Friday, April 22, 2011


We all remember Ralphie in A Christmas Story being put off on his request for a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas and the words of admonishment, “You’ll put your eye out!”  The film ends with Ralphie lying in bed on Christmas night with his gun by his side. The voice-over states that this was the best present he had ever received or would ever receive.  I remember those days as I grew up in this era.  

There were certain things a boy acquired at different ages, stages, and achievements in his life.  A Watch, a Pocket Knife, a BB Gun, allowed to use Power Tools etc. These gifts, permissions, and acknowledgements marked his growth toward manhood.  Oh yea, and we played King Of The Mountain, Red Rover, Dodge ball, Army, Cowboys and Indians, and general rough house because that was what boys did. Well, no surprise to you dear parents or grandparents of boys, today times are different... a lot different.
Today’s boys and young men have Unclear Social Identity where previous generations of men, mine and your fathers, had clearly identifiable roles and opportunities to show their physical prowess and courage — through providing for and protecting their wives and families both at home and against the nation’s enemies at war.  Men knew that they were needed; today, young women are told that they “don’t need a man” for anything.  Males used to become “men” when they “took a wife” and assumed adult responsibilities.  Now, instead of serious, dignified, and decisive male role models in the movies — like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Gary Cooper — males today are more likely to identify with and to emulate “overgrown boy actors like Steve Carell, Luke and Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Will Farrell and Seth Rogen and even Cartoon Characters like Bevis and Butt Head.”  Looks like we traded Mighty Mouse in for Bart Simpson!

As a society, we must revive those values and ideals that provided strong incentives for young men to pass the tests of adulthood.  The first steps of a solution are quite simple: we must begin by (1) scorning and ostracizing those men, no matter how rich and famous, who fail to take up the responsibilities of being a husband when they father a child and (2) demanding that our public school teachers unlearn those pernicious myths absorbed in college and graduate school and start re-creating an environment, starting in kindergarten, that respects masculine traits and behaviors: that is to say, stop demanding that little boys act like little girls and punishing or medicating them for acting like little boys.  Less than this is, on the one hand, to continue to accept what is unacceptable, and on the other to continue to discriminate against our sons and brothers.
In order to make it easy for parents, spouses, and grandparents to honor and mark the development of their young and grown men, I have put together some products that I believe will serve well for this purpose and will be handed down, with stories attached, for generations.  I do know from experience, the boys will be bursting with pride when presented with one of these symbolic tokens….all of their buddies will be envious and want one which serves to make them even more meaningful to your boys and grateful to you!  A story and a memory will be created that will last a lifetime.

JUST SO YOU KNOW: A PERCENTAGE OF SALES WILL GO TO THE BOY & GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA!  I also try to partner with local vocational rehabilitation centers for any assembly of these products to support this wonderful program and provide an additional source of revenue for the organization.   My company, Hale Enterprises, Mission Statement is...Giving a  Helping Hand to The Downtrodden and Forgotten.