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Defining Manhood: Helping Today’s Men Grow Up

From the feminist movement of the 1960s to current gender debates, author William Bennett says boys are left with a confusing choice of masculinity. Read Transcript


Pat: WHERE HAVE THE MEN

GONE?

WHERE ARE THE MEN?

THERE IS A BOOK THAT BILL

BENNETT HAS COMPILED CALLED

"THE BOOK OF MAN."

VERY INTERESTING.

BOYS NEED STRONG MALE ROLE

MODELS TO GROW UP TO BE

STRONG MEN.

THE POPULAR CULTURE IS

SENDING BOYS MIXED MESSAGES

ABOUT MANHOOD, AND ALL OF

SOCIETY IS PAYING THE

PRICE.

HERE IS LEE WEBB ABOUT THAT

STORY.

THAT'S NOT WHAT MY

HUSBAND WOULD TELL YOU IF HE

WERE HERE NOW.

YOU GIVE IT TO HIM.

HE CAN TAKE IT.

HE'S MY ON.

Reporter: IN THIS SCENE

FROM THE 1957 CLASSIC MOVIE

"THE D.I.," A MOTHER PLEADS

FOR HER SON'S MAN HAD

MANHOOD AND HIS REPUTATION

AS A MARINE.

GENERATIONS AGO, MASCULINITY

MAMAY HAVE BEEN EASIER TO

DEFINE.

MEN WERE MEN, AND VALOR AND

DUTY WAS EXPECTED.

FROM THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT

OF THE 1960s TO THE

CURRENT GENDER DEBATES, BOYS

ARE LEFT WITH A CONFUSING

CHOICE.

IN HIS NEW BOOK "THE BOOK OF

MAN, READINGS ON THE PATH TO

MANHOOD," WILLIAM BENNETT

SETS OUT TO RECLAIM MANHOOD.

WITH CONTEMPORARY PROFILES.

Pat: WELL, THE MAN WHO

PUT THIS BOOK TOGETHER, BILL

BENNETT, IS JOINING US NOW.

BILL, IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU

BACK ON "THE 700 CLUB."

WE MISSED YOU.

WE MISSED YOU, TOO, PAT.

WONDERFUL TO BE BACK.

THANK YOU, SIR.

Pat: THIS IS QUITE A

WONDERFUL BOOK.

IT HAS GREAT SPEECHES, LIKE

CHURCHILL'S SPEECHES AT THE

BEGINNING OF THE WAR.

AND YOU HAVE REAGAN'S SPEECH

AT POINT THE HAWK.

AND YOU'VE GOT ALL OF THESE

PARACLICHES.

THIS IS LIKE HAVING A

LIBRARY OF THE CLASSICS.

IT'S EXCELLENT.

THANK YOU.

IN SOME WAYS, IT IS SIMILAR

TO THE BOOK OF VIRTUES BACK

IN THE '90s.

BUT I'VE GOT A NUMBER OF

PROFILES OF ACTUAL LIVING

MEN.

SOME OF THE PEOPLE CALL INTO

MY RADIO SHOW, A

HOME-SCHOOLED DAD IN

HOUSTON.

A SOLDIER, A MARINE, IN

FACT, OPENS THE BOOK.

THE POINT IS THOSE SIGNALS

HAVE GOTTEN BLURRED.

THAT WAS A VERY NICE LEAD-IN

BY LEE.

WE USED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT

IT MEANS TO BE A MAN.

AND WHAT KRISTI SAID, I WANT

TO KNOW, TOO.

THE REACTION OF WOMEN HAS

BEEN VERY STRONG.

THEY SAY, YOU DON'T KNOW THE

HALF OF IT.

WOMEN TALK ABOUT THEIR

YOUNGER FRIENDS IN THEIR

20s AND 30s SAYING

THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO

DROP THEIR STANDARDS IN

ORDER TO GET MARRIED.

MEN HAVEN'T DISAPPEARED.

WE'VE GOT A LOT OF GOOD MEN

IN THIS SOCIETY, BUT WE

DON'T HAVE AS MANY AS WE

SHOULD HAVE.

I THINK WE HAVE FORGOTTEN

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BE A

MAN.

Pat: YOU HAVE ONE QUOTE

IN YOUR BOOK ABOUT SOMEBODY

INVADING AGAINST THE

FEMINIST MOVEMENT,

ESSENTIALLY THEY'VE NEUTERED

MEN.

WHAT HAS THE FEMINIST

MOVEMENT DOPE OVER THE

YEARS?

IT CERTAINLY HAS CHANGED

THE TERMS OF DISCUSSION.

IT FRIGHTENED A LOT OF MEN.

IT EN GURCHE ENCOURAGED

WOMEN.

WE SAID, YOU GO, GIRL, AND

THEY DID.

NOW FOR THE FIRST

GENERATION, WOMEN GRADUATE

FROM COLLEGE WITH MORE

ACHIEVEMENT AND MORE

AMBITION THAN MEN DO.

AND A LOT OF MEN ARE BACK ON

THEIR HEELS.

WHAT DO THE MEN DO?

UNFORTUNATELY, ONE OF THE

THINGS THEY DO IS PLAY VIDEO

GAMES.

I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND OUT 13

18 TO 25-YEAR-OLD MEN PLAY

MOR VIDEO GAMES THAN 12 TO

15.

AND GIRLS COMPLAIN ABOUT

THIS, BOYS WHO WILL NOT TAKE

RESPONSIBILITY.

I POINT TO THE FOUNDERS AS

WELL.

THEY THOUGHT THREE THINGS

WERE NECESSARY FOR A BOY TO

BECOME A MAN, IN DUSTRIUS

WORK.

AND SAYING THE EXPECTATIONS

WE HAVE AS BOYS, THE KINDS

OF RESPONSIBILITIES THEY

NEED TO TAKE UP AS MEN,

WE'RE NOT SURE WE NEED

THEM.

BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SURE WE

NEED MEN ANYMORE.

WELL, WE DO NEED MEN.

Pat: IN THE NEWS, IT

WAS THE CHANGING OF THE

GUARD AT IBM, AND A WOMAN IS

TAKING HIS POSITION AS HEAD

OF THIS GREAT CORPORATION,

IBM.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND THERE IS JUST A TON OF

THAT.

I WAS TALKING TO A DEAN OF

ADMISSIONS AT ONE OF THE IVY

LEAGUE SCHOOLS.

SHE LED ON IF THEY DID IT

JUST ON THE TEST SCORES,

JUST ON THE ACHIEVEMENT

LEVELS, IT WOULD BE 80%

FEMALE, 80% WOMEN.

THE GRADUATION RATES ARE

REFLECTING IT.

IT USED TO BE 65% MALE, AND

NOW IT IS 62% FEMALE.

SO IT IS SHIFTING.

ALL POWER TO THE WOMEN AS

LONG AS WE DON'T CONFUSE

GENDERS.

BUT THE BOYS HAVE TO MAKE

UP.

Pat: WHAT IS THIS GOING

TO DO TO SOCIETY IF MEN

DON'T TAKE THEIR PLACES AS

MEN.

AND SUDDENLY THERE IS A GAP

AND WE HAVE A WOMAN

MATRIARCH, WHAT DOES IT DO

TO SOCIETY?

I THINK IT HURTS

SOCIETY.

INTERESTINGLY, THE FEMINISTS

ARE NOT CELEBRATING.

THEY MAY WANT TO TALK ABOUT

THE STEREOTYPES OF MEN AND

MALE DOMINATION, BUT WOMEN

WANT MEN.

THEY WANT MEN FOR THE STRONG

ARM, THEY WANT MEN FOR

PROTECTION, AND THEY WANT

MEN FOR A PARTNER IN

MARRIAGE.

WHAT I TRY TO DO IN THIS

BOOK IS REMIND PEOPLE OF

THINGS THAT ARE TRUE.

AND TO THE BOYS, AS YOU VERY

WELL SAID, THE ARRAY OF

THINGS THEY'RE OFFERED ON TV

AND ELSEWHERE IS VERY

CONFUSING.

FROM MACHO STUFF TO GAY

CULTURE, TO ALL SORTS OF

THINGS.

WHAT I'VE GOT HERE IS A

POINT OF VIEW, WHICH I THINK

IS TIME-TESTED, BASED IN

TRADITION, THAT WILL GET

BOYS TO MANHOOD.

Pat: YOU REMEMBER

GLORIA STEINMAN SAID SHE

WANTS TO BRING DOWN MEN.

IT TURNS OUT WE DO, WE

NEED EACH OTHER.

THESE ENCOURAGEMENTS FOR

WOMEN, AND SO YOU HAVE THE

HEAD OF IBM AS A WOMAN, BUT

THE BOYS HAVE TO BE BROUGHT

ALONG.

WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THAT

THE STRUCTURES OF SOCIETY,

THE CRITICAL ONES, LIKE

MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY,

LIKE FAITH, REALLY MATTER

MORE FOR BOYS THAN FOR

GIRLS.

BOYS ARE MORE FRAGILE.

I THINK WOMEN KNOW THAT.

THEY SENSE THAT.

BUT, YOU KNOW, THE BREAKUP

OF THE FAMILY, WHICH HAS

BEEN DISASTEROUS -- WE HAVE

MORE FATHERLESSNESS.

AS A RESULT, WHO IS GUIDING

THE BOYS INTO MANHOOD.

THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO

WITH THIS BOOK.

Pat: IT IS A TERRIFIC

BOOK.

"THE BOOK OF MAN."

HAS IT BEEN RELEASED YET?

YES, SIR.

IT'S OUT.

IT IS IN BOOKSTORES AND IT

IS ON AMAZON.

I HOPE IT'S IN BOOKSTORES --

I'VE HAD PROBLEMS WITH

BOOKSTORES.

Pat: BY THE WAY, MIKE,

I HAD AN ANIMATION COMPANY

THAT DID THE BOOK OF VIRTUES

IN ANIMATION.

I HOPE THAT HELPED SOME?

THEY SURE DID.

AND IT IS THOSE WONDERFUL

STORIES IN THE BOOK OF

VIRTUES.

YOU MISSED THE CAMPAIGN,

PAT?

DO YOU WANT TO BE OUT THERE,

GET THE JUICES FLOWING?

Pat: I'M KIND OF LIKE

ONE OF THOSE OLD WAR HORSES,

YOU HEAR THE TRUMPETS, AND

THEN YOU THINK BETTER OF IT

AND SAY, I'M BETTER WHERE I

AM.

WELL, THEY'RE TAKING YOUR

IDEAS.

I REMEMBER WHEN YOU TALKED

ABOUT FLAT TAX AND OTHER

THINGS.

I HAD THIS AND THE

DEDUCTIBILITY OF CORPORATE

DIVIDENDS E.

DIVIDENDS.

IT IS CALLED THE GREAT

RELEARNING.

Pat: ANYHOW, I'VE MADE

MY RUN, AND YOU AND I HAVE

CONTRIBUTED TO THE POLITICS,

AND I'M SURE YOU ARE STILL

DOING IT.

THANK YOU, PAT.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

Pat: WILLIAM

BENNETT, "THE BOOK OF MAN."

JUST AS I SAID, IF YOU

DIDN'T GET ANYTHING FROM THE

QUOTES FROM THE CHURCHILL

SPEECH, THE REAGAN SPEECH,

THESE OTHERS, IT IS WORTH

HAVING IN YOUR LIBRARY, SO

YOU LOOK AND REFER TO IT.

THERE YOU ARE.

FIND OUT WHAT A REAL MAN IS,

KRISTI.

I WANT TO KNOW.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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