The men’s rights movement is wasting its time crusading for “equality” when it should be focusing on defining masculinity.

If you want to know how men are really under assault in our blessed-are-the-meek culture, it’s that masculinity is distorted by social and media factors. As a result, no one knows what it is and so almost no one values it.

One reason that people like me turned from liberalism is that liberalism is part of that blessed-are-the-meek culture, and so it will never value masculinity, which is the opposite of meekness. Masculinity is not easy to define but it is clear what it is not.

When I think of what defines masculinity, what comes to mind is this: being male is a role, which comes with honor and pride. We are those who create things and fix situations. We are the guardians and the advance scouts, the conquerors and inventors, and also, the supporting force of community.

My favorite comment on The Spearhead came from user “Corky Again”:

They’re admired for winning battles, inventing stuff, creating beautiful paintings or sculptures, writing great poems or novels, exploring new territories, going to the moon, scoring the winning touchdown, expounding a philosophy, founding a religion. Etc.

The idea that full manhood is achieved only through financial stability, marriage and family is a womanly way of looking at manliness. It makes women the center of the male universe, and implies that success or failure as a man is directly related to achieving female approval. – Jack Donovan

These writers bring up an interesting dilemma: is masculinity conquest, or family life?

My answer: conquest and family life are two prongs of the same attack.

Women are the anchors of civilization. They form a fixed element that adapts, nurtures, nourishes and advances. They are essential, and femininity is an essential principle. Nature invented femininity for the same reason the framers of the US Constitution had both a Congress and a President: balance.

Masculinity is not “everything which is not feminine” — that would be a truly woman-centric view. On the other hand, masculinity is the principle I’ve mentioned above, which is creating and fixing. Women are the anchors of civilization, but men are its founders, advancers and curators.

The same impulse that makes us long to conquer and subjugate also makes us want to create, including families and communities.

When that impulse gets blocked, the result is not meek men settling down to stable homes, but men translating their meekness into any kind of crazy fetish they can:

Meet the self-described “bronies.”

The object of the bronies’ fascination is “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” a remake of a 1980s animated TV show for preadolescent girls featuring plucky, candy-colored equines.

After the show launched in October 2010, video clips began appearing on 4chan, a website that largely draws geeky, tech-savvy guys. Before long, the bronies were born. They started holding local get-togethers, from Seattle to Brooklyn, where they recognized each other by the paper Pony cut-outs tucked in their shirt pockets. They’d discuss the latest shenanigans of Ponies with names like Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. – The Wall Street Journal

These are some very confused people. This society has replaced the idea of masculinity with an idea of men as perpetual boys who want their toys, their entertainment and occasional sex — but on a woman’s terms (bring a condom and flowers). Men are kept men in this time.

As a result, women are taking over in industry and social functions that once were better served by men. This increases the spread of blessed-are-the-meek culture, and a certain unfavorable light to all things truly masculine.

We will not succeed in re-asserting masculinity by attacking its wholesome principles in order to defend its more interesting ones (conquest, war, murder). But it’s important to remember this isn’t an either/or: many of history’s greatest conquerors were also proud family men and active in their communities.

6 Responses to “Masculinity”

  1. USMaleSF says:

    Good stuff, Groin.

    My own take on masculinity: our species character was mostly formed in the hunter-gatherer stage. Very long time. The human male’s transition from/initiation into manhood was complete when he show his fathering prowess, ability to fight, and took part in feeding/resourcing the group especially through hunting/fishing. That has morphed thru the sedentary and civilized period of our evolution into three virtues for manhood: strength/power, courage and skill. (A weak, fearful or inept male will not be thought manly by anyone.)

    Two further thoughts: specialization can grant access to the tribe of men, ie, if you excel at one of those three it will compensate for defects in the others.

    Most men are, and must be “betas”, members of groups of which they are not the leader. Leaders/alphas are always a minority. This is not unmasculine. On the contrary, it is essential for masculinity in the species. Prime example: the Marines. All these men but the Commander of the Marines must submit to a higher authority. (Even he is subject to the Joint Chiefs, President, etc.).

    And the hero is a particular type of the archetypal masculine. He can be a husband and father, but he need not be. Thru specialization,
    great achievement in courage or skill, he can be untethered to a women, even childless (Beowulf) and still shine in the constellation of the masculine.

    Steve Jobs and Bill Gates may not be inspiring examples of manhood. But what about JP Morgan, for example? His vast accumulation of wealth and power thru the very masculine technology of mines, shipping, railroads, etc gives him a testosternone rating that the other guys seem not to have.

    Keep thinking and writing. You’ve got something important to say.

  2. Good until you overgeneralised bronies. A significant number of bronies are masculine types who like the show for the same reason male artists painted nude women – Appreciation of the best of feminity, not subjugating oneself to it. By way of a defense of the show and bronies in general, here’s a shameless plug of my blog that deals with how Friendship is Magic expounds anti-egalitarianism and anti-liberalism:

    Perhaps a post dedicated to showing how traditionalist gender roles are reinforced by MLP rather than attacked by it is in order. For example, soldiers and labourers are universally male in the show, as are most of the athletes. In one episode, Twilight Sparkle, the uber-pony with the strongest magic, causes a complete disaster by trying to do the work of male farm worker colts. It’s also worth noting that both the dragons that feature in the show have both been male, and even in instances where the “Villian” is male, it’s inverted; the “Diamond Dogs” are industrious miners who have accumulated masses of gems and built underground caverns. They are ultimately “defeated” by submitting to a female pony simply so she’ll shut up rather than through any show of revolutionary force.

    In a nutshell, the genders do not compete on egalitarian playing field, each has their own distinct role that, when transgressed, leads to distaster. The concept of “Equality” simply does not occur in ponyville, everypony deals with reality as-is and QED concepts of political equality and wealth redistribution are totally absent. Perhaps your own words are best used here:

    “[In Ponyville] each gender has a role which is essential and cannot be denied. These roles are preserved by the fact that they are distinctive, and cannot be swapped.”

    Dr. Shaym is a masculinist and likes My Little Pony:

  3. [...] GROIN, expanding on a discussion of masculinity and referencing a post here, Brett wrote something that I’ve seen often, so I’m going to use this opportunity to make a point of my [...]

  4. Kveldulf says:

    That picture reminds me of the play Cymbeline by Shakespeare. In this play, the two boys Guiderius and Arviragus are reared by their adopted father Belarius. So, much of the story boils down to a single father rearing two sons out in the wilderness. Belarius is a very manly man, but he has just enough maternal know-how to nurture the two boys into very noble, well-rounded young men. Also, at one point in the play, their sister, Imogen (under disguise), feigns sickness, and the boys, themselves, display a nurturing and maternal side towards her!

    I believe that the natural and ideal family unit is a man and his wife, I believe that the masculine and feminine compliment each other. But in a worst case scenario, I actually believe a single father is better than a single mother. I am also reminded of the Japanese comic-book epic, Lone Wolf and Cub, where the main character is cutthroat “ronin,” but also a single father. I think men, if forced into it, could fulfill traditional feminine roles better than women could fulfill traditional masculine roles. This may be the irony of feminism – women just can’t do what men can do, but, ironically, I DO think men could do what women can do, and maybe even better (if it came down to that). I think men can and should be both warriors and fathers. There’s nothing a man can’t do, even if it means the humble work of nurturing and raising children – that’s the masculine attitude. We’ll do it all if we have to!

    • vir says:

      I think men, if forced into it, could fulfill traditional feminine roles better than women could fulfill traditional masculine roles. This may be the irony of feminism – women just can’t do what men can do, but, ironically, I DO think men could do what women can do, and maybe even better (if it came down to that). I think men can and should be both warriors and fathers. There’s nothing a man can’t do, even if it means the humble work of nurturing and raising children – that’s the masculine attitude.

      Interesting. I will think on this. Part of the male mentality is the ability to conceive and execute plans; I’m not sure the male mind works as well for situations where there is no goal other than following a path. It’s what separates the men from the boys.

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