal society, fathers would be mentors to their sons, and sons would have mentors in the workplace once they set off on their own. In the real world, many men come from a broken home. Corporations see you as an expensive liability they'd sooner do without. On the job training? If you don't already have five years experience for that entry level job, forget about it. It's a difficult balancing act: we want to be truthful with the kids but at the same time we don't want them to despair. Most of us are going to be worse off in our lives than our parents were. I expect the United States to begin breaking apart by the 2030s.
It's gots to be done though. Harsh truths are better than pretty lies. As Catholics, as men, we need to challenge each other and hold each other accountable. One thing I emphasize to the teenage guys is not to put women on pedestals unless they're canonized saints, which they cannot be if they're still breathing. Women are just as susceptible to the effects of Original Sin as men. Women need confession just like we do. One man cannot change all of womankind, but he can choose to keep company with a different kind of woman. Call them out on their bad behavior. If they refuse to knock it off, walk away.
Above all, I work to keep those kids from falling into cynicism and nihilism. It's a sore temptation when living through the decline of Western Civilization. That's why it's important to focus on the eternal things. I like to hope I'm making a difference for at least a few young people.