I just finished reading “The way of men” by Jack Donovan and must say that is was a well written book about how “manly men” have been pushed almost to extinction in the USA and what can be done to salvage what is left.
I wrote about this several years ago and I have seen the decline of real men throughout my life.
“Where have all the warriors gone?”
Sadly I don’t see the trend reversing on a large scale. We will continue to see the male species in the USA decline into a homogeneous Dilbert like species. Dwelling in their cubicles during the week and trying to live vicariously through the images from the TV and movie screen during the weekends. Content to cheer on the efforts of athletes from their couches rather than actually putting forth any effort, or, heaven forbid, taking any risk themselves.
Their “man card” severally lacking, they will die at an early age of a very non-glorious cause.
I’m counting 10 punches on my “Man card” substituting being bit by a rattlesnake with being bit by a poisonous spider in Yemen. And yes, I do consider myself 1/10 as manly as Steve McQueen. As to “drink Glenlivet 18, net”, is there any other way?
No songs will be sung of their exploits, memories of their existence essentially gone after a generation or two.
And it has gotten worse over the last 40+ years or so. When I got out of high school, me and my friends seemed to want to get out there and take risk, do “manly” things. For me it was getting into EMS which I did when I was 19. It seemed to fulfill the need to take risk and, at least to me, accomplish great things. That continued on to doing volunteer firefighting, reserve and paid deputy sheriff, working offshore as a medic and working international in 14 different countries. My desire to take risk, to try and make a difference, to give my descendants something to remember me by, is still strong albeit, tempered with age and sore joints.
As to my sons, there seems to be about a 50/50 split with a couple of them risk takers and wanting to do great things to a couple, well, not so much.
Yep, things have changed a lot over the last several decades and I don’t see it getting any better.
Use to men were pictured on TV and movies as harden individuals, not afraid to take risk, who made mistakes but owned up to those mistakes.
Then as the years progressed, they were portrayed as insensitive bigots, like Archie Bunker in “All in the family” and then as bumbling idiots who would have died except for the efforts of their wives, like in “Everybody loves Raymond”.
Even men that were not risk-averse are portrayed as morons that cannot saw a piece of wood without sawing off a finger, like in “Home improvements”.
When was the last time that you saw a positive role model, for young men, on TV or in the movies for that matter?
We have gone from this:
Part of this is due to the breakdown of the American family but a large part of this has been driven by our country attempting to right the wrongs against women. Rather than become equal, men have become the downtrodden sex.
Institutions that were once almost 100% men have become co-ed now with women becoming firefighters, police officers and soldiers in the field. These institutions used to be part of the rite of passage that young men went through. Now there are very few of those institutions left in the US. There are biological differences between men and women that have been ignored to the detriment of both sexes.
One common theme that I have found in several of the books that I have read recently is the need for young men, boys, to prove themselves as men.
At one time the opportunities for this were many. Most of the US was rural at one time. Working hard on the farm and the ranch was one way of proving yourself as a man.
For me it was doing various stunts when I was a teenager to prove my bravery and the things I did were fun. Painful at times but fun. Going into EMS was my big adventure. I (sometimes) saved lives. I got to crawl around through wrecked cars and respond to fires and shootings. I would like to think that I showed what I was made of while doing these things.
And to be honest, I still feel the need to prove myself at the age of 58. That was part of the reason why I just spent 3 weeks at the fire school in Texas. Part of it was because I needed the knowledge but part of it was to prove to myself that I still had what it takes.
But seems to me that this is something that is not as common today among young men. It just doesn’t seem like young men feel the need to prove themselves as they did before.
Or is that just my perception? Is that desire to prove one’s self still there in young men?
Men as a gender have always been the risk takers, the explorers, etc.
Women’s instincts used to be rooted in a desire to keep the family healthy and secure, the men, literally at times, “brought home the bacon”. It is how the genders are engineered.
Generally speaking, men have more upper body strength. Just a fact. That is why police and fire department physical agility test had to be modified when they started hiring women for the academies. Women, generally speaking, just don’t have as much upper body strength as men
Not that women are without strength. I can see men taking risk, exploring, hunting for food but pushing a baby out of a hole in their body? Not going to happen. The ability to do that is one unique aspect of women physically.
Being a man is being willing to take the plunge, to get on the ship and sail over the horizon. To fight the good fight and to “die a beautiful death”.
It is not to be cooped up under artificial lights in a cubical sending emails.
It is not to spend the weekends watching sports and swilling beer. It is about teaching your sons how to be men, to pass on your manhood.
Being a man is not about how many kids you father, how many tattoos you have, how much you can bully someone weaker, etc.
But at least in the USA, I fear those days are over for most men.
For me, I do hope to “die a beautiful death” or perhaps not really beautiful. I’m hoping for a closed casket because of the damage to my body that happened as I struggled, to the end with whatever foe or adventure I was into when I croaked. I hope that people, if they do see my body, recoil in horror on how used up I am. Then, I will have lived a complete life.