This Father's Day, let's pledge to raise healthy boys

Published: 06/17/2022 18:29:42 Modified: 06/17/2022 18:27:28 How can you in good conscience celebrate Father’s Day in the midst of ...

Published: 06/17/2022 18:29:42

Modified: 06/17/2022 18:27:28

How can you in good conscience celebrate Father’s Day in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence almost exclusively perpetuated by men? We can not.

There will be enough time for backyard barbecues once dads take the lead in establishing ‘Dads Demand Action to Raise Healthy Boys’, following in the footsteps – a decade late – after “Moms demand action for the meaning of guns,” launched the day after the mass murders in Sandy Hook.

In recent years, an increasing number of men have challenged conventional definitions of manhood and masculinity, so now is an opportune time – with the scourge of male mass shootings fresh in our minds – for fathers and the other men are reinventing Father’s Day. One more day of raising healthy boys and girls than flipping burgers and dogs on the grill, fun as that might be.

What a powerful message this would send to fathers and other men to demonstrate the urgency of this moment by starting a group to raise healthy boys, especially just weeks after two 18-year-old men murdered 31 people in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, among many other mass killings.

Think what it might mean to turn Father’s Day from a commercial holiday into a call to action centered on raising boys. To date, fathers and mentors, uncles and coaches have rarely been organized as a group; we are an untapped force for good that could also become a new electoral bloc. Call us, say, football dads.

While not all men are fathers; all men are sons – and we all have a stake in how we raise boys. Clearly, the two 18-year-olds who murdered in Buffalo and Uvalde were literally dying to be raised as healthy boys and peaceful men. Given that virtually all mass shootings are perpetrated by men, isn’t a revamped Father’s Day an appropriate holiday to start asking introspective questions about why?

I have long advocated that Congress enact legislation directing the CDC to conduct a pilot program at Head Start to assess how we socialize preschool-aged boys, including a comparison to how we socialize girls. Are we cultivating boys’ ability to nurture, to be compassionate? Or are we reinforcing the message that violence is an acceptable part of childhood – and of manhood?

An organization like Dads Demand Action could be a powerful lobbying force to ensure the bill passes and the study gets underway. And if Congress is slow to act, then individual chapters could push, state by state, as is happening with new gun laws.

Education and organizing would likely be among the activities Dads Demand Action undertakes throughout the year, culminating on Father’s Day weekend with hundreds of events across the country showcasing programs that promote education of healthy boys.

Not just fathers, but all men, must carefully consider the privilege and entitlement we have enjoyed simply because we are born into bodies identified by men. It is high time to abandon the old “king of the castle” model for greater rewards across the moat in the vineyards of equality: closer ties with the women and men of our lives ; deeper relationships with our children; and discover increased emotional literacy in our inner lives.

If the vast majority of non-violent fathers and other men remain silent, then boys will grow up seeing apoplectic fathers threatening coaches at Little League games. Next, Senator Josh Hawley will define manhood as cold, hard masculinity. We cannot let this happen.

Father’s Day is a time to recognize what it takes to raise healthy children; a moment to celebrate the precious gift of being a parent. But with so many dads and men in crisis, isn’t it also time to consider a moratorium on conventional Father’s Day gifts?

Instead of spending millions on Hallmark cards, let’s start supporting efforts to establish, fund, and launch action by expectant dads to raise healthy boys.

This Father’s Day, if you wish, of course, fire up the grill and get dad a new fishing rod. But also, let’s encourage men – fathers, sons, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, nephews – to walk away as spectators and step into a field of dreams as agents of change cultivating a disease-resistant culture. healthy boys.

Rob Okun (, syndicated by PeaceVoice, writes about politics and culture. He is the editor-publisher of Voice Male magazine.

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This Father's Day, let's pledge to raise healthy boys
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