Gaslighting Masculinity

2 August 2023

2.2 MINS

Jerry Newcombe’s recent critique, of society downplaying dads, landed some good points.

The American author attributed fatherlessness to a decades-long downward shift in attitudes towards men.

Newcombe’s first grievance was directed at the Anglican Church.

He blasted leaders for further demonising the use of “Father” in reference to God, declaring, ‘the war on fathers needs to end.’


The criticism followed remarks made by Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, during the York General Synod in early July.

There, Cottrell strongly inferred that the use of the masculine pronoun was part of an ‘oppressively patriarchal grip on society.’

Cottrell’s clear intention was to give a trigger warning to those, he said, ‘found the word ‘father’ problematic,’ before speaking on how the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ unites.

Newcombe’s problem isn’t Cottrell; it’s the context.

Behind Cottrell is a platform growing increasingly hostile to masculinity.

Revising Scripture

Back in February, the CofE publicly floated inner discussions about ditching the term “Father” altogether.

In place of Father, the Church would castrate the Fatherhood of God, and replace references to it with gender-neutral pronouns.

“Our Father” would become “Our It,” “Our they/them,” or “Our Parent.”

As Newcombe’s beef expressed, Cottrell — no matter how innocently — linked ‘destructive and abusive’ with Jesus’ teaching.

Cottrell parroted ‘the evils of the patriarchy’ generalisation, hand-in-hand with the ‘toxic masculinity’ strawman.

‘The prelate said in effect that there are so many bad fathers out there that Jesus has brought harm to the world through this teaching.’

‘Is it true that fathers have been overall “destructive and abusive” and that humanity must be freed from “an oppressively patriarchal grip?”  the American writer asked.

Posting a series of questions, protesting the hate thrown at even good dads, Newcombe added: what is the actual message Cottrell — and his denomination — are sending to men?

Real Trauma

‘What about the issue he raises as to dads? Are fathers’ part of the problem of society or a major part of the solution?’

‘Week in and week out, what happens in Chicago and Baltimore and Detroit? There are multiple shootings, including many fatalities.’

‘The Left blames the guns. But in reality, it’s largely fatherlessness at work,’ declared Newcombe.

Relaying the stats, he said, ‘The vast majority of prisoners come from broken homes.’

Like the Anglican Church tiptoeing around society with man-hating “safe spaces,” contemporary culture is just as much to blame.

The anti-John Wayne world ‘has gone from “Father Knows Best”, to Archie Bunker, who was a bigoted dad, to “father’s a complete idiot”, as in Homer Simpson.’

Whether it’s youth suicide, violence, gang affiliation, dropping out of school, homelessness, and runaways, the majority issue behind it all is the absence of dads in the home.

We don’t need fewer fathers — we need more fathers, with staying power.

This means, Newcombe asserted, ‘strengthening our view of the father, not to continuing to emasculate it.’

For the war on dads to end, church and state have to first end the gaslighting of masculinity.

Society has programmed a toxic view of men into culture. This falls hard when the facts are pitched against the fantasy.

Men can be replaced at work; they cannot be replaced at home.

Under Father God, the family’s first line of defence is still fatherhood.

Corrupting this vocation with strawman slogans, for the sake of throwing some punches at the patriarchy, serves no good end.

“As the family goes, so goes society.”


Photo by cottonbro studio.

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