Men Are Useless, Right?
My friend Tom recently wrote an excellent piece about the challenges young men face when trying to achieve their dreams in the modern world. Their struggle has led to the rise of figures like Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate.
Modern men have few role models, especially inside the home. I can attest directly to this as someone who grew up without a masculine figure to learn life lessons from. My dad grew up without building a relationship with his dad, then he passed that curse down to me – we never bonded until after he nearly died.
As a result, I spent 26 years swinging between two parts of my personality:
- activity and passivity
- dominance and submission
- yin and yang
- masculine and feminine
It took a toll on my friendships, my relationships, my health, and my career. Then I found Jordan Peterson while my dad was in a coma.
Jordan Peterson articulated the feelings that were swirling around inside me. He told me I'm capable of more, but that I lacked discipline, courage, and character. And he was fucking right. I'd spent my life trying to outrun my Shadow, and it was chasing me into my grave.
Jordan Peterson's content led me to discover people like Jocko Willink and David Goggins, as well as the work of Carl Jung, and eventually I found several schools of philosophy and spirituality which seek to integrate the divine masculine and feminine into a single balanced soul.
These men, along with the writings of Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, helped me to harness my masculinity to fuel my ambition, lean into conflict, and stop tolerating shit I hated simply for the sake of keeping the peace.
They also taught me how to feel anger without succumbing to it, how to tell friend from foe, and how to serve the people around me with confidence and courage.
Eventually, I was able to forgive my father for failing me, and his father for failing him. I became a better friend, coworker, son, and partner thanks to the collective example of men who are trying their best and encouraging young men to push themselves.
The thing is, my story isn't unique: most of the young men I know have been failed by the men who raised them, who were likewise failed by the men who raised them. The result is a chain of confusion and pain and a corruption of modern masculinity.
True Masculinity Isn’t Toxic
Toxic masculinity has become a major buzzword these days, but it's also become a major distraction. What began as a righteous way to call out men for bad behavior has become a whip to keep growing boys from becoming too confident, bold, or independent.
Strength is not abuse. Love is not control. Leadership is not authoritarianism. Courage is not bravado.
The thing is, boys aren’t encouraged to explore their active, rebellious, passionate side in an environment where they can be coached and counseled by wiser, older men (ya know, like at school). Instead, they're told to take meds, sit still, and be quiet.
Also, the men who should be teaching boys the difference, for one reason or another, aren't showing up, so boys are looking up to Tronald Dump and Melon Husk as their role models for how to speak and act.
As a result, their masculinity isn't allowed to manifest properly, and it emerges as a twisted shadow of what it's supposed to be.
And young men aren't the only victims.
Women can't integrate and manifest their masculinity, either, because they're lacking masculine role models, too.
As a result, an entire generation isn't learning how to be assertive, how to set boundaries, how to push for what they deserve, how to take strategic risks, how to recover from failure, how to stand up to injustice, how to make courageous sacrifices, or how to handle conflict.
And what's the result?
- Wages are stagnant
- Monopolies are rampant
- The rights that previous generations fought for, and that we assumed were permanent, are crumbling
- Corporations are raising prices just because they can
80 years ago, a generation of war-hardened Americans found themselves working for employers who didn't want to pay them fairly or treat them with dignity, and they said, "Fuck that. If you don't respect us, we'll burn your fucking factories to the ground."
And what did they achieve?
All the workers' rights we know and love today, including overtime pay, child labor laws, anti-discrimination laws, and pretty much every other law that requires employers to treat workers like human beings.
Now, while Congress and the Federal Reserve play tennis with monetary policy, American stomachs are rumbling, rent is skyrocketing, and working class Americans are getting tired of working just to not be able to afford anything.
The young generation knows something is wrong, They know they need to fight. They just don't know how, because they've been trained to be nice and follow the rules.
Meanwhile, there's a caged lion inside of them, roaring to be released, but it only comes out under cover of darkness: behind closed doors, inside shitty fraternity hazing, and in the middle of protests that somehow turn into riots.
We Need A Renaissance Of Masculinity
So, why are people, especially young men, flocking to people like Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate, even though they're known for saying some pretty wild shit?
They're searching for someone to help them harness their masculinity.
Young men are desperately seeking for someone to tell them, “you’re capable of more, and you deserve to have it, as long as you’re willing to work for it – here's how to get the life you want.”
In a world where it’s socially acceptable for a woman to say, “men are useless,” yet it’s unacceptable for a man to say, “women are useless,” it should come as no surprise that young men are flocking to the only voices who value them and inspire them to achieve.
In truth, neither men nor women are useless, and it shouldn’t be okay to disparage, disqualify, or abuse anyone based on whichever gender they manifest most strongly.
We need powerful masculine role models to teach young people strength, service, discipline, and courage, especially in a world facing massive global challenges and change.
We're approaching the "hard times," and if we want to survive, we'll need everyone to discover and develop their masculine side.
It's time for the Menaissance.
I adapted this piece from this Twitter thread, so if you liked this piece, I'd LOVE if you retweeted the thread.
In the spirit of masculinity, ambition, and all that good stuff, this is a friendly reminder that I'll be reading The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene for book club next month. If you want to read and discuss with me, join the Discord.
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