Moms often ask me, “Why is it that when I speak, nothing happens, but when their dad speaks, the kids drop everything and obey? Is it his deeper voice?” It makes moms feel disrespected and taken for granted. But it’s not dad’s deeper voice. Dads who don’t enforce boundaries are also ignored.
Dr. Warren Farrell has been chosen by the Financial Times as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders. His books are published in over 50 countries, and in 19 languages. They include The New York Times best-seller, Why Men Are the Way They Are, plus the international best-seller, The Myth of Male Power. His most recent is The Boy Crisis, (audio version) (2018, co-authored with John Gray). The Boy Crisis was chosen as a finalist for the Foreword Indies award (the independent publishers’ award).
Dr. Farrell has been a pioneer in both the women’s movement (elected three times to the Board of N.O.W. in NYC) and the men’s movement (called by GQ Magazine “The Martin Luther King of the men’s movement”). He conducts couples’ communication workshops nationwide. He has appeared on over 1000 TV shows and been interviewed by Oprah, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, Katie Couric, Larry King, Tucker Carlson, Regis Philbin, Dr. Phil, Jordan Peterson, and Charlie Rose. He has frequently written for and been featured in The New York Times and publications worldwide. Dr. Farrell has two daughters, lives with his wife in Mill Valley, California, and virtually at www.warrenfarrell.com.
At one time, one mark of a gentlemen was the practice and privilege of carrying a sidearm. When the Japanese samurai were forced to give up their exclusive right to carry swords, it marked the end of their status and really their existence and of Japan’s feudal society. At some point, this started to have unfortunate consequences, with the proliferation of dynastic and clan warfare, duels, and other private violence. Gradually these practices were suppressed and superseded by lawsuits, which undoubtedly did help to diminish the level of violence and have long been hailed as an advancement in civilization. In retrospect, it is not clear that this improvement was not without some unintended and unfortunate consequences of its own. It greatly diminished the role of private citizens and householders — that is, men — as protectors of themselves, their homes and families, and our freedom. Instead, it substituted (and forced us all to pay) a professional gendarmerie that acquired a near monopoly over the means of force and that has become increasingly authoritarian, bureaucratic, and subject to political manipulation — that is, a positive threat to our freedom. It also greatly augmented the power of lawyers, who have become our professional surrogate citizens, and judges, who are rapidly becoming our de facto rulers.Continue reading FIREARMS: AN EXCERPT FROM A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO MANNERS, SEX, AND RULING THE WORLD→
Sometimes the action that helps the man to tell his story and to help connect him with his loss is a very practical matter. One of the most common is when the man uses his work as a means to tell his story. That’s what Michael Jordan did.
In August of 1993 Michael Jordan’s father was tragically murdered in rural North Carolina. Two months later Jordan announced to the world that he was leaving basketball. In another two months he announced he was going to make a huge switch and play professional baseball. People were shocked and saddened that Jordan would leave basketball and the thought of him playing pro baseball was even harder to fathom. Why would he do such a thing? What we now know is that Jordan’s father James, had always wanted him to be a professional baseball player. Before his death he had urged Jordan to drop basketball and move to baseball. Now just four months after his father’s death Jordan was announcing that he would be playing pro baseball. It seems clear that Jordan was following the masculine path of honoring through action. He may not have gone to a support group to “tell his story” but instead told his story through the actions he took. Jordan was close to his father as a child and as an adult. It seems clear that a part of his grief for his father was connected to his honoring of his father and his father’s wishes for him to play professional baseball. Michael Jordan offers us a beautiful example of how the mature masculine deals with the difficulties of a powerful grief: We honor.