I am bothered by the dialogue, opinion and articles regarding masculinity that I read on the internet. I can’t get over the notion that masculinity has devolved to a kind of social fashion and is being peddled like size 8 will solve all your problems. What really gets me are the guys that feel confused about their masculinity. I have a few things to say about masculinity, so I thought I would. No, this isn’t scripted from Harlequin or Cosmo and there is no moist panty factor. I read the following question on a blog, maybe this was the one that broke my back.
How do you feel about your masculinity? Is this important to you?
Well, why not try single word association, isn’t that the way masculinity is perceived? How about “isolated”, until I can determine the kind of masculinity to fit the exchange I have to engage? After all, the male imperative is to succeed, so fitting the right flavor of masculinity to the task is a necessary exercise. Masculinity for the most part is a very negative experience. The only viable counterbalance to it is success. As social animals, isolation is the predominant threat to men.
The two operative words are “success” and “isolation”. I see these as the nucleus of masculinity. More importantly they are gauges to whether you have constructed a viable façade of masculinity. Having reflected on this for some time, I concluded that isolation for a man is likely the worst thing you can do to him. I say this because all of the social levers that work against men are designed to isolate him. I think this is the real meaning behind what MRA’s call “the disposability of men”.
Masculinity is a very rigid construct, a consensus built by everyone else. It is confused by subjectivity and polarized by giving and taking. The indoctrination into masculinity is directed toward the service of others, which includes the giving of your very life. The concept repeats itself religiously, politically and intimately. I find masculinity acts more as an interface and becomes the functionary between the male and the world. The male for reasons of duty and expendability, does not really exist to the world.
The reasonable exchange for this role was the freedom to propagate. Today that is removed from men and their value is reduced below non-existence, into a cannibalized consumable commodity for the feminine individual and the feminine state. One could say that homosexuality is a disdain and rejection of cannibalization and expendability. A profound nurturing of the essential male juxtaposed to the feminine. After all, the few moments of engaged sexuality are dwarfed by the hours and days of expressed politics that lead to it. The Gay male politic is unencumbered by isolation from the feminine or it’s requirement to succeed.
Young men struggle for years neutralizing their male existence and shaping a projected phantasmic character in which to exist and perform masculinity. They must first know and understand the rules of the environment in which the masculine character is projected and expressed. Then of course the meticulous process of accepting the restrictions, flawlessly. To screw this process up regardless of age will default you back to isolation.
Young men without fathers will have a particularly difficult time. Their indoctrination to masculinity will be directed in a service to others that does not and will not provide for their own existence. The fruits of their altruistic labors are illusions served up as viable and worthy. I know many men who have spent their lives giving in any way they could and then giving more. False mentors will criticize any expression of selfishness, and the fundamentals of masculinity will be described as self-sacrifice. All carried out in a subtle repetition of brief acceptance that shields him temporarily from isolation.
In a neolithic view the male experience would be equal to, hunting and killing prey for food, bringing it back to the village, being handed a slice big enough to sustain him for his next hunt, then being told to fuck off and get back out there and kill. While the elders, leaders, women and children gorge themselves in his absence. The obvious answer to his isolation is to kill as many elders and leaders as he can. Nothing has changed.
His job isolates him and his only method to qualify as a family participant is his success. His boss knows this and will use it to benefit the business. After all, the boss if a man is quite likely in the same boat.
Success as a family man is never achieved. It’s a migrating malleable standard of living which he answers for with jibes, subtle humiliation, emasculation, and all the ambiguous threats of isolation. Of course this experiential process is now compounded by sexual harassment in the work place, which most men deal with by defaulting to, you guessed it isolation. Better just to stay the fuck away from these harpies.
Fulfilling a partner becomes ancillary and secondary to his larger fear and struggle with success. In an overanxious semi neurotic state of stress he can select between housework, time with the kids or passion play in his off hours. If he fails to fulfill his partners list of fulfillment, provided to her by empowered friends that know how to shop for empowered fulfillment, he will default his fulfillment to isolation. This will come back to haunt him as his mid-life crisis which is his embrace of mortality and impending death. By this time he knows he is measured only by numbers at the end of the week, or totals on a credit card statement. Or he may be measured in ways he is unaware of such as the Harlequin scale, or the Cosmo index. I could go on and on but the point is, men don’t succeed, the people around him do. They are quick to let him know how much of a man he isn’t. That’s isolating
Masculinity is not a one size fits all expression, whether it’s referred to as a patriarchy or toxic, does not define the subjective experience. Men of all social rank adhere to the fundamentals of the masculine social interface, success and isolation. Our social standing is prepared for us we need only negotiate the signature on the contract and play along. Whether you create a video to encrypt benevolent sexism, lynch a rapist, allege empirical study, go your own way, or are homosexual, you are battling success and isolation. Success will always be the counter balance to isolation, to being disposable.
Feminist politic has furthered the illusion and isolation of masculinity by grafting a patriarchal archetype of oppression to its essence. The illusion hides the reality that the politic of patriarchy, is a truly external entity and force. This is not a force that is exclusive to and accessed only by men, but a “central collaborator” accessed by both genders, mitigating a collaborative social structure. One could say that feminine access and control of a patriarchy is much more profound and real, evidenced by the rapid social change and quixotic policy and legislation that has so profoundly damaged the male agency.
The damage to masculinity can be seen in the efforts to extend its isolation and confuse and vilify its identity. This is repeated in criminal, civil and family law, higher learning and academia, politics, sports and media. The male has achieved what is better defined as landed immigrant status and taxation without representation. America has become the land of the female home of the slave. Amidst the calamity of a fashion sensitive selection of a masculinity, the practitioner male who is selecting should realize there is only one central question he must answer. Who will this masculinity serve, himself or everyone else?
Additionally feminism contrary to its claims does not eschew or seek to end patriarchy but rather control and drive it. Seeing through the illusion will reveal that feminism does not possess, support, construct or promote a collaborative process to replace it. Equality the central tenet of feminism is not a collaborative structure but rather a dividing structure that negotiates existing power and wealth. The extensions of equality such as affirmative action, sexual harassment legislation and rape shield laws are mere poker chips issued by the house to an inexperienced player.
Even rape itself as most widely presented by a woman is not to mediate the past but to mediate the future as a wild card called pity. It can be heard clearly in the repetition of its political definition embraced as a personal experience. Rape is rarely presented as the personally confusing emotional and physical experience that it is. It is rather sequestered to a coerced political statement and used for political gain. It is right and correct to ignore it for what it is, coercion.
It would be right and correct to consider female biology in the equation. To suggest that the body does not repair itself would be equal to saying that a woman can only conceive one child. The pain of pregnancy and birth is not transcendent but humanly manageable. The psychological aspect of rape does not exceed the outcome and effect on any person man or woman that has been subjected to violence.
It is curious to consider that rape for a woman does not represent a biological contradiction to her utility as it would and does for a male victim of rape. Yet we pay the male victim no fare. This ethical contradiction suggests that female rape may be better represented as a property crime. It may be better simply to issue rape insurance to women as some governments are now offering the payout. Once privatized, behaviors that may contribute to the occurrence can be scrutinized by female executive peers who may be wildly unimpressed with slut-walks and more diligent with their ethics.
Male rape however is a true sexual crime. The male on male rapist is dressed in his masculinity, he is the collaborative co-dependent partner of the feminine, isolated from her. He wears the mask of a feminine counterpart, an assigned and approved identity shaped by her. His victim however experiences the violent tearing away of his masculinity, his approved status. It is the male in him that is raped and left in a violent confusion torn from his masculinity.
How I feel about my masculinity is a different issue, we are modular creatures socially, but privately, inside we are isolated by who we are as a spontaneous experience and how we fit that private self into a social exchange. If you can appreciate the humorous satire regarding gender, women with their movement to liberation proclaimed that the personal is political. Men have known and lived this way for centuries, male stoicism is a response to that understanding and awareness. The stoic is unknowable, and unpredictable he breaks the link between the personal and the political with a barrier of privacy and isolation. His stoicism may last 10 seconds or ten years. The stoic preempts the feminine ability to punish by isolation, it is self-imposed and regulated, less emotionally damaging.
It is somewhat unrealistic to ask a man how he feels about his masculinity since masculinity is a commodity much like female fashion. He wears it and deals with the fit in process. A good analogy of masculinity is to compare it to Lego, it’s modular, interchangeable, multi-functional and external. Internally it is only as structural or as permanent as the environment in which it is being applied. A young boy displays this at play, he will build and tear down and rebuild, but he is practicing applying the same process to himself. By the time he has reached this age the understanding of his place in the world is already achieved. He has already witnessed the process of care giving, passive and aggressive gender roles, the male construction workers, cashiers, truck drivers and female idleness. What is very unfortunate for young boys is the response to their maleness.
In re-scripting masculinity young boys are introduced to a paradoxical contradiction of expression. By softening masculinity or feminizing it in young boys we are setting a trap of cyclical failure. Young girls will express and exchange physical affection in their play by holding hands, or simply standing closer in proximity to each other physically. Once a young boy is socialized to the same process he will do and act the same. But he will experience a repetition of failure as a result. In the real world such behavior is considered predatory and dealt with by zero tolerance policy. Males are not welcome into this sphere of intimacy.
What we are doing to young males is pathologizing their gender. We are subtly planting a neurotic, overanxious confusion that can only migrate to rage fueled by social betrayal. The same could be said for girls when they are later in life labeled as a bitch for displaying aggressive behavior. The difference however is one does not suffer the violence of the state when misunderstood. By the time we introduce gender modifying tactics it is already too late, the child has already conceptualized his identity. We are simply undermining his understanding and ability to express his role, particularly if we remove his father as a role model, or if that role model is damaged by alienation.
Removing the role model from a boy leads straight back to the predominant threat he will struggle with for most of his life, isolation. Without a comparative role model he is isolated in a way that is no different from a hostage or prisoner. He will attempt to succeed his way out, once free if he ever achieves it, his hostility toward the feminine will be magnified, dangerously. We foolishly play with terms like nurture and nature, but we fail to realize that nurturing the egg is pointless if it has already hatched into a rooster. From that point it is in the hands of role models and mentors. Those qualified to represent viable alternatives to his masculinity, those in which he sees himself.
Even the popular notion of boys being raised by same sex lesbian couples is dangerously flawed. Neither parent can represent a role model to adequately animate his masculinity. He is isolated in his masculinity and left only to negotiate his isolation. Inherently the message for a boy portrayed by same sex lesbian parents is isolation, an equation of intimacy in which he will never participate. The very nature of their relationship disassociates him from his masculinity. He spends his childhood punished by his gender. We have all heard the argument that a child only requires love. This is very affirming for the parent and represents a successful feminine attribute of nurturing. It says nothing for the experience of a boy as child. His language and expression are to unrefined and inexperienced to say it.
What is missing from the equation is the ability to conceptualize self-love within a masculine identity. A woman cannot provide this and 2 mothers at best confirm his isolation and likely his self- loathing. It is never the job of a child to provide positive affirmation for an adult or to represent the object of her success. A case can be made simply by examining the context in which chivalry is taught and whether it is taught by a woman or a male role model. Because women enjoy the fruits of chivalry by receiving it, they are unaware of the purpose, practice and regulation of it as a masculine trait.
Male role models however understand the potential for a successful exchange by applying chivalrous actions and are able to illustrate to younger males its value for personal gain. I am reminded of a young man who following the teachings of his mother to protect women, intervened unsolicited on behalf of a woman in a bar, he was hospitalized in a coma, suffering a head trauma. Her teachings did not include his safety or self-worth. Additionally a nephew who on the street admonished a man for the way in which he spoke to his partner and was answered by two blows to the head, the second blow from the woman. Clearly there is a difference between preaching masculinity and teaching masculinity.
A woman will preach masculinity and thereby attempt to coerce the outcome to her own service and benefit. You need not travel far to be shamed, accused and isolated if you simply disagree. She will instruct and define masculinity toward superfluous expression. Her male counterparts, those engaged and heavily invested in their role of success and striving to curtail their own isolation echo her every word. Placing men that carry the message in powerful positions ensures the implementation of your service to her. It is a cheap trick and the very crime of objectification that so many women chastise, admonish and complain about. A male role model however will teach masculinity for the purpose of benefiting the practitioner. We see the difference clearly in the statistical outcomes suffered by males raised in single mother homes.
It is clear to me that any confusion over masculinity, should immediately propel the confused to answer only one simple question. Who will your masculinity serve? Brother if you get this wrong you will be in a world of hurt. The correct answer being self-love, should facilitate your education and understanding that the bonds between men and women have been broken by institutional feminism. There is nothing noble left in the female, she is as vile and filthy a creature as any male she describes. The safest quarters in which to reside, with your success and your isolation is not with a woman. For those younger men struggling with masculinity, the most potent masculinity is by conscious choice, falling into a costume may get you into the party but it is unlikely to get you home and safe. Shape it with peers and healthy mentors, it’s the coolest vehicle you will ever possess, don’t crash it, or allow it to be stolen!