The most recent discussion about “neutered men” brings to mind a casual conversation I took part in a few years back at a sporting event. A group of mothers was chatting on the sidelines and the discussion wandered to the topic of family pets. A woman was telling the story of how they came to own their dog when one of the mothers asked if they had gotten the dog neutered. The woman replied, “Oh, yes,” and then added archly, “All of the males in my house are neutered,” at which point everyone but me cracked up appreciatively.
I sat with a smile frozen on my face trying make sense of what I had just heard – that a nice woman like this would make her husband the butt of a crude joke and willingly belittle her homelife in that way, to the laughter of other mothers. I wish I could say I said something that showed them all how misguided they were but I sat mute and just felt terribly sorry for the man involved, who at the time was laboring away on the field with the boys.
That’s the long way around to the question I want to pose: How much has contraception contributed to the emasculation of men and to men’s shrinking roles as provider and protector?
Men in this day and age are rarely encouraged to procreate freely; they are asked to step up to the plate a couple of times and then are sort of put out to pasture, for lack of a better term. Their role as father is never fully realized (nor is that of the mother but that is another discussion) – it is always held in check, restrained and controlled and eventually severed, whether surgically or otherwise. Have women been emboldened, and deep inside do they look down upon men, who allow this manipulation of their progeny? And have men in turn been weakened – and have they become intimidated by the huge but beautiful responsibility of providing for a family – due to the false sense of control contraception gives, and with it the temptation to avoid heavy family and financial burdens?
The overplanning that contraception allows has led to the view of children as the special creation of the parents alone, pre-planned as they are, with births timed as goals achieved amidst other life goals of career advancement, home-buying and trips taken; these children are born with one or two other siblings and then the line of their would-be siblings is cut short. From this total control of reproduction comes an inflated sense on the part of the parents of their role as the sole creators of life. This is, no matter how sweet the family, a form of arrogance, at the bottom of which is a lack of understanding that they are called to be not the sole creators of life, but co-creators with our Creator himself, a very humbling acknowledgement indeed. And so, as Laura says, the children “are indulged in small things and deprived of big things.”
— Comments —-
Mary’s observations are quite penetrating. They put forward in a formal way something I have often observed casually over the years. Men who are fathers of several children, especially those who have been openly living the Church’s teaching against contraception, gain a confidence and ease in their masculinity that does not seem equaled by others. These men seem aware of their power. This leads to a confidence in, especially, how they relate to their families and how they discipline their children. Of course this is a generalization, but it would only stand to reason. A man who has not denied his masculine procreative power is a man whose virility is evident to the world.
Kevin M. writes:
I lifted the following quote from Laura Grace Robbins at Unmasking Feminism:
“[A woman who desires a husband] has to have a value far above rubies, not a value of cubic zirconia; which is shiny and alluring on the outside but at its core is fake.”
That lept to my mind as I read the above post on contraception and masculinity, particularly where some woman remarks that “all the males in my house are neutered.”
How typical of today’s liberal feminist women, that they should find such a remark amusing. A man who marries a shrew like that deserves her. I am disgusted at how the media reinforces the notion that regarding boys and men as less than human and less than deserving of the same social graces afforded to women. If this nonsense continues, I wouldn’t be surprised if this country broke out in a civil war, considering the extremeties that the Left embraces.