“Manhood is mimesis. To be a man, a boy must see a man.”
~ From The Tender Bar, J. R. Moeringer,
Both sons and daughters need the love of their father. But what boys need that girls do not is an example of how to be male and eventually a man. A son is reflected by his father’s image in some way, whether that be good or bad.
Here is an excerpt from my book The Power of Fatherhood discussing the father-son relationship.
“Ask 100 young men whether they identify with Bruce Willis in the movie “Die Hard” or Steve Martin in the movie “Parenthood” and my guess is 99 would pick Bruce Willis - not too surprising or unnatural. Fatherhood is not as glamorous as being an action hero.
When a boy has an involved and capable father, a Dad, he can have heroes outside his home, but he is not driven by them. Boys without fathers, however, are left unchecked, not having real men like the Steve Martin character show them what a real man is about.
Image is very important to us males. We want to be respected as masculine beings, and for the most part, the masculine image is misrepresented by the entertainment industry and bought into by boys without real-life mentors. This is because a young man raised without a father has difficulty identifying his masculine self. He feels he has to prove himself, but to whom?
More times than not a young man measures himself against other young men raised without involved fathers; or he dreams of being like one of his hyper-masculine movie heroes. Comparisons like these place a value on toughness, aggression, and violence, but with little or no regard for compassion, compromise, and kindness, which are considered signs of weakness in this make-believe world.”
In Harry H. Harrison Jr.s book, Father to Son, he states the following;
Turning a boy into a man is a man's job. Since the beginning of time, it's been up to the father to make his son responsible. Kind. Courageous. Honorable. A young boy doesn't come with instructions. He just comes with boundless love and an adventurous spirit. But the journey to manhood begins very early...the first time he looks at his dad and thinks, “I want to be like him.”
There is no responsibility on earth where you will be more irreplaceable...than being a dad!