Mother’s Men are not Mama’s Boys. Mamas’ Boys don’t think for themselves. They are governed. They are subjects. Mother’s men are free men. Tweet
Guy Shepherd is one of five—all of them Mother’s Men. My brothers and I love our mother. We adore her. And for good reason. She is special. She is a standout soul. A maker of men.
I am a fan of self-government. Our parents—father and mother—raised us to be free. It was a functional necessity. You can’t watch five boys around the clock. It’s impossible. We needed to watch ourselves. They taught us right and wrong. Gave good example. Signed us up for the right things. We learned and made our way. Trial and error had a role. To a man, we turned out to be functional Americans.
We—the Shepherds—are the opposite of Mama’s Boys. Mamas’ Boys don’t think for themselves. They are in a state of perpetual, arrested adolescence. They are governed. They are subjects. They are not free men.
My mother’s greatest contribution to my soul was and remains a sense of self-government and self-limitation.
My mother’s greatest contribution to my soul was and remains a sense of self-government and self-limitation. My mother leads by example. She makes her mind known artfully. She knows that whomever she is talking to—man, women, child— has a mind, and a will of their own, and she respects it. She treats those—even those under her direct supervision—as citizens and not subjects. Coercion is not her default setting. Her method is persuasion.
My mother’s approach is the right approach, it’s the American approach, and it ought to be taken to scale.
I married well. I looked for a woman like my mother—and found one. Together, we raised two good, functional, productive, self-governing adults. We didn’t have the courage for a higher number. High taxes and failing public schools matter. Also, having a daughter sent me for a loop.
An unremarked boon of feminism is that it freed fathers to take an active role in the mental and moral education of our daughters.
On the subject of women and their 21st Century flavor, I am proud of the women that my daughter is becoming. An unremarked boon of feminism is that it freed fathers to take an active role in the mental and moral education of our daughters. My mother gave me an example of great, American women; my wife another. My daughter is a 21st Century American woman, very much her own version of both.
I sincerely believe that the relationships between the sexes, should and can be better. We are missing out on a better, more loving, freer, and equal relationships, with our wives, kids, colleagues, and fellow citizens.
Obey for thee but not for me is the de facto reality in many relationships
We can all admit that patriarchy—the idea that men rule, set the tone, the rules and made the final calls—is on the ash heap. “Obey” are four dead letters when put together. It appears that on this point, we have an agreement between the sexes.
Now, the opposite of patriarchy, matriarchy is not truth and justice, it’s another flavor of tyranny. Agreed? I’m not sure we do. Recently, I had a moment of clarity, born of listening and observation. I don’t hear men exercising executive power, telling their wives, fiancés, and girlfriends what to think, what an adult man can and cannot do.
I have noticed some women doing it though. Obey for thee but not for me is the de facto reality in many relationships. The prescription of patriarchy is not matriarchy, it’s freedom and self-government, love, honor, and respect. How much of that are you seeing out there?
Just listen. Verify it for yourself. Take some time and open your eyes and ears—and be attentive the speech between and among the sexes. Couple watch for a couple of days.
Who is telling whom what to do and when to do it? Who is doing the obeying?
What do you see, Mama’s boys or Mother’s Men?