Parents—specifically fathers—have a responsibility to curb that strength and channel it into behavior that is balanced, perhaps conducive to not becoming a 22-year-old assh*le in college that smacks his girlfriend for going out on a Saturday night “without permission”.
This isn’t sexism or gender bias; it’s primal. Boys need a strong male figure to bump up against so they learn their limits and their place in society. Unfortunately, many family units are broken, with many single mothers doing their best to cover the duties of absentee fathers—or the reverse, with single dads trying to convey a nurturing side sans mom.
This often results in an incomplete psyche, with many men trying to figure out a masculine/feminine balance on their own.
The Impact of Technology
But it’s not just divorced or absentee fathers/mothers that are changing relationship dynamics. With economic challenges running rampant, double-income households are much more commonplace—with technology and media taking the place of parenting.
With this advent and rising use of technology—specifically social media—so many men and women (of all ages) lack the solid communication skills necessary to engage, build, and maintain a relationship. It’s Arm’s Length Intimacy: just close enough to let them think that they know you, but far enough away to ensure emotional distance and protection. This lack of intimacy shows itself in a variety of ways as kids become romantically involved as adults.
Two examples from a growing list:
- It shows in the courtship process. So many men don’t have a clear understanding of how to capture a woman’s attention. Today, they rely on online profiles and written communication (text messaging, email, chat) to do the heavy lifting of connection and intimacy. Women rely on the same technology, with many learning to accept how the man communicates as the New Normal of what it is to be courted (as they have never had a comparative model). The result is two people who make a mental investment over written communication, but who lack the skills to carry things through emotionally.
- Online Gaming has fundamentally altered our connection with consequences. We kill, maim, destroy, and pummel at our leisure, without the necessity or consideration for the impact. “It doesn’t matter… it’s just pixels on a screen.” However, this level of desensitization carries over to real life—which is why so many people can watch horrific scenes on the evening news and move on to The Tonight Show without feeling the slightest empathy for their fellow man.
In short, we have generations of people growing up with the internet as their teacher for everything from values to morals to sex. To think we can fundamentally alter our state of consciousness as regards interpersonal relations is more foolhardy than naïve.
The Pressures Of Pornography
Before we start down this path, allow me to get something out of the way:
There is nothing wrong with porn.
There are many cases of pornography helping relationships, with others viewing it voyeuristically for sexual entertainment, and still others making a comfortable living as actors in the world of adult entertainment. Besides, I’m not in the mindset of a puritanical existence. But porn has changed over the last number of years.
Today’s porn is not about sex, per se, it is about control. Today’s pornography offers no empathy, no compassion, no connection; just raw f*cking without the benefit of a mental connection—or even a kiss. And in reviewing the history of pornography, it has likely always been that way. However, it has never been as readily available, or acted as a teacher for what people want/do in the bedroom.
The problem isn’t pornography. The problem is how people internalize all the aforementioned issues and then turn it into an outlook on how women should be treated.
Society creates the dilemma, women are then hurt and used, and everyone wonders why. By summarizing these experiences, it’s not a mystery that women are mistreated, abused, hurt, or raped. It’s highly predicable.