Boy Scouts and the Fight Against Manhood

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Thursday, October 12, 2017


Girls are now allowed in Boy Scouts. I’ll admit that with this specific little development and proceeding overblown controversy, I don’t much care. However, as it aligns with a larger trend in society, the denigration of manhood, I object.

Modern progressive ideologies see the stereotypical definition of manhood, an aggressively competitive body-builder chopping wood, and rightly cry foul. To suggest all men must fit this archetype is damaging to men and women. However, to suggest from this critique, the complete deconstruction of masculinity and femininity, the inclusion of all male and female spaces, will result in an even more destructive reality. Allow me a digression into my experience with boy scouts to expound my point.

When I was in Boy Scouts, I sat around a campfire with other boys my age and caring adults. It was here that I first expressed insecurities and other boys discussed their struggles at home. We learned to express and process our emotions with others and thereby learned to be stable men for our families and occupations in the future. That was manhood.

When I was in Boy Scouts, I was responsible for the preparation of at least one meal every single camp out. It was here that I first cut an onion and scrubbed the gristle off a pan. Now, a newly married man, I cook my wife dinner and clean the kitchen every night. That was manhood.

When I was in Boy Scouts, I had to spend 2 weeks as the leader of a backpacking trip with other adolescents from a class and social sphere far removed from my own. I learned to lead softly, avoiding anger and shaming, and commune with those different from me. Now as a teacher, I can lead a classroom full of diverse students, teaching them to interact respectfully across culture and language, bringing students into participation without severe punishment. This was manhood.

Most importantly, when I was in Boy Scouts, I spent time with my father. He walked with me, discussing my future, how to respect women, appreciate nature, feelings, and all manner of things. He scolded me when I bullied other boys and made sure I scrubbed the toilets before I played. This was manhood.

The concept of manhood is broken today. Too many men are emotionally removed, sexually focused, and career-driven. However, we cannot destroy the concept of manhood and still expect men to be good men. No, we must reclaim it for something more beautiful.

Boy Scouts are far more than tying knots and chopping wood. It is where boys learn to become men, the kind of men they should be. The kind of man who cleans the kitchen and supports his children.

Boy Scouts are one space where this can happen. For those with fathers, it gives them a context to teach these virtues. For those without, it gives them role models from whom to learn from. Allowing girls into Boy Scouts shows a weakening support for the desire to teach the virtues that young boys need to become good men.

CS Lewis wrote: “we make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” Let us not fall victim to the same fault with manhood.

Alum of the University Wisconsin - Madison, Daniel studied English and Spanish as an undergraduate, later to receive a masters in education. He works as a teacher in a diverse school and hopes to show how conservatism presents a viable solution to the disparity and impoverishment that the left decries.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Daniel Buck

Alum of the University Wisconsin - Madison, Daniel studied English and Spanish as an undergraduate, later to receive a masters in education. He works as a teacher in a diverse school and hopes to show how conservatism presents a viable solution to the disparity and impoverishment that the left decries.

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