Disposable Men – How our boys are programmed at a young age.
ANZAC DAY ….Lest we forget – about our boys and MEN.
I woke this morning at 4.00am and made my way down to the crowded ANZAC memorial to stand side by side in the early morning drizzle with men, women and children. Here to listen to the tributes about the brave men who gave their lives for our country in what must have been absolutely horrendous and often terrifyingly brutal conditions. As I stood and listened, a part of me couldn’t help thinking whether or not I myself could have gone to war as a young naive 18yrs old “boy”. The thought of running into the firing line of a hundred bullets coming from faceless men in the distant darkness may have been to terrifying for me to have left these shores. So what would have become of me if I refused to go? Thrown in prison and labelled a coward for the rest of my life? Possibly…
Social media was flooded today with messages commemorating our courageous ANZACS but as I read each one a part of me couldn’t help thinking of those famous words of the US national security advisor Henry Kissinger who once famously said …(which I’m sure he must regret were ever made public).
“Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
Of course those who make the decisions to go to war at the highest level would distance themselves from these words with strong condemnation. But there’s certainly no denying that for many years’ MEN have been ordered into wars all over the world for reasons that have eventually become questionable at best. One only has to look at the decision by our own former Prime Minister John Howard (George Bush’s “Deputy Sherriff”) to send young Australian men into Iraq because, according to Colin Powell, they had “weapons of mass destruction”. A truth that was eventually proven to be a lie.
Yet again many young Australian men were killed or their lives destroyed. Many of those who have returned are still struggling with mental illness and trauma but find themselves without support from the government that sent them there. Many who feel lost or confused about “their” meaning of ANZAC day.
In his best-selling book “Disposable Men” Warren Farrell suggests that men have been programmed their whole life to be “disposable” either in war, sport or the work place. From an early age they are “programmed” to follow orders, “man up” when things get tough and told that if they fail to engage in conflict then this is seen as the trait of a coward. Even on the sporting field (our modern day colosseums) AFL and Rugby players are” thrown to the lions “- the idea of backing out of a possibly life threatening head on mark or tackle would bring a roar of disapproval from a hungry crowd , labelled gutless for thinking that the possibility of preserving his life just might be a good idea.
We live in a world where men continue to die before women, are much more likely to take their own life and are ordered without question, into wars by men who often have their own corporate agenda.
Of course the chorus of voices in objection to these views will come through, that’s fine – I’m not here to be “right”. Certainly I mean no disrespect to the brave men (and woman) who fort bravely to make our county safe. However sometimes some deeper thinking about a day we celebrate for many reasons may need one more.
Lest we often forget why.