Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Ode to Men and Fathers

To those those rabid feminists who feel men and fathers to be irrelevant–morons and incompetents to be trained like pets–I say this in defense of better men than myself.

You’ve never stayed up thirty hours straight in hundred and twenty degree heat, having mortar shells dropped on your head or having your ear drums blown out by an IED. You’ve never had a your flesh torn, bones shattered, or body burned by bullets and bombs. You’ve never held a friend in your arms as he bled to death. You’ve never been cold and alone, pinned down by enemy fire. You’ve never seen innocent women and children turned into pieces of meat by explosives. You’ve never had young men under your command–boys you loved like sons–be shipped home in a pine box while you had to write a letter or knock a door to tell their wife he isn’t among the living anymore.

You’ve never put on suffocating protective equipment to run into a burning building to save total strangers. You’ve never had tons of wood and masonry drop on your head. You’ve never had friends that you worked with burn alive while you could do nothing about it. You’ve never had third degree burns over sixty or seventy percent of your body, losing vision in an eye, most of your fingers, leaving you looking like the walking dead, and in constant pain for the rest of your life.

You’ve never had your partner die on you, bleeding to death in an ER because of shotgun blast to the chest. You’ve had an enraged drug addict smash you over the head and arms with a pipe, shattering bones with searing pain. You’ve never had a routine traffic stop turn into a fight for your life by your being shot at with an automatic weapon. You’ve never had to hold vigil over a corpse while the forensics team arrived, wondering who that young child was or what his parents were feeling. You’ve never had to stand outside a house while a crazed gunmen held people hostage. You’ve never had to seethe with anger and frustration at another killing going unsolved because of type-lipped witnesses.

You’ve never jumped from a hundred feet into freezing water in the middle of a storm, with waves crashing on your head, to save people you don’t know, risking drowning and hypothermia, and still losing people who you could’ve saved if you only arrived a few minutes earlier. You’ve never desperately administered CPR to get a person’s heart started, hoping against hope that you can get the slightest indication of a thready pulse and a puff of breath.

You’ve never had to go abroad for months at a time, to the ass end of nowhere, face evil head on, see friends die left and right, and never tell your family what you do. You can never express your anger or fears. You can never tell your kids why you’re gone so much. You never let the horrors that you’ve seen out of the cage you’ve built in your psyche.

You’ve never sat alone in the dark, with bottle in your hand, sobbing like a child over the things you’ve witnessed, making sure your family or friends don’t see you cry. Even if you wanted to tell them, you never could, because they wouldn’t have a point of reference for the life that you’ve lived.

You’ve never come home and snatched up your little ones in your arms, hoping in vain that they never have to see the horrible things you protect them from.

You’ve never toiled away on a construction site or had your career hang on that one multi-million dollar deal, working 16-20 days, hardly able to see your kids. You’ve never had a wife complain about you not doing more around the house, when you’re worried whether you’re going to have a job tomorrow.

Have you ever seen a strong man cry? It’s like the cracking of the world, when they sink to their knees and their shoulders quake as the sobs are torn from their throats. They save their tears for the times when that’s all there is left to do. Men do feel, but they stand firm and take the punishment to protect their loved ones.

It’s women with mindset like yours that used the courts as a cudgel to bludgeon their way into police academies, military colleges and firefighter schools, demanding a lowering of standards, never earning their way in, and still failing. For those that did make it, they wanted to be treated like one of the boys, but then get offended when they aren’t respected as a woman. Those women who did earn their keep by doing their job got the respect they deserved, because the men around them knew they were squared away and had their back. But those women are exceptional people, who respect the men they work with and who’ve also generally put off having families.

And if you’re wondering, more than few men have stayed home and raised their children, some of them single fathers raising their kids when the mother has walked off. But women tend to have a specific nature and talent for that life.

Women are not men. Men are not women. Each half supports the other, having interdependent strengths that balance the whole. If you think you could replace them, keep dreaming, because you can’t be men, just as we can’t be women. No matter how hard you rage and storm, no matter how badly you wish it, you can’t change that, nor should you, for attempts to do so have created man-children without virtue, who use women as objects, and women who’ve become ugly caricatures of men and allow themselves to be used and cheapened; the sexes alienated from one another in discord and hostility. In this attempt to deprive this world of a harmonious variety of form, it reduces everything to a tyrannical homogeneity and stamps upon the beauty and adventure of romance that has quickened us since the dawn of the human race.

So, stop and think. Look upon your fathers, husbands and brothers. Ponder what they do and what they’ve done with little thanks. See the patience that they’ve practiced. See the quiet strength that they’ve wielded in protecting you. See the vigilant eye that they’ve always had upon you in love. Love them. Cherish them. Step outside of yourselves see a world larger than you.

h/t: David Marcoe on

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