Archive for category Sack up and be a man
I had the good fortune to have both my father and my brother around for this last holiday season. It was wonderful seeing my brother in particular, since he lives on the other side of the country, and we are very close emotionally. However, I had an interesting discovery, and one that saddens me somewhat. He was divorced earlier this year, but he still hasn’t even looked at the red pill. He doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a systemic societal problem, other than a lack of manliness. While he’s right about the fact that the majority of the men out there these days are little more than puling manginas, he’s wrong to place all the blame squarely on the shoulders of men. There is plenty of blame to go around.
I realized that he and I were never going to see eye to eye on this, so I ended the discussion, but I continued to think about it. The real revelation came when I brought the subject up with my dad. My dad is a gentleman of the old school, raised on a farm, but exquisitely courteous and well mannered, and always correct in his dealings with women. And he completely agreed with my brother. They both lambasted me for sympathizing with men who choose to withdraw from the divorce machine to play Call of Duty, drink beer, and wank to whatever porn strikes their fancy. That was when the really sad realization hit. They are both men who pride themselves on their masculinity, and to accept that this sea change in society happened at the behest of feminists, for the sake of the female hamster, is completely alien to them. Women are still supposed to be submissive, gentle and feminine. If women aren’t acting like women should, well, it is because men aren’t manning up and acting like men should.
I cited statistics on divorce initiation and reasons given for divorce (you all know them, and if you don’t, read some other blog. This is about introspection, not persuasion. Any MRA/PUA/etc. blog will have them somewhere.) My brother discounted them through some rather interesting mental sleight of hand. I gave examples of frivolous divorce, and challenged them to cite one legitimate well known divorce for every three hamster driven divorces I could. They invoked the shibboleth of “You never know what the marriage was actually like unless you’re in it”, even pointing out the fact that since they both had been married, and I hadn’t, they understood better than I did how bad a bad marriage could get (true, but irrelevant. See the statistics.) Nothing I said even began to scratch the surface of their serene conviction that men were to blame for the failure of marriage. And then I had the saddest realization of all. It is BECAUSE they are masculine. A masculine man accepts responsibility. It is part of masculinity; a willingness to shield others from blame. And because their masculine natures prohibited them from blaming women (especially given the admittedly glaring flaws in today’s men), all of the blame must belong to men. The flaws just make it so much easier.
If and when I marry, I intend to raise my sons as masculine men. With that, I have to accept the risk that they will take the blue pill and be complicit in the continued war on marriage, because a masculine man accepts responsibility for his own actions, and by extension (since he is masculine, and knows how to be manly), those of his sex. The feminists are winning the war on marriage not because of treacherous male collaborators and whining Jezebel posters, but because of genuinely manly, masculine men. And those manly, masculine men will either find one of those increasingly rare women who understands just what the word ‘promise’ means, or they won’t. And if they don’t, they will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again until they do. Because a masculine man does not accept failure.
Just to add poignancy to the whole thing, the real losers aren’t the feminist elite or their limp-wristed male turncoats, or even the very few mensch out there. The real losers are the young women who buy into the lie, take the blue pill, and divorce those increasingly rare masculine men, because they were bored, or they fell out of love, or some other idiotic reason. Or even worse, the young women who spend their twenties acting the way their friends do, and find themselves alone in their mid thirties, desperate for a husband, but spending more and more time looking at that nice tabby at the pet store. The feminists and the sympathy belly-wearing quislings don’t actually hurt the real men; real men aren’t that vulnerable to something that petty. They hurt the women who have the potential to be real women.
I was thinking about the whole concept of masculinity earlier. I realized that I have not adequately expressed my opinions; to wit, my Sack Up and Deal post could be taken to mean ‘Continue working within the system like good little worker drones’. That is NOT what I meant to say. The system is broken. I know this, you know this, heck, even Occupy Wall Street knows this. Family law is rigged against men, federal law discourages individual innovation, society is DEFINITELY hostile to risk-taking. These forces make it impossible to work within the system in the way we used to. So don’t. The process of reclaiming masculinity has already started; more and more men are refusing to marry. Good choice. I’d make the same one, if it were not for the restraints imposed by my religious beliefs. But that is only step 1. Step 2 is to start checking out completely. I have a major, all consuming goal in my life. I will not share it now; with any luck you will hear about my efforts on the news in the next fifteen or twenty years. Because it will take time. I live in a smaller apartment than I can afford, and do not drive. I am going to attempt to live without ever incurring debt again. Every dollar I can scrape together goes to this goal. And this goal is not one for myself; if I am successful, millions of people who would otherwise have died will live. If I am really lucky, I won’t make any major enemies while doing this, and if I am luckier still, nobody will ever know my name except for historians. That is what checking out means, and that is the only possible logical moral response when society abandons you. Change it. You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.
As a caveat; there may be other logical responses, and logical ethical responses, but I reject the notion of a personal morality.
As a further caveat; mine is not the only way of effecting change. There are other ways to do it, but none of them involve mediocrity. Just saying.
There are two logical extremes available in life. Leaving aside any sacred/secular motivations, the extremes come down simply to this; do I live for myself or do I live for others? It only takes a brief glance at any given day’s news to discover which one most people choose. Contrary to what most self-improvement folks think and say (PUAs, motivational speakers, self help authors, etc.), it is actually really easy to make yourself happy. Altruism does not come easily to humans. All you have to do is suppress that “I should” voice in your head, and listen to the “I want to” voice. Boom. I just saved you a thousand dollar self-help conference.
The “I should” voice is a lot harder. The “I should” voice asks us to do things that aren’t comfortable. It asks us to do things that go against the grain. And it has to be exercised, unlike the “I want to” voice. If you let yourself (granted, you have to do it in a thoughtful, logical manner) do what you want to do, rather than what you feel like you should, then you can be happy, after a fashion. Alternatively, you could take the much sweeter (but much harder) road of doing what you should. The problem there is that our notions of correct behavior are at odds with our nature, and so are corrupted almost immediately. Contemplative seeking out of the proper action is necessary to enable us to do what we actually should do.
What does this have to do with Horace’s quote, you ask? Everything. What we ‘should’ do is deeply tied in with denial of self to the glorification of others. Denial is self-sacrifice. Whether you are a religious person or not, it is easy to see that many people we admire deeply are admired because of their self-sacrifice. Ghandi. Buddha. St. Francis. Jesus. All of these people, whether you agree with their transcendent teaching or not, are admirable because of their devotion to others. Horace said that it is a sweet and fitting thing to die for your country, and I think he was right, but the daily death of putting others first is far sweeter and more fitting, if a thousand times harder. This is what we have lost. There simply aren’t many Nathan Hales alive today (and I’ll bet that most of them are in the military), so how many fewer Ghandis or St. Francises must there be? That is who I want to be.
Oh, and by the way; that last phrase contains the entire point of this post. After a certain amount of practice (more in some cases, like mine), the “I want to” voice starts sounding a lot like the “I should” voice. It doesn’t work the other way around. I’ve tried.
First off, let me make a disclaimer; I have not mastered (or even, in a couple of cases, developed) the techniques I will hereinafter outline. These are largely theoretical at this point, but I rather think that they are the right way to do things.
I was contemplating the whole men’s rights movement recently, and I realized that we (in this case meaning men) are going about things almost exactly the wrong way. Men are campaigning (badly, and mostly being ignored) for equal rights under family law. We are pissing and moaning on the internet. We are checking out of society. We are using the enemy’s (in this case I use enemy to mean the feminist anti-men elite, not, repeat NOT women as a whole) tactics against them. This is a MISTAKE. Last I looked, we (humanity, not just men) use expressions referring to testicles to refer to people being bold, changing things, affecting their world, and daring to stand out. This world currently is a world that is replete with whiny protesters (viz. OWS) who don’t function in the modern world. This is not the manly way to do things. This is not the path of the testicle.
Let me make another disclaimer before I continue, however. I do not argue that women cannot be as good as men at anything. One of the women I respect most in this world is a highly skilled and talented mechanical engineer. She has managed government contracted projects, after graduating from a Big Ten engineering school in the late seventies. She worked certifying nuclear power plants during a time when engineering was a man’s job, and dealt with very real sexism and harassment in the workplace. She went on to raise three children, and then re-entered the workplace after spending fifteen years away from it, and quickly moved from just another mechanical engineer on the bottom of the company’s totem pole, to managing one of their major projects, and turned it (despite major contracting issues) into a profitable concern. This woman is driven, motivated, and VERY good at anything she sets her mind to, so long as it isn’t musical. To say that women can’t be successful in traditionally male pursuits would be moronic. Thus, I am not attempting to say that.
What I am attempting to say is that there are pursuits that require balls (metaphorical, in this case), and pursuits that don’t. Men, naturally endowed with a glorious pair, should generally try to do things in a way that maximizes their advantages. Counseling and support groups are not a constructive way to deal with problems. They are a fantastic way to deal with the emotions surrounding problems, however. Waving signs never accomplished anything useful, with the possible exception of union strikes (but it was more the refusal to work than the actual protesting. Notice the active verb in there?). Men shouldn’t be protesting. We shouldn’t be going to support groups in order to deal with our feelings when we find ourselves unemployed, robbed via divorce or child support, or passed over for a promotion in favor of a marginally qualified person who happens to have the law on her side.
We should go out and change things.
We should take risks.
We should reach down and fondle the wonderful gifts we were granted by nature, and, to quote Heartiste, say “Thing 1, Thing 2, I’m going to let you out of your cage again.”
We should sack up and be men.