Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The following is taken from chapter 2 of Leaving Boyhood Behind.

Some transitions in life are so radical that the old form of life simply cannot continue into the new form; the old form must give way and the new form be embraced. A man cannot be both married and unmarried, ordained and lay, or dead and alive. This transition, when one state of life “dies” and another is “born,” is the more universal understanding of a rite of passage: the passing of one state that allows for the embrace of a new one. The French anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep (1873–1957) first coined this terminology in his book Rites of Passage.  His work explains how cultures and communities ritualize and guide the transitions in life from infancy to old age. “For every one of these events [rites of passage] there are ceremonies whose essential purpose is to enable the individual to pass from one defined position to another which is equally well defined.”  Van Gennep identifies three distinct parts that are present in varying degrees in any rite of passage: separation, initiation, and incorporation.

  • Separation: the leaving behind or “death” of the previous state in life, when a new way of living and understanding oneself requires that the old way and understanding be put away.
  • Initiation: usually the actual rite or ceremony. This process is intentionally guided by those who have already “walked the path.”
  • Incorporation: the final stage of being brought into the community and receiving instruction in the new form of life.

Van Gennep has identified and described a truly human need and practice. In other words, initiation is a human need.  It helps us to understand and mark transitions, as well as embrace and live our identities within a living community.

This pattern of separation, initiation, and incorporation is discernible in other realms as well, most notably in the Church, since the new life in Christ is, as St. Paul said, incompatible with the “old man.” The pattern is noticeable especially in the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.

  • In Baptism, we are “[buried] into Christ’s death”20 so as to be “reborn as sons of God”21 separation.
  • Confirmation “confirms” and “strengthens” the baptismal graces22 with the oil that is “a sign of consecration,”23 the full initiation into the new life in Christ — initiation.
  • The Holy Eucharist fully incorporates the Christian in the Body of Christ, the Church (CCC 1396) — incorporation.

When most people think of a rite of passage, however, they think of boys becoming men. The reason male rites of passage are so striking in our imaginations is that they are more orchestrated or public than those of females. We might think of an African tribe sending a boy out to kill a lion or Australian Aborigines circumcising their adolescent boys in an elaborate and public ceremony. Something within masculinity has a need to be fully equipped and challenged, or else it has a tendency toward a dangerous distortion. Masculine initiation is also a constant thread in ancient and classical literature and culture. Achilles, for example, was given over by his father to Chiron, a centaur, to be initiated into manhood. “Jack and the Beanstalk” was originally a story of a boy separating from his mother, going through the “battle” with the beanstalk and the giant, and then actually liberating his father so he could become a man like him and reclaim his inheritance. (The giant’s castle actually belonged to Jack’s father.)

Whether it’s Telemachus in The Odyssey or Daniel in The Karate Kid, we can see that boys need to be guided by mentors and fathers into mature and capable masculinity.

Women also go through rites of passage to womanhood, but these rites are deeply rooted in their physical and psychological makeup. In other words, they’re naturally occurring and naturally powerful. I was once in a room with my wife and two midwives as they discussed the experience of birth — an event that marks the ultimate physical achievement of womanhood. They were all mothers, had endured childbirth, and each was certain that she had “achieved” motherhood in the experience. As they were talking about the powerful experience of birth, one midwife described just how amazing it is to look back once you are on the other side of it. She beamed, “It’s life-changing.” She looked at me, paused, and said, “I’m sure men have things like that too, right?”

But the answer is no. Men don’t have things like that. At least, they don’t have them naturally. Paternity — the heart of authentic masculinity — is something a man must choose and embrace. Rites of passage are designed to help make a man of him so that he will choose it. Male maturity ends in fatherhood, in passing on life to the next generation. Female maturity, similarly, is rooted in motherhood. For both men and women, of course, the expression of being a mother or father can be in non-biological ways — clergy and religious are obvious examples. But for women, the physical and even painful signs of the feminine connection to motherhood come more naturally, since, even in an age of contraception, women experience these signs in their bodies, beginning with menstruation. Men, on the other hand, can coast along in immaturity if they have no “mirroring” experience offered by mature men, fathers and brothers who have trekked the difficult path of masculinity before them. “What a woman receives from her experience of her physical female nature, a man must receive from his culture,” explains Dr. Leon J. Podles, “because he will not receive it simply by living out the logic of his male body.”   Males need tangible rites of passage — in other words, concrete steps of separation, initiation, and incorporation — in order to become men.

INITIATION APPLIED TO MALES

What do Van Gennep’s distinct stages look like when applied to masculinity specifically?

  • First, the boy needs to be separated from boyhood. This means especially a real separation from the realm and control of his mother, who is the primary authority over his infancy and childhood. Through this separation, a boy “puts away” childhood intentionally and knowingly.
  • Second, a boy needs initiation. In this phase, a boy must receive mentoring or guidance in the ways of men, sometimes “proving” himself through physical challenges.
  • The third phase, incorporation, happens when members of the community, especially the men, accept and recognize his manhood and continue his maturation through mentoring and guidance.

It is important to frame a rite of passage in its full context — the exit from boyhood into a brotherhood of men — and not just in its sensational and ceremonial aspect (i.e., the physical and extravagant ceremonies of ancient cultures that really only show part of the whole process, the initiation). Traditional rites of passage for boys occurred during adolescence, commonly understood as beginning around age twelve. This makes sense biologically, since this is the age when a boy’s brain actually stops working like a child’s. The Catholic human geneticist Gerard M. Verschuuren describes this physiological process: “Because the brain goes through dramatic changes, adolescents have a way of behaving and thinking that is rather different from that of children. … Adolescents’ thinking is less bound to concrete events than that of children; they can contemplate possibilities outside the realm of what currently exists.”  By seeing the whole picture of a rite of passage — separation, initiation, incorporation — we can more fully understand what is missing today and what we can do about it. If we focus too much on the sensational, physical, and experiential, we will likely create silly or harmful caricatures of a real human need.

Young men are people and not machines, so we need to understand the transition into manhood as more of a birth than a programmatic process. A boy’s education and initiation into manhood are not just a matter of giving the right facts or information; it is an experience and introduction into a living and breathing world — a culture.

Allan Bloom, a great American philosopher and classicist, rightly connected adolescence with the true birth of man and his general education, since humans enter a unique period of formation during puberty that animals do not:

In all species other than man, when an animal reaches puberty, it is all that it ever will be. … Only in man is puberty just the beginning. The greater and more interesting part of his learning, moral and intellectual, come afterward. … We properly sense that there is a long road to adulthood, the condition in which [human beings] are able to govern themselves and be true mothers and fathers.

When animals reach puberty, the transition from birth to adulthood is basically over, and they can get on with life — eating and mating. For human beings, adolescence is the beginning of adult formation, when we’re meant to learn to go beyond merely eating and mating. It is because adolescence is a “beginning” that it is also foundational to our self-understanding, and why wounds and incompleteness in this age carry into older ages.

Sadly, for boys today, adolescence may be the end of boyhood, but it does not signal a smooth transition into mature character and belonging. It is usually a time where sin is introduced, new family tensions arise, and a frantic sequence of identities are “tried on” until something sticks or seems to work. According to popular “culture” and the media, the things that grown men can do are basically debaucheries: adult beverages, adult movies, adult clubs, adult language. We communicate to boys that to be a man, an adult, is to have the license to sin. Some men find ways to do this without hurting others, but the really manly men are the ones who are able to thrive on and display their sins without consequence — think rappers, womanizing tycoons, or gangsters. When we tell boys to “grow up” and “act responsibly,” they picture work, worry, and dysfunctional relationships. If this is all there is to mature adulthood, why bother? Why not avoid responsibility and enjoy a carefree life of sin? In other words, why not remain in ongoing adolescence?

Young men are debilitated by the modern world’s inability or unwillingness to affirm or define true masculinity, but the mirroring problem is seen in the isolated, lonely, and grinding lives of your average man.  Older generations do not have the outlets and means to pass on their wisdom and life, and younger generations lack the means and openness to receive it.  This is why framing our issues as issues of initiation (in its fullest sense), keeps us from reducing the “man-crisis” and its answer to codes of conduct and “3 easy steps to be more manly.”  Genuine human needs are simply not that easily answered.  Our issues are in our very idea of tradition, culture, identity, and belonging.  In other words, men are suffering from immaturity and insecurity because of the very anthems of the modern era.  Turning the tide is no easy “life hack,” but a recover of belonging and tradition that is at the heart of our faith, which is why, it seems, the Church and her great patrimony is uniquely suited to help overcome this tidal crisis.

For more see Jason Craig’s Leaving Boyhood Behind (OSV, 2019).

  • Micha_Elyi

    When the headline writer wrote “all males” did she mean male dogs too?

    Pro tip: say ‘men’ when you mean ‘men’. Reducing men to mere “males” is dehumanizing.

    • Jason Craig

      Thank you for the pro comment. In the article I am making the case that being “a man” has more cultural, phycological and spiritual connotation than being male. And, because the thesis is that our males today are not acting as men, it would mean they need the “initiation” into that world. Hence, they are males but not men. Men do not need a rite of passage, because they’ve had one. The Allan Bloom quote speaks to your point – and mine.

  • Karen

    Do you have any idea how insulting it is to suggest that the only achievement a woman can have is giving birth, and the to compound it by noting that it is entirely a product of biology? You think women don’t have minds, or at least our minds are insignificant compared our wombs? (Actually, the Catholic church and conservatives all agree that women’s minds are waste of space that can only be used to grovel to males.)

    Boys don’t need elaborate rituals telling them that they’re special and different from girls, and than exist only to mark them as superior to women. That whole ‘protect and provide’ crap only exists because you think women are too stupid to take care of ourselves, and men need to be inspired to take on the burden of living with something as foul and disgusting as a female.

    Please just leave boys alone. If you hate women so much, become a monk.

    • Phil Alcoceli

      “Insulting”, you say. There’s nothing really more insulting to REAL women than a fake, brain-washed, hate-inspired, false authority, Saul Alinsky generic clown like you. You talk like a cheap criminal, think like a cheap criminal, and dictate hate like a cheap criminal but you demand absolute holiness and gentlemanliness (Saul Alinsky Rule #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”). Our rule is Jesus the Lion of Judah, the One who kicked out the merchants from the temple, not “naive niceness”.

      You twist everyone’s words around to fit your psychotic fantasy of “women enslaved by their Catholic husbands” and “boys taught to be superior to women” (Saul Alinsky Rule #5: “”Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon”). Your argument is grotesque and ridiculous and your own ridicule actually ridicules YOU.

      In the comments for another article some time ago, the Catholic women here contradicted your psychotic Saul-Alinsky-invent-a-villain strategy and then… you ATTACKED them!! YOU are a total insult to women’s intelligence, a total insult to truth and a total insult to REAL women. If you are a self-proclaimed savior to women, why you hate the REAL ones so much? Do they make you fell utterly inferior? Compared to them, I think indeed you are. By far!!

      All you are here for once again is to infiltrate us by begging, supplicating and groveling for some fake respectability and some fake authority to infiltrate us and make us a copy of your hate-blinded life! Saul Alinsky’s Rule #8: “”Keep the pressure on.” Karen, or whoever you really are, with Jesus Our Lord we have taken 2,000 years of very hateful pressure and gotten better and we can take a million more!! Keep pushing! Ha, ha, ha!!

      • Karen

        I’m only here to point out the logical conclusion of husbands having authority over their wives: wife-beating. The essential element in all real authority is the ability to enforce it with violence. Governments have armies and police; parents can beat their kids; God sends people to Hell and will end the world one day. Without the right to use violence, ‘authority’ is a hollow title of nobility, like Prince Charles being Duke of Cornwall. If a man can’t punish his wife for failing to follow his directions, he has no authority at all. You advocate for ‘male headship,’ you are also advocating for wife-beating and berating. I just want you to quit lying about your real goal. If male headship is good, so is wife-beating, and you should be as open about that part.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        “I’m only here to…”, you say. That is one of the very favorite deceiving phrases of liars, manipulators and criminals. You “are only here” to push Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, especifically now Rule #11: “”If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.” That’s all you are about, fabrication and pushing of negative false villains, together with the criminal element right in the middle of such action, nothing else.

        Equating Good Male Leadership with beatings, abuse and violence is totally delusional, devious and criminal, showing your very inferior intelligence compared to non-criminal Catholic women and men. Good Male Leadership see women with both the same and also with much higher respect, love and care than they have for themselves: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28) and “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). That was written 2,000 years ago and, human imperfections notwithstanding, it holds true today and that’s what your society and family destruction agenda hates.

        Deadbeat, thuggish, criminal macho men don’t ever need and don’t ever want “male leadership” in the family (that’s too sacrificial for them) and therefore bring abuse to their families as they are too busy with their childish, narcissistic, destructive, self-justifying delusions JUST like YOU are. Your agenda NEEDS and FEEDS on more sin, beatings, abuse, corruption and death, which is why you and your kind are so busy justifying the blind, unvetted importation of law-hating, illegal macho Mexican thugs, “refugee” macho Muslim thugs and macho thugs from all around the world.

        Toxic macho thugs (including those disguised as women-advocate political royalty) breed macho toxic women who have no problem killing their own children and killing everything good God has created. That’s what you are “here only to”. You and your kind are women’s worst enemy ever, and your aim is to destroy their wisdom, intelligence and good judgment that has been lifted and empowered by the Catholic Church Teachings, our devotion to the Virgin Mary and the sacrifice of Good Catholic Male Leadership. We are united and in your way, and that’s the only reason you are here for. By free choice and free will, you are a criminal-enabling criminal, nothing else, nothing indeed.

      • Karen

        Nowhere in your screed did you ever answer my point: if men have authority over their wives, they have to have the ability to punish disobedient wives. If that ability exists, most men will at some point misuse it. How do you structure male authority in such a way that no man can misuse it?

      • Phil Alcoceli

        REAL MEN (not the fantasies in your head) are not automatons or robots that when fed a “software” of authority then produce a “program” of physical punishment at the slightest provocation. REAL MEN are REAL PERSONS and strive daily to choose what is right. False Men, like the toxic macho Muslim thugs and all thugs that you and your kind love and adore, THEY easily abuse because they are internally fractured by Satanic lies and become OBJECTS of a false violent ideology just like you.

        That’s why some toxic macho women created by the macho ideologue thugs are now been revealed and found to beat up their husbands. Men are not the only ones with arms, hands and fists, are they? Duh! Toxic macho women have also been both actual serial killers but mostly also agents of social and political destruction in society that goes diguised as they kill using their sentimental and emotional talents to create delusions, which is what you do. As the Bible says, “whoever says I’m not a sinner is a liar” (1 John 1:8).

        The STRUCTURE you ask for is found in a RELATIONSHIP with the TRUE God and Lord Jesus Christ within the True and Holy Catholic Church, a STRUCTURE tested and proven in the worst of the worst and the best of the best for 2,000 years and counting. It is that awesome PERSONAL relationship with Jesus, and not the Adoration of Dry Rules, the New Pharisees you live in, that the structure to bring the best in every human being, male and female, is always found, as tens of thousands of Catholic Saints and the Faithful prove again and again.

        Satanic Rules and Tyranny don’t create structure to make better humans, they destroy any and all good, truly human structure. But God does. He is the structure: the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Repentance before God is the door to True Humanity, nothing else. Satanic Rules are merciless and set for our total failure, but for God the bigger our sin and the truer our repentance and change, the infinitely bigger His Mercy and our success as HUMAN PERSONS.

      • Karen

        You have provided a perfect illustration of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. You define abusers out of the category of ‘real men,’ so that all the men who beat their wives for being disobedient aren’t real.

        Answer my question: is a man allowed to punish his wife for disobeying him?

      • Phil Alcoceli

        Is Jesus judged by what Judas did? Not even the most rabid atheists, agnostics and all anti-Catholics would ever do that. Should YOU be judged and executed if your mother commits a heinous murder in which you didn’t participate? Should you carry a lifelong stigma for what SHE did? Jesus is our True Man model and those who stray far away from his Teachings are not Jesus followers, therefore not Catholics anymore, unless they TRULY repent and truly reform their lives. Some of our top Saints are top sinners who truly repented. In your Macho Woman Cult there’s no repentance because there’s absolutely No thinking, No heart and NO freedom. You are voluntarily objects and not real people.

        True Catholicism, unlike your violent, toxic, macho woman ideologue cult, is a freely chosen, freely abandoned Church, no chains as with your delusions. As far as your total obssesion with punishment, where you mercilessly punished and objectified when you didn’t blindly follow the anti-God, liberal dogma and dared to disagree and think by yourself? Is that why you behave like an object and not a REAL PERSON?

        Catholic Women are REAL but YOU are not. Is that the problem that ignites your delusional defamation? We don’t “punish” our wives, we love them and solve conflicts with respectful communication, not the truly blind, heinous VIOLENCE of that radicalism that you preach and savagely beat others with. You are a dedicated abuser who loves criminals and a leech who feeds on their abuses.

      • Karen

        What, exactly, is ‘respectful communication’ when she disagrees with you? Do you get to make the final decision regardless of her serious objections? If that is the case, you’re still a tyrant. If you discuss issues and reach a consensus, you’re a partner and not a leader. Which is it? Can you give me a straight answer without five paragraphs of irrelevant insults?

        *You can’t insult me out of this discussion. I’m not a weak, cowardly doormat.

      • Phil Alcoceli

        “*You can’t insult me out of this discussion. I’m not a weak, cowardly doormat”, you say. Whoa… (yawn) so brave, really? (crickets) By the way, who thinks that way and is absolutely concerned and obssesed about who is intimidating who and who must win at all costs? A cheap Saul Alinsky objectified-no-longer-a-person-weak-cowardly-doormat-to-evil-bully!!

        You are an OBJECT not a REAL PERSON, a parasite to Satan’s delusions believing that you are God and that you can implement absolute rules that everyone will fail so then they follow you blindly and stupidly down the narrow, dark tunnel of Political Evil Objectification. You’re only here to make us a copy of your totally miserable self (your burning misery is what drives you), just like the ones that objectified you, and so on, and so on, and so on.

        How do you explain “respectful comunication” to an OBJECT? Will the OBJECT understand? Will the OBJECT ever learn anything good, productive and holy? NO, is the answer to all those questions. I am not here to intimidate you into submission or submit myself to your dam-if-you-do-dam-if-you-don’t, stupid, made up, falsely objective rules (someone failed to tell you that being and OBJECT does not make you “objective”, duh!!). I’m here to testify to Jesus’ Truth, the One who never buckled to Agressive Objectified Bullies. Jesus is the Only Key to being a PERSON and not an OBJECT.

        I submit only to God and resist everything else. I’ll do and write what and how much HE tells me to do and write, not what your cartoon authority hatefully dictates. I, and everyone here as well, will not betray our REAL God by following you, a psychotic authority impostor. You are not our Rule Giving God, Jesus Christ is. You have freely chosen to be an OBJECT, Jesus is a Divine PERSON. We’ll follow HIM and HIS rules, heck!, not you!!

    • Jason Craig

      Karen,

      Thank you for the comment – you help bring a lot of clarity by it. I did not suggest that a woman’s “only achievement” is giving birth, but I did insinuate that it was the highest achievement. I said the exact same thing about men in regards to paternity. You see, we Catholics think that the highest act of life is to give life, and that the closest we can become to being divine is to co-operate in giving life, especially in grace and nature – including birth. This is why women have a special dignity in Catholic devotion and theology. So, for both men and women no job or pursuit is higher than that of love, especially in becoming parents. This is not insulting in the least unless you’ve been conditioned to pit the feminine against the maternal, in which case giving birth actually is some sort of insult or enslaving act. In that case, an entire ideology could be formed where you accept things like killing infants in the name of independence from the infant, etc.

      Also, I wonder if mothers might find your comment insulting that somehow things other than mothering require a mind, but mothering is just a biological convenience for dominating males to perpetuate the species? The mind of a mother is something so precious and unique that boys actually grow more violent without a deep connection to it – they also grow in violence if later in life they don’t learn the mind of a father. I also never said men are superior to women, and if anything they are inferior because of their need for initiation in order to be secure (in that I’m proposing men are inherently insecure, which is true). I also made it clear that boys don’t need elaborate rituals, but I imagine you stopped reading after I made the wildly incomprehensible claim that feminity and maternity are related.

      • Karen

        Raising children and being a parent requires intellect, but the only parts of that unique to women are pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation, which are biological processes we do because we’re mammals, not because we’re people. I reject the idea that my brain is somehow significantly different that yours and that “women just naturally know” all the crap about kids but nothing about running companies. I want a world where no woman ever depends on a man for anything, and no man ever needs a woman. If we want to get together, great, but nothing should force us to do so.

    • Micha_Elyi

      Why do you say “actually”, Karen, when you make claims that aren’t “actually” true?

      • Karen

        You provide no evidence contradicting me.

        If you don’t hate women, please describe what you think women ought to be permitted to do, and include how you would structure society to achieve those ends?

    • The Dog Father

      Karen, you need help. Please seek professional help, and find better role models and examples out there to learn from.

      • Karen

        No, I don’t need help. I need you to give me a straight answer: do you have the right to punish your wife if she disobeys you? Does your authority as husband allow you to enforce your rules against your wife?

        This is a yes or no question. Answer me using only one of those two words.

      • The Dog Father

        How did rite of passage for males turn into punishment for wives or conduct of such things involving that topic? Here’s one Karen, since you choose to not read my earlier replies to you; a young man raised and given a rite of passage to become men, good Christian men at that, wouldn’t have to involve punishing a wife. Really Karen, this isn’t the dark ages or the middle east.

      • Karen

        You think boys need the rites so that they can “lead” their families. I want you to state exactly what “lead” means? If husbands have authority, how can they exercise it?

      • The Dog Father

        What is a leader in your opinion? Who is/was a good leader in your life? Who was a role model in your life and how did they inspire you? Does the typical education system for boys make leaders? Is a young man prepared to deal with adult life after high school or college? What about entertainment and media? Who is responsible for teaching conduct and behavior in society?
        Define “Authority?”

      • Karen

        Answer my question.

      • Karen

        Authority is the ability to force people to follow your orders and to punish them if they refuse. It is the ability to make decisions and have those decisions obeyed.

      • The Dog Father

        And who has “authority” to enforce anything? Judges, police, the law, parents? I am trying to get you to critically think, so you can answer your own questions.

      • Karen

        I think your side endorses wife beating, or at least punishment by taking away her money, her ability to leave the house, and by shouting at her until she gives up. That’s how patriarchs work. Am I correct? If not, how do you make your wife follow orders?

      • The Dog Father

        You “THINK.” That is the problem Karen, you have no idea or understanding what you are talking about, and make wild assumptions based on what? Your own confirmation bias and self fulfilling prophesies.

        You have obviously been exposed to an abusive relationship or upbringing. There are lots of resources for you to get help. Nobody condones violence (unless you area criminal), nor is it legal. I know third world counties practice and do that, but you never hear women politicians addressing that. Who is your role model Karen?

        Please get help, and at a minimum, go to women’s counseling groups and they will re-affirm what I told you that violence, and abuse is not tolerated. Women can leave a relationship anytime they feel like Karen. Nobody makes women be with men, unless you are in a third world country Karen. Go there, and when you come back, you will realize you have rights and you don’t have to be punished. It’s the 21st Century Karen…. you don’t have to be with a man, you can live without one, I promise. I know lots of single women who did a fine job of raising children on their own, and they turned out great. There are programs to get you training, counseling, an education, housing, you name it, so you can have your own money and not rely on a man. Yeah, the workforce actually prefers hiring women over men.

        If you want to be a victim, stay in an abusive marriage, relationship, etc. The thing is Karen, a successful relationship, a true one, doesn’t involve giving orders to your spouse, or “making” them do anything, or “punishing” as you have gone on since you read this article. The article never talks about, nor myself of “punishing” anyone. As you see the comments, the only people who seem to be punished are the ones who succeeded in discussing a rite of passage and how it helped them. You need to seek couples who respect each other and love each other to find your examples in how people should conduct themselves. Take a family sociology class, or how about writing some female politicans who claim they stand up for women’s rights? Be proactive Karen, don’t “think,” do! In respect to the article, and my own example I gave, which ironically received more criticism than solutions–I suggest you give a model explaining how to raise young boys, teens to respect women.

        If you can’t offer a viable solution (not lip service of should have, would have, could have) you need to educate yourself on the subject. Go volunteer at a school, or foster home if you feel you can tell boys how to conduct themselves or go teach…. then tell me how that worked out for you. Tell me how that worked out in a public school system and what kind of role model did you offer? If you don’t know any men who respects women, it’s time to change your life, environment, relationships, etc. Start with counseling, and women’s advocacy groups; they are free and have even lawyers to help you…. yeah free, how about that!? It’s not the 19th century Karen, nor the middle east… you have more rights than you realize.

      • Karen

        You still haven’t answered my question: can a man punish his wife for disobeying him?

      • Panther Dan

        Do you actually believe all this rot you post? It sounds like a parody of some raving feminist, but then again, there might actually be people that loony.

      • Karen

        You keep avoiding my question. Yes, I do believe that male headship requires men beating or berating their wives. He can’t be in charge unless she has no ability to say no to him. So, can a man punish his wife for disobeying him?

      • Panther Dan

        I don’t know any men who beat their wives,
        and neither do you.
        The real world is nothing like the one inside your head. In the real world, most men are pathologically henpecked.
        In the real world, men commit suicide much more often than women. Feminists have never come up with an explanation for that. The obvious explanation is: most women have better lives than most men.

      • J. H. Frank

        Huh. I never really thought about how incel culture and revanchist Catholicism dovetail so neatly until this moment.

        Thank you for helping me with my critical thinking skills!

      • Panther Dan

        You’re beyond help.

      • Karen

        I know a dozen women who were beaten by their ex-husbands badly enough to need medical treatment. I don’t know or know of a single man who ever got as much as a hangnail from a woman.

        As for why men commit suicide? Because patriarchy teaches that any man who seeks medical help, especially for mental health issues, is a pathetic weakling, so suicide looks like a decent option. Men do this to each other; don’t blame women for the world men create and enforce.

      • Panther Dan

        I see now. It’s so simple.
        Women are good.
        Men are evil.
        Liberalism is for imbeciles who are unable to see shades of gray.
        A parrot or mynah bird could be taught to say all the right words – patriarchy! misogyny! squawk! polly want a cracker!

      • Karen

        Men are not evil. Patriarchy is.

      • The Dog Father

        Do YOU think they can!?

      • Karen

        I think patriarchy and male authority requires that he can; I also think it’s horrifying. That’s why I reject your model for marriage.

        Now, please describe for me how a man can be the head of his household and make all important decisions for his family while at the same time the family members are not cowed and terrified?

      • Panther Dan

        You’re not sane. Not even close.

      • The Dog Father

        So you THINK, once more you don’t know. Trying to get you to answer your own question. You didn’t read my last post about you seeking self help did you? It’s really is true, people are their own worst enemy. I never gave a model for marriage Karen! Now you are claiming I made statements that I never said. This whole forum was about a rite of passage for males, not getting married. Go to a different forum for marriage. My whole testimony was not about marriage but a spiritual journey with God. I am okay with people criticizing me, but at least they can cite their own examples.

      • Karen

        So you won’t answer my question.

      • Josh Renfrey

        You are the biggest αsshole on the web.

      • The Dog Father

        How can I answer a question, that you cannot comprehend the question or understand it yourself? Are you implying women are forced into marriage? GET A DIVORCE KAREN IF YOU CANNOT LIVE WITH YOUR HUSBAND!!

      • The Dog Father

        What is leader, and what makes a good leader. Many of your questions you can answer yourself. Lets start with our education system. Do you feel it prepares them for any form of being adult, yet alone having a family? Tell me about what role models are good examples for boys/teens? What is being taught that carries these boys to becoming good men, husbands, or fathers? The article and comments don’t solve all the problems, and since you were not a boy, it’s challenging at best for you to try to understand. Slow down, take your time and re-read my original posting slowly and methodically. There is no once program fits all Karen… it discusses a much broader problem. So Karen, what do boys need if this article offends you?

      • Karen

        They need to learn to be friends with women and to respect us first as colleagues and fellow people. More than anything they need to know that women are not inferior versions of men or a different species. There’s no hobby or interest exclusive to either gender.

        So, now you tell me, does a husband’s authority as ‘head’ give him the right to punish his wife if she disobeys him? Yes or no?

      • The Dog Father

        I have to ask what country you live in. The right to punish his wife? Lots of questions come to mind, as to where in society this is happening, and to your own life style, and experiences. You never stated your religious faith. When you say punishing, I think of abuse, and it is not allowed or tolerated in our society. No form of abuse from either gender should be allowed, tolerated, or accepted. You should cite examples, because disobeying sounds like you are speaking of children, not married couples.

      • Karen

        As I said before, for authority to exist, the person having has to be able to enforce it. You believe men have ‘authority’ over their wives. How do men enforce that authority when the wife disobeys it? Do you believe, yes or no, that a man can punish a disobedient wife?

      • The Dog Father

        Good question Karen, how does anyone enforce anything? How or why would a man punish his wife? Does a wife have the right to punish her husband? What if it is a matriarchal household? You need to critically think so you can ask more relevant questions. When ever does a person have the right to abuse another?

      • Karen

        Why are you so afraid of answering my question? You want patriarchy; how does a husband enforce his authority on a disobedient wife?

        In the real world, authority is always enforced by the threat of violence: jail, fines, beatings, being fired. Your side advocates for beating disobedient children. So, can a man punish a disobedient wife, yes or no?

      • The Dog Father

        The real world? Always enforced? You have no idea what you are talking about. Disobedient wife…. Give me an example of how a wife is or can be disobedient? Explain that? You need help Karen.

  • Phil Alcoceli

    One absolutely great complement to Brother Jason Craig’s most excellent book is Leila Miller’s “Raising Chaste Catholic Men”. She has 8 children, 6 of those boys (heck, you need tons of both grit and love for such a small army). Even though written mostly for mothers, the advice implied in it for us fathers is invaluable, totally practical and sometimes humorous. Like the ancient Spartans, we need our wives as absolute partners in the rites of initiation for our boys.

    Following the exact same sentimental evil that defeated Eve in the Garden of Eden, too many wives today become the greatest saboteurs of any of our attempts to give our boys due initiation. Fathers guide the mind, mothers the heart; guess which one wins almost every single time when temptation-push comes to sin-shove? Hmm? That’s why we absolutely need mothers on our side and Mrs. Miller does just that. Share that book too with your lady, kindly. God bless all your families!!

  • The Dog Father

    In our modern and secular society, debased with every evil and unspeakable teachings, boys are taught to be effeminate, luke warm, and indifferent about anything except what the media and facedrama tells them. Bait and switch everything is in the arsenal of the satan. That is not even going discussing the abysmal education system. It won’t be long before being a Christian will get a person persecuted, for worse than what we see on the horrid media. Sending kids to school or religious classes are not enough. First off, people who teach must know HOW to teach.

    With lack of anything moral, most children are raised without fathers. Their role models are people who get paid to say evil things and give them examples of hatred and worse. It’s an opportunity that is missed by the so called public education, which only further enables them. Most boys are lazy, and women have a tendency to enable and baby their sons. I see them into adult hood, and these boys are still boys, where the mother tenders them like children, making every excuse in the world for them. A man who has been tested in the fire, will understand why the primitives used hunting dangerous animals as a test of courage, to see what they have in them to lead the tribe one day. Women think differently than men, and as a teaching of young adults, they cannot comprehend a man’s level of understanding, except their weaknesses for the flesh.

    Often we see a minor rite in passage of boys playing football. In the poorest communities, that is about the best they will ever get. A brief time of sheltered innocence, that hides the unexpected real world from them. To help relate, the movie “Friday Night Lights” exemplifies this. A small sample in a concept of modern rites of passage, or what most can ever expect from their educators.

    As a Generation X adult, I dealt with single women who think they are helping boys or teenagers by enabling them. They become adult boys who are lazy, no drive, feckless, or worse, get into trouble. The less they do, the more they are enabled. The older these so called adults get, the worse they get. Getting degrees doesn’t do much for them either. Some manage to find women to care for them. One of the mysteries that is beyond my human scope of understanding.

    Always exceptions to the rule, as people get upset with my teachings and experience. I found in the past 10 years, people loath the truth, the light…
    Growing up as a child in the mid 70s, I am ashamed and feel I lost out on my religious education as a Catholic. I can tell you who every teacher and many of the students names, and events in my life since Kindergarten, but I can’t tell you what I learned in my CCD making my First Holy Communion, or my Confirmation. Neither priests nor nuns taught those classes. The teaching was shameful and irresponsible at best. A lost boy, who was instructed under Vatican II, not knowing anything or explained anything. During the 90s, Church leaders couldn’t figure out why people left the church. I never did though.

    Public education was no better, and subsequent generations have had it far worse.
    The Lord answered my prayers my senior year in high school. I became a United States Marine. My rite of passage was a strict discipline, in teaching, training, and a lost boy, who didn’t know anything about anything, become a man of reason, beyond anything a classroom could teach to include my college education. The Lord used that to instruct me, to teach me, to mold me spiritually to be able to listen and understand how lost our world has become in material things and life, and to become a man to seek all things through Christ. Evil is very subtle and appears comforting for most. So clever is evil, people mistake it for good, on depths no mortal could comprehend. My rite of passage Is not for everyone, and many would rather fail life than serve, but it took a transition described in this article to go through these these challenges. Lecturing kids isn’t enough; classrooms, degrees, money, counseling, or enabling, keeps them from even knowing what they can or cannot do. Girls think and behave differently than boys do, which is why most mothers enable their boys.

    In my experience, most boys are lazy, immature, impatient, and impulsive on every thought or idea that controls them physically and emotionally. They don’t know or care if they set goals, and they grow up to be feckless, inept, and unchallenged. No passion or zeal to feel anything, yet alone to seek God first. How does a teen boy, young adult even comprehend the Passion, sorrows, and Sacrifice of Our Lord Christ, without ever struggling to know and find faith in suffering? We are a world taken over by evil, every day we see examples worse, and worse. Headline news reads like the national inquire check out stand papers. It’s a joke… a distraction, and so full of evil, even the Church can’t possible comprehend all that is enveloping the world.

    In a time where work is optional ( I only wish it was a joke), boys not challenged to know what their potential is or given the opportunity to know what they can do, will not learn, and their hearts will go faint. Examples of this cRap culture doesn’t teach young adults anything about rising to the occasion, or seeking God first, and they only think of themselves. Parents think enabling their teens, 20,30, even 40 something year old children is helping them. Unfortunately, nothing is going to change the course we are headed on now. One could say the lack of rites, created this downward spiral increasing evil in our lives and world.

    How does all this relate? A rite of passage for boys to be men is not just a Spiritual one, but one that must transform in body, mind, heart, and soul, ultimately, seeking God in their life first. We as weak mortals, sinful of all things abhorrent to God, we must go through struggles and challenges, which simply relates to a rite of passage, it’s how men are wired. There are various ways, I speak of the one that Holy Spirit directed me and many others. The absence of a rite of passage transforming boys to men, keeps them in the dark, and keeps them from seeking the true light of God, who instructs and gives guidance in our times of struggle and most difficult challenges.

    • Karen

      Your religion demands that women be, or pretend to be, weak, stupid, and cowardly. Naturally when the female role forces women to be worthless morons, we will be unable to teach our sons to be anything but worthless morons. Start encouraging women to use our minds in public and official roles and you will start seeing an improvement in men.

      • The Dog Father

        [sic] “Your religion.” Yet, here you are on a Catholic forum. I highly encourage you to re-read my post, and don’t be upset, be open minded. I trained young women too, and have two daughters, but I am sure you don’t want to hear that. I refuse to enable any person.

        Interestingly though, I don’t know if you are an atheist, jew, muslim, buddhist, protestant, satanist, or the church of 1997 (you didn’t identify yourself); that said, if you knew anything about “My religion” you would know that we honor and venerate The Most Holy Mother of our Lord Jesus, more than any woman that ever lived or will live. Try not to bash Catholics so much without actually studying the religion. It reflects gross biased judgment and lack of education.

        We don’t worship her as in the Holy Trinity, such as how other denominations love to scream from the pulpit. We honor and venerate the Holy Mother, giving her thanks and praises that we could never ever be thankful enough, or appreciative. We ask her to pray for us, much like if I said, “Karen, would you pray for me?” So much hate out there, but that’s okay Karen, my “Rite of Passage”, allows me to take it with all the love and passion humanly capable. So, as a Roman Catholic we don’t pretend, or allow anything Karen. If anything we stand up for women, girls who would be murdered, who become women. Not sure where you get your information Karen, but it sounds hateful, weak, and mislead you to false biases.

        Not all Catholics as I mentioned in my post have a clue. Go back and re-read the lack of when you are not so upset. We honor, respect, and give more to women than any other religion. Go to the middle east if you don’t believe me. I encourage you to read the “City of God” series. Maybe you might have a different outlook on “My religion.” If anything, you will see how the “Catholics” view, honor, and venerate, our most Holy Mother of our Lord Jesus, women of the Church.

        Now, your rant about women being worthless morons, I hope this isn’t a case of “if the shoe fits wear it” situation? My 2nd grade Mrs. Matthews taught me that. Are you projecting, or are you playing helpless victim here? Self fulfilling prophesies Karen? I addressed my role in helping boys, teens, men be better, discussing why and that Rite of Passage, but you don’t want to talk about that.

        I won’t go into the lack of critical thinking skills people are absent of, but most people are extremely inept and mentally weak to think anything that isn’t forced fed to them on the news or social media. I wonder if you play the part or go along to get along, to be right in the middle of the road?
        You have to be encouraged to be a better mother, woman, or leader Karen? Who are your role models Karen, and how how have you tried to emulate them, or have done to better lives?

        Here is what must be addressed Karen:

        1. Where are all the women politicians, celebrities, educators, judges, lawyers, human right activists, the democratic party, etc, etc, when a woman is murdered, or raped by any an illegal alien, parolee, or by anyone? Going back 35 years when a politician was 15 years old, is the most disgusting incompetence and justice I have ever seen in an accusation, but women democratic “leaders” were more focused on that for some perverse reason.

        2. What about when a Christian or non muslim woman is murdered for not being a muslim? Where are the woman role models standing up for the murder of women? You need encouragement for that Karen? You have a facebook account, every talk or post about that!? That hillary is good enough to run for president but not good enough to stand up for women’s rights? If you feel or think she does, where are the examples!? Because she “SAY’S” she does!? How can I encourage a woman to stop enabling her son, when women leaders allow women to be subjected to harassment, abuse, rape, and murder?

        3. How do I encourage women to stand up for their rights, when they demand they are given up? Men can use their bathroom, or compete against women in anything, because they want to be a women? Women politicians (Not all, lets keep that clear) and rich celebrities, not only encourage it, but get all giddy about it. Why Karen?

        4. Karen, how do I encourage women to stand up for their rights, when they demand their rights be taken from them!? Are you paying attention Karen?

        5. How can you tell me, men should encourage women to use their minds, when women refuse to use them? WOMEN Teachers telling children as young as 5 to pick a gender they want to be, encouraging them to learn about sex a that age. How are you going to tell men to encourage women, when this evil abominations are taking place in our so called education system?. Go back and re-read my post!!

        6. How do I tell my 10 year old daughter that she has no rights, because women want men to use their bathrooms?

        I identified problems with boys becoming men, and tried to explain to you Karen, with reason, insight, education, and teaching, my statements are not ABSOLUTES! “NOT ALL BOYS” and not “ALL WOMEN.” If you have a different view on “Why All Males Need a Rite of Passage” please, by all means articulate and express yourself.

        I do encourage women Karen, again read my post! I tried to explain to you, boys, young men need a specific direction in their life, hence the “Rite of Passage.” They need their mothers too, their love, nurturing, and guidance. Big difference between raising a son, and enabling them.

        If you have nothing to contribute and want to blame men for not “encouraging” women, you need to work on yourself, and make some clear statements and objectives. How about how you contributed as a woman in dealing with young boys to becoming men?

        I know lots of single mothers who did an awesome job raising their sons. Unfortunately, I encounter more women who enabled their boys, and didn’t allow them to grow up. The perverse irony, is they blame men like me. Can’t do much to help or teach women like that, yet alone encourage.

        Go make a difference Karen, don’t wait for “men” to encourage you. Be the encouragement, and make good things happen out there, never excuses, be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

      • Beer Hunter

        BTW nice way to work in a slander against immigrants in there. Your Pope would tell you to sit down and shut up

      • The Dog Father

        Slander? How do you slander facts? You saying it didn’t happen? Pope would never condone rape. Get your facts straight.

      • Beer Hunter

        Man, reading you vomit this sanctimonious catechetical drivel reminds me why I left the Church forever. It’s just a bunch of nothingness that neatly dovetails with your archaic fairy tales and virgin saint so and so. If you actually spoke like this in public you would be laughed at. Don’t you feel that you should grow up and stop pretending to believe in this dogmatic farce?

      • The Dog Father

        Yet, here you are on this forum…

        Go live what ever life you choose.

      • Micha_Elyi

        Don’t say “Roman Catholic” Mr. Dog. That’s a slur promoted by the minions of Henry VIII and his wayward daughter, the Bad Queen Bess. They sought to spread the lie that Catholics were somehow foreign and not English.
        Just say “Catholic” when you mean Catholic. You seriously didn’t mean to suggest that the Catholics of the Eastern rites don’t venerate the Holy Mother, did you?

      • The Dog Father

        Comment was for Karen.