THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION –
WHEN DADS FINALLY STOPPED MENTORING THEIR BOYS
The period from 1780 to about 1850 marked what we refer to as the Industrial Revolution. It triggered the migration of work, away from the family farm and instead, to factories located in far off towns and cities.
Now, when the family looked out their window, they could no longer see dad out there, doing his “job”. In fact, it was difficult to understand exactly what dad’s job was. For compared to toiling the earth on the family farm, his working on an assembly line was as alien as you could get.
At last, dad had arrived in the new world, as a cog in the wheel of progress.
Along with that, a huge part of his personality and identity were now ripped from him. He no longer “felt” like the hunter and protector he had evolved from. He was no longer the master of the farm.
No! Now he was master of nothing. He was a replaceable part of an assembly line designed to never depend on a single person. Every piece was replaceable. Every person expendable. If someone left, someone else was there to take his place, in order to keep the line moving.
But with dad off on an assembly line somewhere, who was available to “mentor” the young boys in the family?
Mom, of course.
She did not ask for it, but guess who inherited dad’s mentoring job? With dad not available, it was up to the woman to take over the role dad had owned since the cave days.
For the first time in history, almost all men were now raised and mentored by women.
So if you think dads were starting to get role-confusion before the Industrial Revolution, once the primary educator and mentor of men became women, a subtle yet emotionally deep transformation began to take hold inside most men.
What changed, you ask?
Ask a woman this simple question — Does a man understand what it’s like to be a woman?
Let me repeat the question.
Does a man truly understand what a young girl needs in order to fully embrace her womanhood?
For most women, the answer to this question is a resounding, NO. Sure men can empathize and relate to much of what a woman goes through in life. And a man can be an effective educator to girls. But there are profound elements about being a woman that no man can truly understand.
And vice versa.
Although a woman can do an outstanding job of raising a boy to become an effective, productive man, and most do, there are subtle elements she can never relate to, about what it means to be a man, and what a man needs to be effective as a man.
Of course, it’s not all bad, having men raised by women. We have evolved as a species because we have a blending of sensibilities, so men and women share values that were only accessible to one side previously.
For example, “women’s issues” have seeped into the global consciousness. Combined with the male perspective, they make for a richer and more advanced society.
We see this in how our society opposes war more vehemently than in the past. War was a noble cause, fighting for one’s country. Now it’s brutal and senseless to many who previously would have held the other perspective.
Other issues where the woman’s perspective has had influence in shaping the societal view of the world, include promotion of education, encouraging negotiation and appeasement to retaliation, and so forth.
But make no mistake. There is considerable seeping of a woman’s sensibility into the male psyche through her influence over her boys, including the subtle and largely unintentional implanting of role-conflict.
So how is your dad affected by all this?
For many men, having had women training them to be men has contributed to confusion and inner conflict regarding what it means to be a man (separate from a woman). Today the perspective that many men and fathers hold about how a man should act, is molded to a large degree by a woman’s perception of how a man should act, and by the media.
Still, considering their physiological constraints (they are not men), women in general have done a terrific job raising boys to become men, especially prior to the twentieth century. For in the beginning, men were generally revered by the women and moms who were doing the educating, and by the media, and that had a positive impact on the male psyche of those little boys who took over our civilized world.
The idea of revering men (your dad) as guardians of the species — something that had been a hallmark of the male-dominated society stemming back to cave days — this was all about to change.