Recently, I spoke to a relatively large gathering on the subject of manhood and initiation — no doubt a taboo subject today that may already have one or two readers tut-tutting with disapproval.
To be clear, by “manhood” I don’t mean exaggerated, macho behavior, boozing and fighting in nightclubs, leering at women, or any of the modern cliches that society seems to think is the essence of being a man. I am referring to — and spoke about — ideas of manhood from tribal society (especially ritual initiation into manhood, which can be found in every culture from African tribes to European ones) to classical civilizations (most notably the Confucian idea of the superior man, the Chun Tzu).
What struck me was that a few men expressed to me real frustration and anger that, as they saw it, manhood was being devalued and men — for no other reason than being men — were being undermined and attacked by society. It seemed to them that every gender had a right to express themselves and to be respected, except men.
And let’s be honest, we’ve all seen it: In a kind live action role playing of the SCUM Manifesto, when not marching topless to “free the nipple” (a movement that I’ve seen shared mostly by men on social media, admittedly) or going on “slut walks,” or embracing “ironic man-hating,” some modern-day “feminists” have, with apparent seriousness, declared that “all men are rapists,” and will tweet and vlog that men should be killed — well, maybe not all of us, but at least the “retards” among us.
Let’s waste no more time on this mental pollution, and let’s acknowledge something right now: the media (including social media pundits) will always promote the most extreme cases on both the Left and the Right, and will exaggerate and take out of context whenever possible. Their job is either to sell newspapers or to get you to click, click, click on their blogs so that Google will reward them in “organic search results.” Their job isn’t to carefully weigh up the evidence, put things in context, or to present a balanced, informed, and nuanced view. That’s really your job, and mine, if we really do want to have a good understanding of the world we live in.
(If you want to know how accurate the “news” is, my advice is to read ten or more academic books on the subjects you’re following, whether that’s terrorism, the environment, religion, or something else. That will give you some basis to be able to spot inaccuracies, half-truths, and things that may be reported correctly but that, without a solid understanding of the subject, will be taken the wrong way.)
But my point isn’t about the media or blogs, or about feminism. People can protest, go topless in the streets, or paint the word “slut” on their torso, or say offensive things. That’s their right to freedom of expression, and I defend it.
This article is about our reaction to what, for more than a few men, can feel like a mental onslaught. Some seem to have given up on women altogether, hence the emergence of the “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) movement. Some see and read of the above sort of anti-man activism and start to feel that men are victims. Then, when they hear of an alleged rape on campus, for example, they are inclined to be suspicious.
However, we can’t hand our emotional life over to the hacks and hysterics of the world. And we can’t react against what hurts or seeks to degrade us by degrading ourselves or lowering our standards. Yes, it is true that there have been false media reports of rape, and even media witch hunts of young men later found to be completely innocent. But that doesn’t mean that women aren’t raped, sexually harassed, or assaulted.
As a man, I know that women can treat men badly. But as someone who has had many female friends over the years, I’m always amazed at how men can mess women around, as well. More than anything, though, I’ve been shocked at how many close female friends have told me of being raped, gang raped, sexually assaulted, or groped, over the years. I can only think of one woman that went to the police, but I have known many that suffered from the experience for years afterward.
Personally, I don’t want to be around, or to waste my time reading the thoughts of, women that want to #KillAllMen, just as I don’t want to be around men who think of women as little more than sexual objects.
The tribal initiation of boys into manhood exposed them to the sacred teachings of the tribe — how the Creator god or goddess had made the world, and how men and women embodied the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. As with classical civilizations, the Superior Man was one that knew the soft and the hard arts — poetry and war. He defended his male comrades in battle and defended the women of the tribe and of his family. While women have often been seen as part of the booty of war, the nobler military officer has refused to allow them to be abused.
Today, most women will defend men against accusations that we’re all rapists or that we should all be killed. Indeed, most women think such inflammatory rhetoric is crazy. Likewise, most men want to defend women against sexual violence and even just against being treated disrespectfully or as somehow less than the men in their group. But men can forget that when they see or read about the latest anti-man activism.
Ignore the haters. Let the political see men and women through the lens of ideology. It’s their loss, not yours.
Instead of allowing yourself to be manipulated into lowering your standards, or “going your own way,” remember your noble, higher Self — the Self that likes and values women, and that instinctively wants to defend them against violence or degradation. Instead of being angered by angry — and, possibly, mentally unbalanced — individuals, form or get involved with tight-knit groups in which the men and women see each other as comrades, defend and encourage the best in each other, and find what is sacred in each other.