Who Needs Good Men?

By Jennifer Hartline Published on October 17, 2017

I’m weary of reading about predatory males behaving shamefully. So it was especially disheartening to read about the tragic death of the Boy Scouts last week. (How can we even continue to call them Boy Scouts, now that they’ve opened all their ranks to girls?)

This is not the time to vanquish a once great and noble organization which has formed many honorable young men over the decades.

Did the Boy Scouts surrender to the inanity of gender ideology, or the merciless mandate of “inclusion”? Perhaps it was just the demands of the dollar. Ranks have been shrinking for years, with huge losses in recent years after the decision to allow openly homosexual leaders and scouts.

An Unmanly Move

Whatever their reason, it seems a very unmanly move. It’s also a terrible loss to our culture. Heaven forbid anything be reserved for boys, for the sake of forming strong, moral, honorable young men. After all, who needs good men?

Every woman and child on earth needs good men. Good men aren’t manufactured out of thin air. Future good men need to be shaped and taught by current good men. And who can deny that our culture is churning out fewer and fewer men of character?

We need a revival of genuine manhood, and a renewed appreciation for the gifts of masculinity.

There’s a disdain for manhood in every corner of society, thanks in part to modern, liberal “feminism.” Masculinity is treated as a disease to be eradicated. Men are worthy of scorn merely for being male. Unless, of course, they talk a good game of “women’s rights” and “reproductive freedom.” In which case, they’ll be lauded and loved (even as they betray their wives and assault other women).

But you see, manhood isn’t about treating women like objects for pleasure, or manipulation and coercion, threats and intimidation. It certainly isn’t about sending your unborn child to be slaughtered.

We need a revival of genuine manhood, and a renewed appreciation for the gifts of masculinity.

A good man uses his masculine strength to protect, defend and provide for the ones he loves — his family above all, but also his community. A good man is one who exercises chastity and self-mastery concerning his sexuality. A good man is trustworthy, honorable, faithful and kind. A good man seeks to defend the helpless, not abandon them to death.

The Boy Scouts are not a guarantee of virtuous manhood. But they were once a powerful weapon to that end, and it deserves to be left to boys alone.

A Marvelous, Equally-Beneficial Cycle

By and large, boys who are shaped by good men grow up to be good men. Good men are good husbands and fathers. Good husbands and fathers anchor healthier, stable families. Children from stable, healthy families don’t grow up damaged by the chaos and wounds of dysfunction and brokenness. They become more stable, healthy adults.

Children who grow up with good fathers in the home — married to their mothers — learn stability, steadfastness, commitment, strength, sacrifice and a host of other virtues that masculinity offers.

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Women benefit enormously from this. Good husbands and fathers treat women with respect and dignity. Women who are treated with respect and dignity in turn bring out the very best in men. It’s the most perfect, mutually-beneficial cycle: Women who treat men with honor and admiration are rewarded with men who treat women with respect and dignity, and use their strength to protect and defend, not dominate.

This motivates women to appreciate the gifts of masculinity and esteem the good men in their lives. This brings out the knight in a good man, and round and round it goes.

Everyone is blessed — most of all, children — for they see the genius of this masculine/feminine exchange. They grow up with a healthy and proper understanding of how men and women work well together. They learn how men and women complement and complete one another, instead of learning how to despise each other.

The Smartest Thing Women Could Do

So here’s a thought. Good men are good for women, and good women are good for men. Good women bring out the best in good men, who in turn treat women well. All of this is good for our children — not just good, but essential.

The smartest thing women could do would be to encourage the formation of good, honorable, masculine men, and throw their whole-hearted support behind any organization with that goal.

Our daughters will one day understand the wisdom of such support, and thank us profusely.

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  • Paul

    Jennifer, it saddens me that this wonderful article will likely be mocked by a growing segment of our population.

  • Hannah

    I’m torn about this issue. On the one hand, I’m pleased and excited that the girls who want to learn valuable life skills like the Boy Scouts are able to; on the other hand, I too am grieved by the loss of something distinctly masculine. The reaction of the Girl Scouts only shows that they only really want to teach girls how to sell cookies and fill out massive amounts of paperwork (personal experience speaking here). In a perfect world, the Girl Scouts would alter their criteria and attempt to compliment their male counterpart, instructing the girls with their own personal spin. As it is for now though, we have to be content with this.

    Personally, I’m jealous – I wish I had been given the opportunity to get badges for archery, knot tying, and the like. I just hope another one of me out there gets the chance.

    • LYoung

      Dear Hannah, chin up! I’m a woman in my 60’s and when was a child my parents signed me up for archery (loved it). One summer I had a job at a marina and learned all those knots. I learned how to survive in the woods and I went camping with my family and there is nothing you as a girl or woman can’t learn to do.
      My brothers were Boy Scouts, I was a Girl Scout but we mainly learned our skills and values from Dad and Mom, and grandparents and the jobs we had. P.S Never too late to learn something new!

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Hannah, I hear you. I agree that girls should have the chance to learn the same life skills as the boys, so that means Girl Scouts needs to overhaul their program. I don’t think the answer is to effectively erase the Boy Scouts by making it co-ed. That doesn’t serve boys well, and that means it ultimately doesn’t serve anyone well.

  • Dara

    I think its problematic to say that if women honor and appreciate men, they will respond by treating women with dignity and respect. I treat the homeless gentleman outside of the grocery store with dignity and respect; its something owed to everyone, people don’t have to work for it. But I don’t honor or appreciate him That is something earned and that’s precisely the point.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Hi Dara, I’m speaking here of the dynamic between men and women in relationships. Women have sadly forgotten the power they have to bring out the best in men by simply appreciating and esteeming them. If, generally speaking, women want to be understood and loved, men want to be appreciated and esteemed. I’ve proven the theory true in my own life, as well as seeing it proven between my parents. A good man who feels appreciated by the woman in his life will do anything for her. Honor and valor in men have a ripple effect out into the whole of society. Part of a wonderful cycle that contributes to everyone’s happiness.

  • jemgeach

    It is easy to understand why male institutions open their doors to women. There is a diminishing pool of people and by opening their doors to women male institutions can boost numbers. It is the survival of the institution that matters to them. Never mind that the nature of the institution will be radically altered. And that e.g. the gender mixing of Oxford Colleges actually made it harder for women to gain postgraduate places.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Jennifer, if you haven’t seen the “Biblical Manhood” and “Biblical Womanhood” videos series by Voddie Baucham, I highly recommend doing so. I believe, based on what I’ve read of yours, you’ll find them quite likeable and edifying.

    Wrt to the BSA, this move is just one more reason I can no longer call myself an Eagle Scout! What a disgrace to what was once a venerable organization. From at least the time the flung the door wide open to Homosexuals, then Homosexual Leaders, then Transgenders, and now this they have made an absolute mockery of the Law, Motto, and Oath.

    Parents who truly love their kids and want the best for them will have them NOWHERE near the BSA or GSA.

  • Deborah Forrest Dickerson

    Thank you for taking time to voice your concern for the changes in BSA. Change is difficult. I suspect this decision was not made lightly. Having
    three Eagle Scout sons in scouting for the last 20 years and serving on the local
    BS committee, I have some thoughts. First, scouting has always been open to
    both sexes. Venturing is a program for young men and young women of
    ages 14–20. This, along with Sea Scouting,
    Exploring, and Learning For Life, are the Boy Scouts of America’s
    four co-ed programs. Second, scouting has been in the decline for years
    in terms of the numbers of boys enrolling. It is very hard for busy
    families to keep up with the commitments needed to keep a troop afloat
    with adult leadership and funding. Families have a lot more options for children these days and many opt for sports. This decision is trying to reverse
    the declining scouting programs. Third, the scouting ideals of
    leadership and citizenship (along with survival skills learned) is good for boys and girls. I do not think
    that having girls in the troop will take away from the core ideals. I do not believe
    this will hurt the BSA, I suspect it will hurt GSA which is
    unfortunate.

  • Jeremy L

    “Masculinity is treated as a disease to be eradicated”. Hardly. The issue is not with masculinity, but with toxic masculinity. Men often feel under pressure to be “manly” and often betray their own genuine personality and interests in order to fit society’s mold. It isn’t good to pretend to be something you aren’t. Perhaps worse, men under pressure to be “masculine” (and women who agree with only a certain definition of “masculine”) will denigrate those men who don’t act, speak, etc. in “manly enough” ways. There is no problem at all with a man having feminine characteristics. We should be over this by now.

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