“Men everywhere yearn for the collapse of this current mode of civilization that, as an inevitable consequence of its design, must devalue and emasculate them. Apocalyptic fantasies are a particularly male preoccupation. More and more men are focusing on survivalism and preparedness to give themselves a sense of purpose in a world that doesn’t need or want them to be strong, courageous or prepared for anything.”
― Jack Donovan,
Photo courtesy of Wolves of Vinland/Wolves of Cascadia
The masculine man is the traditional protector of the tribe; the one with the tough physical exterior that complements the woman’s tough physical interior. It was always the men the formed the perimeter to protect the interior- the women and the children; from predators and invaders. It was the men that understood they would need to be strong both externally and internally to defend and in many cases, die, in order to protect the ability of the tribe to carry on its legacy through the women and ultimately the children.
In this respect, it is hard-wired into men to seek out and foster strength in other members of “the tribe”, as it is for men to seek to gain the respect and approval of other men in the tribe. Again, these are things that are hard-wired into us, and in a natural environment, they are healthy and play a vital role in the development and maintenance of healthy masculinity. The drive to “toughen” other men up comes from this. However, without proper guidance and initiation from “tribal elders”, this toughening-up process in its immature form can turn into bullying, and becomes destructive rather than productive.
This need for strength and control/discipline also flows over into the area of emotion and the need for men to have emotional strength and control so we aren’t emotionally “leaking” all over the place, putting ourselves and others at risk during times of crisis and real threat when we need to keep our wits about us. Again, due to lack of proper guidance and initiation, we have mistakenly come to equate emotional control with emotional suppression.
The real problem here is that we are far, far away from anything close to a “natural environment”, and this artifice of modernity seems to have severely affected men to a degree that really is not really understood. There is a perverse domestication process that is happening in modern society which is breeding a form of psychosis in men (as well as women), as we become increasingly separated from the natural rhythms of external and internal life. In some cases, this psychosis is repressed and regressive, and in others, it’s violent and virulent.
To add to this problem, there is a real belief that these natural hard-wired traits in men are something that can just be culturally “reprogrammed” or “overridden”. This theory is a severe fallacy, and has led to much of the sorts of violent outbursts complained about by feminists and the general hopeless despair lamented over by men’s rights activists. We can’t just “reprogram” men and think everything will work out. Nor is it some disease or sickness that men need to be “cured” of as many within the 3rd Wave would suggest.
We need to get to the root of the wound, which with the nature of this modern society, can be multiple. Here in the United States, we still begin many of our young men’s lives with the very unnatural and unnecessary process of institutionalized male genital mutilation or “circumcision”. There has been a great deal of study done on infant circumcision and infant trauma, and it has been found that the procedure can and will have a deep traumatic impact on the child that will effect a wide range of development issues including, but not limited to his ability to express emotion, empathy and intimacy. There is a saying in the anti-circumcision community that those men who have been cut will “cut” in return. It has been widely concluded that due to the stage of development of the child when the trauma occurs, infant trauma is the hardest to thoroughly move past.
We then move on to the schooling or “education” of boys. The system of government education that we subscribe to is probably one of the most un-natural and perverse systems we can put a child into. A great deal of the film goes into statistics about boys in school such as the fact that boys are more likely to be in special education, be diagnosed with ADHD, flunk or drop out, be suspended, or be expelled. The film puts a great deal of stress put on what can be done to somehow make these boys perform better in school. However, the film lacks either the insight or perhaps the courage to state that just maybe the problem isn’t the boys, but the institution they are being forced to attend. Likewise, the brutal hierarchies that develop in the schooling system are not typically present among homeschoolers or in traditional tribal societies.
Next we have the psychotropic medication of boys in particular, which is occurring at increasingly young age. The natural rambunctiousness and risk-taking nature of boys and young men is seen as a “disease” by modern psychiatric “medicine” and the modern education system. As a result American boys are being medicated with a cocktail of psychoactive chemicals, producing a host of incredibly harmful and dangerous results for themselves and others around them. Young boys are being taught that their natural rambunctiousness as boys- boys who want to move and engage the world rather than sit in desks and march in lines all day- is again, some sort of disease that needs to be cured.
As far as the media is concerned, I would agree with the “Rape Culture” proponents that there is no doubt that the Hollywood/Madison Avenue culture has imposed a toxic artifice on us and poisoned our view of the world. However, we would do well to understand that this world of fantasy and its distorted, childish views of masculinity was created in large part to distract and pacify men. It was developed as a way of seducing men to buy into a life where they sell out their true masculine birthrights as sovereign and virile builders of culture and civilization for the pleasures and comforts of modernity and a mediocre existence.
The problem isn’t with any sort of “hyper-masculinity”, or men being aggressive and dominant and competitive- these are fundamental components of masculinity in its wholeness. The problem is that these qualities aren’t the complete picture of masculinity in its wholeness. We need to be able to take on and embody ALL of the masculine archetypes: Warrior, Magician, Lover, and King– and in their wholeness. The problem is that we don’t have a society that understands or facilitates this kind of holistic development in men.
Another problem is also that we are told that we either have the option of embodying this shadow masculinity or embodying the persona of the castrated “masculine feminist”. We have an epidemic of men who have been raised by women and have been made to feel guilty about being men, causing them to act in a manner that is weak and emotionally castrated. This needs to stop.
The society that has been created here in the western world in the last century, and is continuing to be constructed in the age of globalism and “political correctness”, is not one that is conducive to any sort of healthy masculinity at all whatsoever. It is one that leaves us as neurotic and destructive children seeking out the initiation into true manhood that we never were allowed. And to paraphrase an old African tribal saying, “If we do not initiate the young men, they will burn the village down.”
What we need is a return to tribe. We need to get back to the natural rhythms of ourselves and of nature. We need to return to real brotherhood and purpose. We need strength- not just physical strength, but mental, emotional and spiritual strength. We need real initiation and ritual. We need to understand and work with the archetypes that define us.
True masculinity has always been the greatest threat to any established order or any outside group seeking dominance over a tribe. This is why such focus is placed on controlling men- making sure that men “behave” and “fall-in-line” in a subservient fashion. It is this sort of docile, domesticated, and castrated masculinity that men should wish to wash our hands of. However, these things cannot happen if we are fully invested in the artifice that does little more that suck our life energy and leave us as neurotic shells of what we could be. It’s time we find the strength to discard these illusions and distractions, so we can build something new.