This will be the first of several posts on this topic spread out over time, for it’s a subject about which I know much. It’s about the impact of a boy being raised by a single mom. In my archives somewhere I’ve got the beginnings of a monster post on the subject, but I’ve determined that smaller doses might get my points across better.
I don’t need to cite the statistics because they’re everywhere, but our prisons and gangs are filled with men who’ve had no fatherly influence growing up. They’ve never learned to hone their masculine instincts in an appropriate way (or have had their masculine aggression feminized, but that’s for another post), and they wreak havoc on the rest of us. These are the Barbarians.
Yet not all boys raised by single moms commit rape or wind up in prison. Instead of allowing their aggression to run wild, some males sublimate it. They’re out of balance in the opposite direction. These are the Wimps. They don’t make the news as much because quietly wasting away doesn’t make for juicy news stories.
At some point, something determines which of these boys will become Wimps, and which will grow into Barbarians. The factors that determine which route he will take depends on a variety of factors: the personal traits of the boy (high or low testosterone, personality), the mother (guilt trips, competence as a mother, promiscuity or lack thereof), socioeconomic conditions, the age of the boy when the father departed, the way the father departed, siblings, the nature of the relationship with the father, community support, religious education, substitute male role models, and more.
This post doesn’t explore why one boy will choose Barbarian and the other will go Wimp, it merely describes the nature of that choice.
We know of the feminine instinct to shit-test, to make a demand on a male to determine his fitness or lack thereof. Some would argue that shit-tests apply only to prospective mates, I would disagree. Instincts don’t shut on and off according to circumstance.
Regardless, males have an instinct as well: to resist shit-tests. It might get banged out of us at some point, but it’s undeniably there. If a superior male makes us do something, we might not like it, but we can handle it. Dad telling us to “Cut it out!” instinctively strikes us as the manifestation of some sort of hierarchy to which we’re supposed to conform.
With a mother, not so much. It’s never particularly easy to get a stubborn five year-old to do something he DOES NOT want to do, but it’s doubly hard for a mother, especially when she’s not the father’s chief lieutenant, but is herself the general.
One booming “DO IT!” from a Dad would get him to act, but often a mom has to resort to nagging, pleading, shrieking, cajoling, appealing to guilt, threatening, and running herself ragged just to get her son to do the simplest little thing.
This is because, even for a little kid, his pride is at stake. Somehow, some way, he knows that he’s NOT supposed to let women boss him around. Losing to a male is part of life, but losing to a woman cuts you down. Somewhere in that wiry little body of his he wants to be an Alpha male and he knows what it takes to become one. Letting chicks tell you what to do isn’t it.
Unfortunately, if she’s the head of the household, it’s her job to get through his thick little skull from time to time. Blame society, hypergamy, divorce laws or whatever else for the mess she’s in, she’s in a mess and has to do something about it. Even the most mediocre single mom knows more about life than a six year-old, and he will have to learn to clean his room, eat vegetables every once in a while, and brush his teeth before they rot away from too many Coco Puffs.
But into the mix we do have to throw the occasional shit-test. Even the best mother will have her moments of absurd and hormone-driven drama. “You didn’t kiss me goodnight! You must not love me! And after all I’ve done for you!”
So we have an irreconcilable (?) conflict. In one corner, we have a mother who needs to raise her son and objectively knows more about life than the son, but also some tendencies that are going to strike the son as utterly nonsensical. In the other corner, we have a boy who needs guidance to make his way in the world, but who has a budding Alpha instinct that’s going to fight this broad with everything he’s got.
Typically, this conflict will end in one of two ways:
1. The son wins. Maybe the mom simply gave up, maybe the boy is especially hyperactive, maybe the mom just plain sucks. In any case, the boy fundamentally rejects the authority of his mother. She can’t make him, so he doesn’t do it. His mother undoubtedly tried to steer him in the right direction (mixed in with at least a few shit-tests), but the boy interprets his mother’s authority as a giant shit-test. So he passes it.
However, if subconsciously he’s equated mother with authority, if mother telling him what to do is a shit-test, it follows that he would grow to see all authority as a shit-test. He’ll tell off cops, flick off his teachers, and see most any attempt to control him as an assault on his masculinity. He might voluntarily submit to some sort of authority like a gang leader, but he’s still fundamentally told society and its rules to go to hell. Sometimes society should be told to go to hell (Bloomberg’s soda ban), but sometimes it shouldn’t (don’t mug old ladies). He can’t tell the difference. They’re all trying to dis him, to keep him down, to insult his manhood.
Hence, the Barbarian.
2. The mother wins. In this case, he interprets his mother’s guidance/shit-test mixture as quality guidance. He’s given up his budding Alpha urge to resist his mother and determined to do the right thing. He subconsciously associates his mother’s love and (genuine) concern for his well-being with authority and becomes inclined to submit. He fails his mother’s shit-tests by doing what she wants, and grows up to respect the shit-test requests of other women with the same deference he treated his mother’s request for him to not pee on the toilet seat. It pains his mother when he defies her, so he grows to respect Woman and to do what She asks him to do. He’s submissive and respects women just a little too much. He might not want to be anything like his father.
And we know what happens to guys who respect women just a little too much.
This boy becomes the Wimp.
I have theories as to why one boy will become a Wimp and another a Barbarian (and much thanks to Looking Glass for sending me an email with some great insights I’ll be exploring shortly), but if any of you have any ideas of your own, please either leave a comment or send me an email (address in “view full profile” under the hammer pic). I want to understand this phenomenon as well as possible, and I have some brilliant readers who I’m sure could help me do it.
Obviously, the best way to avoid these problems is for each and every boy (and girl, but that’s not my area of expertise) to have a healthy fatherly influence in the home. However, even in the best of societies, sometimes single moms happen, and sometimes those single moms ended up that way through little fault of their own (widowhood). Sometimes Dad simply bails.
Whether they be “bastard spawn” or the genuine victims of abuse, these kids have some serious strikes against them. I’m aware of the odds, but I also believe in free will and that nothing is pre-ordained. The best advice for any mother in this regard is “don’t be a single mom”, but if that die is cast, the ultimate fate of her sons need not be.
Yet I’ve shown that in the inherent conflict of their relationship that either side “winning” is ultimately a loss. Nevertheless, I know that there are ways to mitigate the damage. So if you have any ideas, fire away.
(Uncorrupted) religion is one answer, but it requires a very self-aware woman (widows will do better than baby mamas here), or a very introspective young man.
Another option is the military, Boy Scouts, or sports.
I agree with sports (especially rough ones like football, hockey, or wrestling), but even those are becoming more feminized. I’m not sure about hockey, but lots of pee-wee football teams now have girls. Still, it’s the best chance they’ve got.
The Boy Scouts are becoming more PC by the year, and Cub Scouts are run by Den Mothers.
Unfortunately, we can’t trust any of our institutions any more. There’s very little space for men to be men, and even less for boys to be boys. If boys today formed something like the Little Rascals’ He-Man Woman Haters Club they’d probably get sued.
The Marines do a better job than the other branches, but the military has also gotten really PC, and you can’t enlist as a kid. There are still some masculine-oriented combat units, but that’s about to change as they allow women to go into every job.
Regarding groups and the like, your suggestions are about as good as they’ll get, but I think we’re going to have to work on this one broken family at a time.
It seems to be hard to find a replacement. All the situations and replacements for a father figure also have strong predictions to prevention of such a situation in the first place. Religion, family values, community ties, etc.
All of them pressure women from divorce in the first place. So the typical woman facing such challenges is hard to find a replacement father, as our current situation has shown
There is a solution, rent out fathers & men to play with the kids, take them to sports & basketball
Basically all the stuff these bitches are too lazy to do
All single mothers are basically lazy deadbeats who spend more time trying to shit test their sons & extract Gina tingles per ratio from the helpless infant …
The other solution is to send the boys to daytime centers & clubs for boys, to get constant maculine attention & confidence
Also a break from their oestrogen weilding deadbeat bum of a sibgle mother
Even in the two parent traditional home, one parent (usually the mother) is going to do the brunt of the disciplinary action, because they are the ones who watch the kids 90 percent of the time.
My observations don’t confirm your theory, since I was raised on military bases where men were gone a great deal, and the boys produced (for the most part) didn’t fit into the wimp or barbarian paradigm. They were actually pretty well adjusted and far less pussilanimous than the majority of non-military (or military brat) males I’ve encountered, on average. Think it just comes down to parenting, a smart kid is going to understand the concept of picking your battles with whatever authority figure, and a good parent is going to instill the concept of respect…how to give it, and how to earn it.
Absolutely correct about mothers doling out most of the discipline to small kids, but there’s still a difference betwen a married mom doing it and a single one. Even if it’s not explicity expressed, if the kid knows that dad’s in charge of mom, it changes the dynamic entirely. She becomes a part of the male hierarchy, and the kid knows that she can ultimately appeal to the father’s authority to set him straight.
I haven’t spent a lot of time around military brats, but I did see quite a few in Korea, and they struck me as psychological basket cases (anectdotal, I know). However, even if dad’s gone a lot and mom’s nominally in charge, when a kid knows that his dad is gone partly for his sake, that dad’s present in spirit (even if not physically) it alters the dynamic significantly.
Yeah, I guess that’s probably true.
There’s a lot of “just wait until your father gets home!” even if he’s not coming home for a long long while….”Just wait until I find you a father!” probably doesn’t cut it.
One of my biggest fears is losing my husband. Not only would I lose the man I love, but I fear for my children. If one us us had to go, I would prefer it be me for all of the reasons you outlined above. Kids needs their father. Yes, they need a mother as well, but if it had to be one or the other, my choice would be for them to have their Dad.
Regarding testing just a mate, you are spot on. We absolutely do NOT just test our husbands/SI’s. Maybe I am an extreme case, I don’t know. However, I find that when I am around men who are not as masculine as I am used to, the urge to test builds and builds. I have to fight it and fight it hard. Most of the time I control it and sometimes I lose. The less masculine the man, the harder i have to fight against the urge.
This is a good post, Martel. I was watching some youtube videos a couple of night ago and I think you might like this one:
I suspect that the younger the child, the more important the mother, and as he gets a bit bigger the father takes on a stronger role.
A few generations back small children sometimes spent almost no time at all with their dads but still turned out okay (look at Teddy Roosevelt’s baby pics to see how feminized they could be). However, the culture was much more friendly to masculinity in general, and dad playe a more central role as the kid got older.
Thanks for confirming the “shit-testing in other contexts” phenomenon. I’ve seen females challenge weak co-workers, etc., and I have no reason to believe that a female wouldn’t shit-test her kid (obviously without knowing it). I could see the effect being amplified as she (and maybe even the kid) equate the shit-testing with protecting him or watching out for his best interests. Trying to keep him from joining football might strike both her and him as a prudent protective measure. If he over-rides her, he passes the test (while causing mom to worry about poor baby getting hurt). If he complies and doesn’t join, he keeps mom feeling safe but becomes less of a man as a result.
I can’t watch the video now because I’m at work, but I’ll give it a looksee when I get home tonight. Thanks.
The mother-son dynamic makes lots of sense. Add to that the simulation of single motherhood by derelict and feminized fathers raising the child with or without the mother and it’s no wonder functional culture does not stand a chance. Fathers want sons because that is the only generational transmission of culture (ordering values) that potentially elevates family and keeps family elevated. Fathers are not optional to society: they are central.
Also, the phenomena you describe explain part of the “man strike”. As some British article put it, men aren’t having kids because they know that the kids will be more hers than his. She has the legal right to veto almost any decision he makes, so I’m sure lots of guys figure that if he can’t “order values” for his own kids, why bother having them.
I think it also explains why some “deadbeat dads” are so deadbeat. Mom’s influence, echoed by the culture, can be enormously strong. She has far more time to tell the kid her side of the divorce than he every will, and society predisposes him to side with mom anyhow. The father can’t influence the kid to nearly the extent he’d like to, so he may just give up. (I’m neither excusing nor condemning, just explaining.)
Families in which the mom wears the pants in the house will have similar problems to the ones I described. In more extreme cases it might be just as bad. And there are lots of these. Indeed, we’re screwed.
“Accept all” or “Reject all”. The de facto choices that most people will make in life.
“Mastery” is the 3rd, and hardest, option. To not accept that a bad situation has to last forever; to strive for something else.
I’ll save longer comments for the likely posts ahead.
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