The crisis of affection in Boys

If I had a dollar for everytime a young boy goes to bed starved of attention from his dad.

One of the tragic realities of living in a patriarchal system is not just the imposition of strict gender roles on men(and women), but also how it teaches us that affection is inherently unmasculine and boys don’t need it from their fathers.

If fathers never carve out attention and affection towards their sons and mothers repeatedly cover up and console boys with “Daddy is busy with work”, boys will grow up to become men who believe that affection is none of their business — it is a virtue of the feminine.

Motherly love in our culture is apparent, accepted and even lauded. The love of a father on the other hand is at worst always covert and at best sketched as abysmally as paying for college. Somehow we have come to accept emotional aloofness as the best representation of fatherly love. Millions of fathers think that while daughters are to be coddled and pampered, sons are to be disciplined and dealt strictly with and it’s all done under the pretense of training them for adult life.

Men cannot be affectionate if they are not taught the value of affection. And I am not even worried about being affectionate to others. I am bothered by the lack of self-love and affection that men embody and how its leading them towards a mental health epidemic.

All of this can change with a simple re-interpretation of “Wait until your father comes home”.