Today is International Men’s Day, a day to reflect on the appallingly high rates of suicide among men. While many will focus on the stats or on feminism (yeah, people focus on women on International Men’s Day), I think it prudent to look at what it is to be man, so that we can understand why men might be offing themselves.
Masculinity is the nature of man, as opposed to femininity (the nature of woman). It is not “toxic” – this is slanderous language designed to make men hate what they are. And it is not in need of redefinition, because it is literally in your blood.
Masculinity is nature, and it is more than nature. The word “virtue” comes from the Latin root meanig “man”, so the virtues are the essence of masculinity. These are:
- Prudence or Wisdom – the acquisition of wisdom and self-restraint are essential to masculinity. Wisdom gives us understanding of the ways of the world and helps us to understand ourselves and those around us. Without wisdom, there is no way to live a good life.
- Justice – to support what is good and oppose what is evil is the essence of masculinity. We can know these things in two ways: from natural law (which is virtually universal – C.S. Lewis described this as the Tao, or way of all mankind) and from wisdom.
- Temperance – men must know how to control themselves. Unchecked, some aspects inherent to men and women can wreak havoc – rape is natural for both men and women, but it is evil, and the same is true of excessive drinking and eating, sloth, wrath, and the like. Temperance is the root of inner strength, because it gives control over one’s base nature and allows for a proper response to every circumstance of life.
- Courage or Strength – inner strength is only half of what it is to be a man. What value is Justice when you cannot enforce it? What value is wisdom when you cannot bring yourself to act upon it? What value is temperance if you cannot or will not do what is required when the time comes?
If, then, you wish to be a man, you must embrace the virtues and cultivate them daily. As a Christian and a lay Philosopher, I would always recommend the Bible and the works of classical wisdom (Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, Augustine, Plato, Seneca, and the like), but works such as the Sacred Havamal serve to instill the inner virtues. And I always encourage strength workouts (weight lifting, in particular) to reinforce both inner and outer strength.
“Feminism is Cancer,” says a gay Jewish journalist permanently banned from Twitter. He is not wrong.
Feminism is a walking bag of contradictions and errors. It claims to be for equal rights for women, but in practice it only advocates further powers for women at the expense of men. It claims to support men and women equally, but in practice it denigrates men and glorifies even the worst aspects of women. It claims to want to improve the lot of women in the world, but in practice it only advocates policies and social norms that make women less happy in the First World.
Feminism wants to “redefine masculinity” to be less masculine. In place of wisdom, they offer lies. In place of justice, they offer social justice (that is, hatred of whiteness, heterosexuality, masculinity, and traditional values). In place of temperance, they offer hysteria and rage. In place of strength, they advocate weakness.
For these reasons, feminism is inherently anti-man and anti-men.
What causes inner turmoil sufficient to desire death? I would argue that it is always contradiction between the mind and reality, though of course there are ways to chemically induce similar problems.
When a man has within his mind one idea of reality, and the world around him reflects something entirely other, it induces inner turmoil (what many would call mental illness). If a man believes that being feminist is the key to getting women to like and respect him, and he is constantly confronted with the reality that women despise unmasculine men, it causes inner turmoil. If a man believes that he is broken simply because he is a man, and reality asserts he can be unbroken by embracing his masculinity, it causes inner turmoil. When a man seeks after connection and love among those who have the capacity for neither, it creates inner turmoil.
It is often said that men are taught not to cry, but this is not true. A man may only cry when it is safe to show weakness, and it is not safe among most people. I, myself, have cried twice in the past year – once when my Grandmother died, and once when I was confronted with a deep love from my friends. Because crying shows injury, and injury is a weakness, only among those who will not turn on you can a man cry – this is a part of temperance.
So what is a man to do when there is no safety? On a battlefield, an injured man will die if he is not protected from his foes and allowed to recover. If the injury is deep, he will die anyway if he is not cared for. An injury in the mind and soul is every bit as real, in its own way, as an injury of the flesh, but it can be worse because it does not directly cause death by itself. If a wounded psyche is constantly bombarded, and there is no respite or treatment, a man will seek death rather than continue to exist in such pain. (This is different from women – women attempt suicide, but usually in non-fatal ways that are treated as cries for help).
How can a man be treated for wounds of the soul? Again, I remark that the battlefield is an excellent analogy.
- Protection – a man must be able to withdraw from those things that attack him while he licks his wounds. All too frequently, those we call “friends” are consistent assaults (particularly among Social Justice Warriors and their ilk, and too frequently among women). Scratching a cut makes it deeper, so early withdrawal is key to survival.
- Treatment – a man must be able to treat the injuries to his psyche, and too often he cannot do this alone. I have had little to no success with therapists, but among true friends I have often found respite and recovery. A man who finds himself alone at the most painful moments will more likely end his life, but a man who has friends to comfort and correct him is secure.
- Prevention – inner turmoil is the root of the problem, and its resolution is the key to prevention. He who cultivates the virtues will recognize foolishness, injustice, lack of restraint, and lack of strength and avoid them. With wisdom, he will be able to identify attacks and defy them. With justice, he will be able to cut consistent problems out of his life. With temperance, he will learn to govern his emotions rather than be led by them. With Strength, he will be able to make good his promises and protect himself and others.
You Are Not Alone
The struggles every man must face have existed since the dawn of time, and they will continue long after the Internet is a vague myth. Among the beauties of the Internet is that we have the ability to find others who have struggled and overcome, and they can help us to overcome, and we can then help others to overcome.
I have advocated Mike Cernovich’s work on this blog for some time. His books and website are excellent resources for exposing yourself to the truths that will lead to virtue.
Vox Day has written extensively about many of the myths that are holding men back. From his work on Sexual Market Value and its implications among men, to his writings about dealing with Social Justice Warriors, to his work publishing amazing authors in various fields, he’s a tremendous mind with a lot of valuable insights.
Stefan Molyneux is a YouTube philosopher with tremendous insights. I cannot say I agree with him more than 90% of the time, but his mind is sharp and his thoughts are clear. If you seek after wisdom, his channel is an excellent way to start honing your mind.
My friend Jacob the Gentleman and I are acquainted with a number of other men through the work of Roosh Valizadeh (RooshV). The blog “Return of Kings” contains wisdom from the likes of Quintius Curtus and Brother Aurelius Moner, along with practical instruction in fitness and many other disciplines. More valuable, still, are the many consistent commenters who share their stories and wisdom with one another. Approach with respect and a thirst for virtue, and you will be welcomed.
Aaron Clarey, Dalrock, Scott Adams, and many others have created targeted resources along what is commonly termed the “manosphere.” Clarey’s work on the pitfalls of high IQ, worthwhile vs worthless college degrees, and economics are highly instructive and entertaining. Dalrock’s exposure of the many lies of modern Christianity (as opposed to what is in the Bible) is excellent instruction with a dash of merriment. Scott Adams’ Dilbert comic strip and blog on psychology and politics are mind-warping truths about human nature too humorous and meaningful to ignore.
And, of course, if you contact me I will do what I can to help you understand yourself and, thus, reality. I have myself had a gun in my mouth. I have had my “friends” attack and abandon me. I have had false accusations (perjurous ones) thrown at me. So I know what it is to be in pain, and I know what it is to become strong enough to take it.
On this International Men’s Day, let us embrace men and masculinity and become better than we ever dreamed possible.