We have been following covering cases that prove points made by Dr. Helen Smith’s in her  new book, Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream — and Why It Matters

Last fall, Notre Dame University student Michael Bradley delivered a freshman orientation speech.  In it, he speaks to a point made by Smith, “the Fatherhood Crisis”.

Here are portions of Bradley’s well-written piece, including his campus anecdotes:

In thus diagnosing the “fatherhood crisis” by referring to the meta-consequences of men being poor fathers, I think that such well-intentioned folks often miss the more fundamental and prior point of problem: Men are being poor men. The fatherhood crisis is the fruit of a “manhood crisis.” You can’t make men better fathers by calling them to be better fathers. You can make men better fathers by calling them to be better men. The solution and the problem lie far in advance of fatherhood …

The fatherhood crisis is the result of “the world” hijacking the ideal of manhood and perverting it. Seeing that the boy’s central desire is fertile for exploitation itself, the world has constructed an ideal of manhood that revolves around the acquiring of possessions, self-direction and an independence that eschews commitments and lasting obligations to anything outside the self.

During my time competing on the track and field team at Notre Dame, my teammates and I had to sit through a talk each spring about sexual assault and related issues. The sports psychologist who spoke to us would reference Jeffrey Marx’s 2004 book Season of Life, which describes three “Bs” of the socialization of  masculinity (babes, booze and billfolds), on his way to enumerating his own “10 Bs” for us: ballparks, bad words, bases, banter, bar-bells, beat, bad-a**, bling and benevolent sexism.

Such a list immediately hits home for any guy who has ever graced a locker room as very near the tragic truth of how young boys view what it means to be a man. And immediately it becomes apparent that when young boys, adolescents, teenagers and college students think that manhood consists in these things, poor husband-hood is just an exchange of vows down the road, and poor fatherhood wants only for the creation of a new and precious human life.

Click here to read Bradley’s full column.