Aug 11, 2022
Men now make up only 40.5% of college enrollment. Men’s median wage has been declining in real terms for over 20 years. And “deaths of despair”—resulting from suicide, overdosing on drugs, and alcoholism—have surged among middle-aged men in the same time frame. As for boys, they are more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, five times as likely to spend time in juvenile detention, and less likely to finish high school.
Considered in this light, some words of Anthony Esolen take on added meaning: “It is high time that men be reminded not only that they have powers as men, but also that those powers were given them to be used for the common good—for everyone, men and women and children all.”
A prolific author who is writer in residence at Magdalen College in New Hampshire, Esolen says that in the introduction to his new book No Apologies (Regnery Gateway). It’s a timely, vigorous and sometimes profound exposition of why, as the subtitle puts it, “civilization depends on the strength of men.”
Esolen is especially exercised at the harm done to boys by devaluing their maleness, as in the “poisonous” use of the expression “toxic masculinity” in schools and popular media. Boys, he writes, “are told that there is something wrong with them because they are not like girls…. Those who speak this way want the boys to be weaklings, to despise their own sex, to doubt their natural and healthy inclinations.”