Category Archives: Boys

A letter to the boys & young men of America.

A response to mass shooting in Florida.

The bodies aren’t even cold yet and already you are being blamed.

Yes you.

All of you.

The boys and young men who will grow up to become one half of America’s future.
Once again, due to society’s failure to raise you, to teach you, to properly guide you on your path to manhood, your mere existence is being held responsible for seventeen more deaths—this time in Florida, and once again, at a school. The headlines of the last few days say it all:

  “Guns don’t kill people; men and boys kill people, experts say”

  “Michael Ian Black reacts to Florida shooting: Boys are broken”
  -New York Daily News

  “How Gun Violence And Toxic Masculinity Are Linked, In 8 Tweets”
  -The Huffington Post

  “Toxic white masculinity: The killer that haunts American life”

  “Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us”
  -The Boston Globe

  “Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us”
  -Harpers Bazaar

  “Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men”

In the handful of decades I’ve been alive, I’ve seen America shift from a culture of responsibility to one of blame. We don’t solve problems anymore. We cry, we pray for, we seek to find closure, and then finally, slaughter a sacrificial lamb for our sins. When I was young and Columbine happened, that lamb was Marilyn Manson and video games. Before that, it was D&D and Twisted Sister. These days, though, as body counts continue to rise and excuses continue to vanish, the lamb America has chosen to sacrifice is you. Rather than take responsibility for the seeds we’ve sown, the culture we built, and the disaster you’ve been left to inherit, we as a nation have chosen to lie to ourselves. To listen and believe those who claim that the answer is simple: “Boys are simply born bad.”

As an aging Gen Xer watching this tragedy unfold, I can’t help but look back at my youth and realize we were the dry run for this “crisis of masculinity” as the media likes to call it. In my time I’ve watched as fathers were pushed out of the home, separated from their children, and their role in society debased and devalued. Like you, I was taught male behavior was bad behavior. That I was broken and needed to be fixed. Drugs, therapy, mass socialization were required to save me from my most innate instincts—

—the need compete.

—the drive to create.

—the urge to protect.

—the desire for female affection.

Like you, I was told these instincts were not only wrong, but dangerous. That due to my Original Sin of being born a boy, I was destined to mature into a lustful monster and an oppressor of women. All this was burned into me before I even reached college, where campus policy actually assumed all men to be rapists waiting to happen.

It isn’t hard to see how we got here, to an age when America is more than willing to sacrifice its boys. To quote Fight Club, “We’re a generation of men raised by women.” And the women who raised my generation had a saying: All men are pigs. But there’s another saying those same women were enamored with and that is: The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

So here we are, coming close to fifty years of single mothers raising their boys as if they were animals. Two generations of young men raised to believe they’re broken, immoral, and dangerous. That their natural state, if left unchecked and unmedicated, is a sexual ticking time bomb of rape and abuse. Half a century of academia peddling a grim version of history that holds your gender personally responsible for all the wrongs ever to have happened in the world. And a press, that at this very moment, is blaming YOU for every school shooting to have ever occurred.

After all this, how could there not be a crisis of masculinity?

So to the boys and young men of America, believe me when I say it isn’t you who should be apologizing for the state of our world today. This mess was set in motion long before you were born.

You are not bad.

You are not broken.

You are not inherently evil or a sexual abuser in waiting.

You are boys who were robbed of your right to be men.

All your life you’ve been told to act, think, and behave like women. To suppress your passions, your pride, your need to compete and drive to achieve.

Now society is crumbling around us.

Feminizing boys didn’t make better men. It’s resulted in broken homes and shattered families and record suicide rates. It’s destroying any notion of a healthy partnership between men and women, and is pushing us ever closer to total collapse of gender relations.

Boys, we don’t need you to be like women, the world has plenty of women, already.

What the world needs now more than ever is for you to be men.

For you to grow-up, to grow strong, and do what men do.

For it is men’s strength and determination that tamed the wilderness, built civilization, and has kept the world fed despite all predictions we’d all die starving before the year 2000. It’s men’s curiosity that lead us to explore the oceans, to conquer space, and peer into the tiniest of microcosms of the human body. It was men who built the cities we inhabit, the luxuries we enjoy, the medicines that keep us alive. Men built the road, the plumbing, the electrical grid, the phone in your hand, the internet it’s connected to.

Men have always been innovators, explores, defenders, and leaders.

But most importantly, men have always been fathers.

So to the boys and young men of America, please read this and take every word to heart.

The world needs you.

-J. Ishiro Finney, Feb 2018

Josh Ishiro Finney is a working author, occasional artist, and creator of the graphic novels Casefile: Arkham, World War Kaiju, and Utopiates. He blogs at

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The Manmade Plague of Fatherlessness


One of the most damaging things that has ever impacted our culture is fatherlessness.

Back in 1965 Departent of Labor Secretary Moynihan did a report on the inner city and his report showed that it was not race or poverty that had deteriorated the inner city African American community, it was the absence of dads.   We knew at that point, in 1965, that not having dads in the home was seriously injuring our families and our children.

But what did we do? Our politicians both from the left and the right marched ahead and did more and more to remove dads from homes. We went from Father knows best to father is a pest. Government slowly took on the role of substitute father. Welfare demanded no dad at home in order to get that welfare check. No fault divorce was instituted and then we created bogus expensive echo chambers called family courts that routinely removed men from their homes after they had depleted whatever income and savings the men might have had. We glorified single motherhood which was actually the root of our problem while we demonized males as being the source of all of our difficulties. It is hard to imagine a more sinister plot to ruin our country. Now we spend billions upon billions of dollars failing to fix the symptoms of fatherlessness while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the real problem, the chronic absence of dads in the home.

We are at the point now where nearly 40% of all school age children in the United States are not living with their father.

The research tells us plenty about this mess. Here’s a list of problems that are related to fatherlessness:

  • Suicide
  • Rape
  • Job Failure
  • Delinqueincy
  • Low empathy
  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Drug abuse
  • Prison
  • Smoking
  • High school failyure
  • Depression
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Being bullied

The research could not be more clear about the connection of these things to fatherlessness. In fact the research goes a step farther. The work of Sara McClanahan literally shows that some of these results of fatherlessness are causative. That is huge. Never have I heard social science research claim something is causative, they always frame it in terms of correlation not causation. But the results of fatherlessness are now being understood to be causative.


McClanahan points out that the evidence is strongest for outcomes such a s High School graduation, Children’s social emotional adjustment, and later adult mental health but there is plenty of data supporting all of the others.

Let’s take just one. Low empathy.

A longitudinal study found that the strongest indicator of empathy was father presence in the home. So often we assume that mom is the empathic one and would be the one to teach the children about empathy but the research shows something very different. In fact it showed that the importance of father presence was so critical it was three times as important to the child’s later empathy than the top three factors from mom combined.

Why would dads be connected to empathy? I am sure you are wondering this as did the researchers. Most are thinking now that it is the dad who sets the limits and does not back down or waver. Think about it, the child says I want my ice cream and dad says, nope, not till you eat your broccoli. The child says, no, I want ice cream now, dad says nope, broccoli first or no ice cream. This goes on for a while until the child realizes that dad will not back down and so they eat the broccoli and then get the ice cream. What happened? One element in this is that the child had to see the world through the father’s eyes. They couldn’t simply see their world through their own desires, they had to see them through dad. It turns out this act is practice at seeing the world through the eyes of another and this is actually the critical rudiment of empathy. The capacity to see the world through another’s eyes. If we can’t see the world through another’s eyes we will likely stay  in our narcissistic and self centered world. Dad’s limit setting is essential for the maturity of the child.

This is a stunning finding and if true you would expect to see a diminishing of empathy among our young people that would correspond to the increasing lack of dads in the home. Guess what? That is just what we see. A study showed that empathy was down 40% in 2010 college students compared to those in the 1970’s.  This 40% drop was from negative responses to questions like this one  “I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.”  Wow.

Could  this drop in empathy be related to fewer dads at home? My guess would be yes.

So dads set limits, what else do they do? They roughhouse!

Guess what is being found about rough housing with kids? Research shows that roughhousing helps the kids be more socially adept and fosters their resilience. It teaches them the difference between play and actual aggression. When dad roughhouses they learn that being rough can be fun. They also learn the limits in this fun as dads tell them when they’ve gone too far.

And what about dads throwing their kids up in the air? Ever seen that? The dad throws them up and the kids scream with delight while mom frets and complains! The kids love it and dad knows exactly what he is doing. Guess what, they have found? Children who are tossed in the air are better able to take risks as adults. Again, this is a behavior that dads do automatically, both they and the kids love it and it has huge positive impact on their later development.

It’s hard to imagine how many other things dads do with kids that have been shamed that are actually helpful to their children? I am sure there is more to learn about this.

It seems very clear that dads are a crucial part of a child’s life. It’s also clear that certain groups have been trying to minimize this for decades. Politicians, feminists and lawyers come to mind. I think these groups owe dads and men an apology. It’s time we all worked together to be sure that dads and moms both have time with their children. .     Also know that there are some excellent organizations that are fighting hard to make this happen. Leading Women for Shared Parenting and the National Parents Organizations are two doing this important work. Check them out and support them!

My thanks to Warren Farrell who has been sharing chapters of his yet to be published book on boys. Some of this was used for this video.   It’s due out in March. We are all in for a treat!

Let’s not forget, men are good, as are you.


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