Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Growing Up Requires Good Advice

This is somewhat of a response to Quintus Curtius' article of yesterday, criticizing a popular website aimed at men known as Art of Manliness. I've encountered it a few times in recent years. I do agree with some of the commenters that the article comes across with a bit of a chip on its shoulder, that it's best to get the good out of everything, and that it is far from Quintus' best work. Nevertheless the entry did make one very good point that does undermine the credibility of Art of Manliness:
Art of Manliness was created in 2008 by husband and wife team Kate and Brett McKay.  If you look at the website, it seems like more than half of the articles there were written by the two of them.  And herein lies the biggest problem that the website can never overcome.
No woman can offer a man advice on how to be a man. Period. Thou shalt not accept advice from a woman on manliness.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  It doesn’t matter if her intentions are noble.  It doesn’t matter if she means well.  The inescapable fact is that the art of being a man is a subject outside of her range of experience. If I tried to write for a women’s blog on the arts of child bearing and child rearing, I would be laughed at.  And justifiably so.  But only in feminized America can a woman presume, with her infinite arrogance, to offer advice to men on how to be a man.
Quintus emphasized this, but I am emphasizing it again on my own. He's quite right. Perhaps the biggest reason for the lack of virility in modern Western men isn't excess wealth. It isn't the rampant false estrogens that we encounter on a daily basis. It isn't even feminism or the institutionalized neutering of free expression caused by political correctness. All of these things are part of it, and the third in particular creates a mentality that leads to this, but this thing, first and foremost might just be most responsible:

Women pretending that they can give advice to men on how to be men. Women attempting to create a concept of masculinity that they approve of.

Many men in our society have had no positive masculine role models in their lives to look up to, and the female prerogative has taken over. In a divorce culture which overwhelmingly favors women, many of today's men have had a fenced relationship with their fathers, at best.

I've suffered from this in a way. Although my parents never got divorced and I was raised in a two-parent household (perhaps I'm an endangered species?), during those critical late teenage and early twenties years where, the boy should step out of his shell and become a man, I suffered from a lack of personal masculine guidance.

Put simply, my father can be one of the most utterly annoying human beings you will ever encounter, and he got worse as he got older. About the only things I'm ever able to discuss with him without getting annoyed are baseball, James Bond movies, and sometimes my ideas for business ventures and working out (although these latter things can be delicate, and don't carry the full and open weight they should).

My relationship with my mother is a lot better. I can talk to her about nearly anything, but this is a double-edged sword. I do indeed, owe her a lot, and she is the one who I inherited my above-average IQ from. But...she is still a woman. And women cannot teach men how to be men. Her advice on how to deal with women for example, as you would expect, was (and is) utterly terrible (truth-be-told, my dad's advice was never great either).

Paradoxically, I believe my good relationship with my mother has set me back. No one can become the man he wants to be without the right kind of help. Humans are a social species. We all need advice and strong social circles to get what we want. The game of power is a social one. Unfortunately, masculinity is something I've needed to learn mostly on my own, and it's left me playing catch-up. As an older sibling, I didn't have the benefit of an older brother to receive advice on how to be a man from either.

My case is all too typical. That's why communities like the various so-called "Manosphere" blogs and forums are so important. They give you proper perspective and set you on the path to self-improvement and provide a strong peer environment to both receive advice from and hold yourself accountable to.

Modern Western men must look to the proper communities and to the great men of the past so they can become great themselves. Women want to be around great men, not make them. Art of Manliness Masculinity Feminism

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