Mark Judge complains that weak men are screwing his Star Wars feminism up in ‘Star Wars’ and the Crisis of Masculinity (H/T Instapundit). Judge postulates that the problem both in the movie and in real life is a lack of a male initiation ritual. There may be something to this, but there is a much more obvious problem in both Star Wars and the western world which Judge trips over while making his case for meaningful initiation rituals of manhood (emphasis mine):Women can't pass the tests. Ergo, the tests must go. That's what it boils down to in the end.
Yet young men who are not properly initiated can suffer from psychic dissonance, depression, rage, and a lifelong inability to handle relationships. In other words, they become like Kylo Ren. This is why the questions about Ren’s parentage are so fascinating. His parents, Han Solo and General Leia, are both strong warriors, yet their son seeks to test himself against a grandfather he never met. What went wrong?
Of course his mother and father are both strong warriors. This is western fiction; all princesses are now warriors. It is mandatory. Women have coveted the status of men, including their status as protectors. For the most part women don’t actually want to take on the role, but they want to deny men of any sense of manly pride which might come with having such a defined obligation. This is why all parts of our military need to be open to women, even the most elite and physically demanding roles.
The fundamental problem is not that we don’t have initiation rituals for men, but the reason why we can’t have them. Initiation rituals are about defining manhood, especially the noble qualities of manhood. This is something women en mass in the western world have demanded that we no longer do, because defining noble manhood confers the very manly pride women covet.
The answer? Ignore female demands for equality. Young men need challenges they can meet in order to transform from childish protectee to civilized protector.