Last Updated:September 30 @ 08:01 am

Charen: Can We Still Call Men Heroes?

By Mona Charen

If just one man had given his life by throwing himself atop his girlfriend to shield her from bullets in that Aurora, Colo., theater, it would have been cause for amazement. That three apparently did so is deeply affecting. People earn the Medal of Honor for such courage and self-sacrifice in the military. There is no equivalent in ordinary life -- or what should be ordinary life.

Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves all reacted instantaneously when the horror began to unfold at the theater. The mother of Jansen Young, Blunk's girlfriend, said that Blunk, 26, pushed Jansen under the seat. "He was 6-feet-2, in incredible shape ... He pushed her down on the floor and laid on top of her and he died there."

Alex Teves, 24, did the same, pushing his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, about whom he was very serious after a year of dating, to the floor to protect her. His aunt told the Daily News: "He pushed her to the floor to save her and he ended up getting a bullet. He was gonna hit the floor himself, but he never made it."

Matt McQuinn, 27, dove in front Samantha Yowler and took three bullets --one to the chest, one to the back and one to the leg. Yowler was hit in the leg as well, but survived.

What makes men such as this?

Just in January, we were treated to the spectacle of men behaving like louts on board the stricken Costa Concordia. In contrast to the chivalrous "women and children first" code that, contra the James Cameron movie, really did characterize the conduct of the men aboard the Titanic, the stories from a shipwreck almost exactly a century later were hardly uplifting. An Australian lady aboard recalled, "We just couldn't believe it -- especially the men, they were worse than the women." A grandmother who was on board agreed, saying, "I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls." A third passenger said, "There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats."

Those are the sorts of men who tend to make the news. We speak so often of men as problems to be solved. They are the vast majority of rampage killers and criminals in general. They abandon their kids at much higher rates than women. They have more traffic accidents and die younger. Boys cause more classroom disruption, have higher rates of learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We have endless complaints about the male sex.

In America, for decades now, we've been focused on promoting and supporting the interests of women and girls. Their job prospects, their classroom participation, their self-esteem, and their needs have dominated the agenda.

That attention to women has had consequences. It hasn't been a good half-century for men. They've become a shrinking minority in colleges and universities; their role in the family has become attenuated; young women are beginning to out earn them; and they've dropped out of the labor force in greater numbers than ever before. In 2007, writes Charles Murray in "Coming Apart," more than a quarter of men (27 percent) without a college degree were failing to earn a living, "more than triple the proportion in 1973."

We've pretty thoroughly devalued the traits that have traditionally been considered manly virtues -- protectiveness, responsibility, courage. In what we like to think of as our highly civilized culture, such traits are regarded as primitive and/or obsolete.

But as studies on family structure demonstrate, men aren't just useful to have around in an emergency. Stopping bullets is not the only thing they are for. When men cease to perform their roles as husbands and fathers (because they've been invited not to by the feminist movement), the result is social decline. Children are clearly worse off when they grow up without a dad at home. Every social pathology is more pronounced in the children of single mothers than in two-parent homes. But women, too, have paid a steep price. Women are not as happy as they used to be. Every year since 1972, the General Social Survey has asked a representative sample of Americans about their happiness. And every year the reported happiness of women has declined.

Though the cultural arbiters have devalued the unique protectiveness of men, it seems that it takes more than a few decades of disrespect to drain the heroism from them. Now seems like a good time to rediscover the other unique virtues of manliness -- it would be a fitting tribute to Blunk, Teves and McQuinn.

---

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

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19 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    July 27, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    It just goes to prove that no matter how the Liberal ideology of the edification of the collective equality over individual excellence where all men and manly values are to be diminished to the lowest gender neutral common denominator so that none can feel shame,,,, the inherent God designed inbred DNA of true men keeps popping forth to prove that they were designed for much better things, like courage and excellence in human sacrifice for others which is the only true venue of raising the collective behavior of all mankind. The inconvenient truths of the laws of nature DO keep getting in the ways of the Liberal agenda of pre-planned mediocrity of manhood needed for their conquest of American society.

    Liberals believe that the solution to society’s problems is to make everyone equal in failure and dependent upon the collective for the nourishment of their bodies and the nourishment of their souls which only breeds men who when danger arises instead of throwing their bodies between their loved ones and the darkness, just throw their purportedly loved ones under the bus in dependency to save their own political hides. Yes indeed it is lonely at the top of the mountain, where Eagles of courage do dwell and become extinct in a socialist environment where the few of courage become fewer and fewer in a former land of Eagles now overrun and picked clean by vultures and chickens intent upon clipping the wings of the very Birds whose courage will be required to save them from the socialist darkness. Too bad women are finding out too late that it is also lonely at the bottom, alone, having driven the men of courage out of their lives by manufacturing a feigned socialist equality with men that embraces the worst characteristics of men in competition and ignores and flees from the pain of their sacrifices. Thank our lucky stars that there are still men who have not forgotten the purpose for which they were designed, men who listened to their hearts and not their liberally manipulated minds. God bless them all.

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    • kingofthingsComment by kingofthings
      July 27, 2012 @ 11:35 am

      Excellent! WOW!

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      July 27, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

      Inluminatuo,

      Outstanding as always!

      I’ve been proudly dragging my knuckles for 67 years and will continue for another 26. Desirable women, Conservative, find it appealing. Undesirable women, Leftists, don’t and that made my mate selection process more efficient.

      I’d like to add a postscript:
      “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
      –General George S. Patton, Jr.

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    • thedoveComment by thedove
      July 27, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

      Good job, inluminatuo. Well said, even more so than usual.

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  2. wa3flrComment by wa3flr
    July 27, 2012 @ 10:14 am

    I am man. Hear me rrrrrrrROAR.

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  3. JDZComment by JDZ
    July 27, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    The feminist movement has turned the traditional roles of men and women on their head and it has undermined the family unit considerably. The respect for men in our culture has been continuously undermined over the last 50 years as the role models glamorized by the entertainment industry for men has made them look like idiots or worse. Popular TV shows exploit the worse attributes of men rather then the more important and positive attributes. Men have been put on the defense so far by the feminist movement supported by our judicial system that they have to be careful of being sued for saying something or doing something that could be misconstrued to be sexual intimidation or demeaning, etc. A senior corporate executive or any wealthy man is a big target for a potential sexually related event that a woman could use in a law suit.

    The obsession with gender equality and affirmative action has taken millions of traditional opportunities for men in our economy off of the table. Caucasian men have been under attack in our culture to the point that many have just abandoned actually trying that hard anymore. There is no advocacy group in our culture for Caucasian non-ethnic oriented males and the impact of that is beginning to show as fewer of them are found in the statistics of college graduates or major professions like doctors, attorneys, and corporate management then in the past. Professional athletics in our country is now dominated by non -whites. There are more women graduating from medical schools then men, etc. There are more students from various foreign backgrounds graduating from American technical schools then Caucasian American males.

    What is a Caucasian male to do with his life? What does our culture expect out of him? Are they getting a fair share of the opportunities in our country? Is the “system” biased against them?

    Who has the best potential to achieve the American dream in today’s America?

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  4. slickzipComment by slickzip
    July 27, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    EXCELLENT post thanks , indeed it is great to know that there are still HEROS among us ,,, the socialist/communist/liberals will never win as long as we have brave men like these GOD BLESS their souls ,,

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  5. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    July 27, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    She did leave out those men of 911 that crashed in Pennsylvania. Hopefully the 2012 election will obviate the need for a new group of heroes. Perhaps it will include members of both sexes.

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  6. manleemanComment by manleeman
    July 27, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Great column! This subject is so (intentionally) under-covered in the news. If you need further proof of the purposefully liberal, feminist, socially-engineered decline of the male (especially white, heterosexual, conservative Euro-American males), just look to our school system. Far more females are valedictorians and salutatorians in high schools, many universities are two-thirds female students, medical and veterinary schools are majority women, and this all begins at the preschool level. Many teachers demand that any boy with a summer birthday be held back a year (little boys do not sit as still as little girls, thereby causing more work for the teacher) and look at the disproportionate number of boys on ADHD drugs! Cut out or limit recesses and decrease gym classes and these amazing young boys have no where to expend their creative energies. Additionally, little girls are often treated as princesses and taught that they are better than boys. And now there is a serious lack of confident young men available for marriage, and the girls wonder why? America, you reap what you sow.

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  7. manleemanComment by manleeman
    July 27, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    One more point about the proof of truth concerning Mona Charen’s column – most television commercials portray the American white male as stupid, while the minority characters in the commercials (women of all races and minority men) are all portrayed as brilliant. The white male is almost always the doofus. If the roles in these commercials were reversed, there would be cries of racism and calls for product boycotts. American males have been psychologically neutered by their country…its public schools, and its liberal politicians, and by Hollywood.

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      July 27, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

      True, but it’s been that way for a long time. I remember the common “My husband’s such a jerk,” accompanied by the eye roll. Yeah, what a jerk, works his *** off, shields you with his body and you stay home all day watching Oprah and schmoozing with your girlfriends and then sold a bill of goods by the feminists in the ’60s and ’70s and now having no job, no family, no looks and the guys you want are either happily married or dating women 1/3 your age and having a great time.

      Those who get it, get it and those who don’t won’t. It’s the mind over matter thing; we don’t mind because they don’t matter. Being what we are and not being influenced by what those who lack the ability to think, “think” is what’s important. The best revenge is living well and men who are more than just guys are living pretty well, regardless of their financial situation because they know who and what they are and are unapologetic. It wasn’t a bunch of metrosexuals who raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi or fought under Lt. Colonel Hal Moore at Ia Drang.

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    • thedoveComment by thedove
      July 27, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

      “If the roles in these commercials were reversed, there would be cries of racism and calls for product boycotts.”

      Yes, and that’s precisely why white males have to be the doofus, as you put it. That’s the only group it’s safe to criticize or mock, because we have better things to do with our time than whine and call for a wahmbulance when we’re so portrayed. We know better, consider the source and reason, shrug it off and move on.

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    • madeintheusaComment by madeintheusa
      July 29, 2012 @ 9:30 am

      AGREED and INDEED, the Hollywood crowd while not entirely culpable in this, has certainly provided the poorest example of what a man should aspire to in his community.
      From the shows of the 50′s-70s that revered the father as the proper and necessary head of household to the gradual decay during the 80s when sitcoms started representing both the young adult males and the fathers as dolts only worthy for ridicule and dumb male-bashing jokes.
      This goes along with the decreased media coverage of the proper role model behavior to a blitz of news that focuses on the worst of our culture.

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  8. bestfriendworstenemyComment by bestfriendworstenemy
    July 27, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    inluminatuo and nhpollack both well said.

    Men like Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves are in far greater numbers than one might think or the media has “shared” with us. The Honor and Courage of Men such as these can be seen every day; the demonstration of their future Honor and Courage was holding doors open for women, they stood when a women comes to the table or enters a room, or by walking Women to their cars late at night, by not participating in derogatory comments toward women, but intervening and putting a stop to it.

    Where did these Men learn this? From their Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles and Great Uncles. The best thing us older knuckle draggers can do is to teach by example, all IS NOT LOST!

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    • calradoComment by calrado
      July 29, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

      We raise REAL men here in Colorado! May they rest in peace in Heaven!

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  9. grjmvaComment by grjmva
    July 27, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

    Thank you for such kind words. When I came back from Vietnam we landed in Washington. The protesters spit at us, it seems like I’ve been spit at ever since, just because I am a man. Thanks again!

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  10. stanparrishComment by stanparrish
    July 27, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    I’d bet money that among those 3 men none of them were liberals.

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  11. nhpollackComment by nhpollack
    July 28, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    grjmva,

    Welcome home brother. If you really want to feel good about yourself and your service in RVN look up my friend, Quang Nguyen. Somebody sent me the transcript of his speech and after I wiped the tears off my keyboard, I looked for the video, contacted him and thanked him for thanking us. Be sure to have a box of Kleenex when you watch it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7idswNHEY9g

    My experience was similar to yours except we landed at night in Oakland. Prior to going over, through training and for the brief time I was permanent party, from coast to coast, we were either refused service or asked to pay in advance in restaurants.

    You’re not only a man, but a man among men.

    Stay strong and be advised there are more people out there who appreciate what you did than you’ll ever know.

    stanparrish,
    I’d match your bet if we could find someone to take it.

    bestfriendworstenemy,
    I never, for a moment, stopped treating women like ladies. It wasn’t just for them, but for my self respect. Besides, if I didn’t my dear late mother would have backhanded hell out of me. I did, on one occasion, refrain. In the ’70s some hippy chicks were standing by their broken down VW microbus. A friend of mine and I got out of our car to help them. One of them gave us a hard look and pulled back her shirt tail to show us her women’s lib button; the fist in the female symbol. We left.

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  12. mocpaComment by mocpa
    July 30, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    Mona,great job with this article!
    I had tears in my eyes as I read this moving article. The media didn’t share these stories, they are just looking for another excuse to make for firearms and ammo illegal.
    Males, especially white males have gone from being represented as wise and kind in old sitcoms like “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” to portraying male bread winners as mindless oafs in more recent TV shows as “Roseanne” and “The Simpsons.”
    I now have three more heroes: Blunk, Teves and McQuinn. I think Congress should award them with some kind of medal.
    Way to go Mona!

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