Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It is the Way of Men to Pursue Women!
Rabbi Pruzansky of the Rabbi Pruzansky blog has written a column has simply blown me out of my seat: Dating Self-Help. While I do see many merits of 'shidduchim', I have long felt that the manifestations of such has simply emasculated the male population. And, I don't think it's done much for the fairer half either. The rejection of the natural, i.e. men pursuing women in hopes of marriage and building a family, along with any other practices designed to save children and adults from rejection, potential embarrassment, feelings of being different, what have you, have left us weakened when it comes to simply dealing with life and everything life hands to us.
The article is a must read, so head on over to the Rabbi's blog. Following are a few key quotes. I like that the Rabbi doesn't beat around bush and I like that in the concluding paragraph he connects the idea of molding more assertive men to more confident women. Such a cultural change would make forums like this obsolete!
The Gemara (Kiddushin 2b) cites the pasuk “When a man takes a woman [in marriage]” and explains “darko shel ish l’chazer al ha-isha,” it is the way of men to pursue women [in marriage]. It is not the way of men, or shouldn’t be, to enlist a band of agents, intermediaries, and attorneys to do the work for them. By infantilizing and emasculating our males, we have complicated a process that should be simpler and made a joyous time into one of relentless anguish and hardship for many women.
Some will argue that the shidduch system spares our children the pain of rejection – but part of life, and a huge part of parenting, is preparing our children for a world in which they will experience rejection at some point. That is called maturity.
Something is not normal, and against human nature as Chazal perceived it, for men to be so diffident, so timid, so Ohn-like, and sit back comfortably relying on others to procure them dates. Young men who would not allow others to choose for them a lulav and etrog do not hesitate to delegate others to find them a spouse.
As well-meaning as the system intends, it must be demeaning and deflating – worse than even the rejection that happens after casual encounters.
As a community we have other options than the false choice of isolationism or promiscuity, and we need to strengthen our young men with the inner confidence to guide their own lives. There are too many people walking around with Y chromosomes who are not men
May Hashem bless with success the work of all shadchanim. But we need to shift the culture away from the passive indifference of the well-connected to the active pursuit of spouses by all, and thereby mold more assertive men and more confident women. That is because more is expected of us – as a nation that is called by G-d for greatness not mediocrity, to be active not passive, to be followers of G-d and leaders of mankind.
Readers, besides shidduchim, what other practices of modern day parenting and modern day chinuch do you see as emasculating men and creating wall flower women?