Masculinism. Ever hear of it?
I doubt you have. I googled the phrase and found that it does, in fact, exist. Prior to that though it was a phrase that I had considered, but did not know existed.
There, in fact, IS a ‘movement’ of sorts for men…but it is largely intellectual and ineffectual.
It grew as a response to the feminism movement, but has gone mostly nowhere in impacting men’s lives.
Mostly, there is the appropriate advocacy of men’s rights via the judicial system. But, what we’re discussing here in this series is something much different.
The loss of masculinity, or rather, it’s diminishment, is a plague. I’ve discussed this in detail in my previous two posts (Part I – Dating a Feminist & Part II: The Decline of Men). Women have evolved well past men, and we are now left flapping in the wind.
The true revolution, it seems, won’t happen in the courts or in classrooms. Nor will it happen in large protests, books, or even on this blog. No, it will happen in the individual hearts and minds of men. A massive wake-up call is required in order to stem the tide of rapid decline. We must seek a much higher, more evolved, more individual solution.
It appears in relationships, it appears socially, it appears at home with the parents, it appears on the streets. A dis empowerment is felt, and we are beginning to see injurious consequences.
My most recent article, Part II, outlined 4 phases of development for men to consider. This is not a prescription, per se, but rather my view for how a man could approach this challenge to find his way.
Of course, the first challenge is for a man to even be INTERESTED in himself, and his own evolution and growth. Then, he must be open to a difficult path. This is rare. I’ve met and worked with countless men (in the 1000’s), and most are not interested in a way of life which embraces uncertainty and challenge. The rise of the Pick-Up Artist community confirms this point. The carrot of sex and women is dangled, and the promise is made of an ‘easy’, ‘quick fix’, and many men are hooked. This is trouble.
It not only disenchants men who give up after realizing that “this stuff doesn’t work”, but for those that it DOES work for…it is actually far far worse. The result are plastic portrayals of people, angrily working their ‘game’ on women to gain a power that has long been lost. They leak what little power they do have in social environments around the world. In small amounts, toxic social waste is invading bars, clubs and cafes worldwide, drawing the ire of women, subtly and surely lowering the self-esteem of the practitioners.
The cruel reality is that none of this nonsense can provide the needed power – it comes from some other place that most (if not all) are completely disconnected from. One feels a certain unease when around these people, sensing the falseness, neediness and desperation. Intelligent women, by and large, are repelled by these games as they can sense the shallowness of the pool in front of them. The only ones drawn towards it are those who are as unfortunately unhealthy as the men. This combination of toxic forces leaves both worse than they were to begin with.
This must stop.
Learning social skills is fine. Learning dating skills is fine. But abandoning the truth of ourselves and our situation for a shiny band-aid leaves us facing ever darkening tomorrows and more disillusioned bodies on the landscape. Not facing the stark and harsh reality that men fundamentally lack masculine power guarantees that we will only continue to devolve.
In order to begin, we must stop the power drain.
LESSON 1 – STOP OBJECTIFYING WOMEN
I said it in my previous article and I will repeat it here again now:
“What Pick-Up Artists and Seducers fail to realize is that what they promote and produce is mostly a dressed-up, fancy way of objectifying women and a very sophisticated process for leaking power all over a man’s life and world. One can become convinced that results are right around the corner only to be dismayed at the amount of work and learning there must be. The larger frustration though is when, down the road, the man realizes that all he has been doing is chasing a result that cannot fix his problem. No, in fact it makes him worse. More terribly, most guys never see improvement at all. Thousands of dollars later, they find themselves back where they started with lighter pockets and years wasted down the drain.
No, the only way to begin the process is to STOP any/all objectification of women.”
The ultimate power drain that many men around the world are currently involved in is “Pick-Up” or its sillier step-sister “seduction”. They spend hours, days, months and even years learning how to practice gimmickry, magic and foolhardy language patterns all in an effort to secure the object if his affection, a woman. This is the highest form of neediness.
Seems rather obvious doesn’t it? This gigantic power leak all in a direction which leads exactly nowhere. Anything which takes this much time, this much effort and all along a path which takes a man further from his goal is nothing short of delusion and fantasy all wrapped up in a package of flash, glitz and empty promises.
A man who embarks on that journey can expect a harsh ending. He will lose energy, time and dignity. The power he could have retained for himself is now totally gone, all chasing someone he does not know, a person viewed as a number, the object of his chase.
This is the worst case scenario, of course. But, many men practice a less clear, less obvious road which still objectifies women, and still drains them of much needed power. Most men are not involved in the foolhardy “Pick-Up” community, and yet they are also writing blank checks:
- They check women out on the street and in other social settings (from the glance, to the catcall…it all counts)
- They make ridiculous overtures to them
- They lose sleep over women (often about women he does not even KNOW)
- They direct their entire social lives towards a woman, who often does not know he exists
- They place a woman of interest in the fronts of their minds, allowing it rent-free space, distracting him from his real work
- His curiosity and interest in women goes no deeper than the physical
- His conversations with women are uncalibrated, genuinely shallow and fail to take in the person or individual she is
Ultimately, and perhaps unknowingly, he drains the small amount of power he does have into this practice when he should use it for other purposes. His inability to see past the surface of himself directly causes him to see women only from the surface also. So, once again, we return to the man and his point of view about himself: his sense of self-esteem, security, autonomy and acceptance.
But, in order to begin the slow, painful process of growing these necessary (and attractive) attributes, he must stop the power drain. He must cease to be pulled off course by any woman.
- If you’re walking down the street and you notice a hot woman, do you ‘check her out’?
- If a co-worker dresses sexily, do you become distracted and drift off into fantasy?
- Do you watch more than your fair share of pornography, wasting hours in fantasy?
- When considering a woman, are you able to see more than her body?
- When in contact with a woman, do you obsess over your email, voicemail, facebook etc?
- When discussing women with your friends, is the conversation about the physical, or more?
One word about extremes here. It’s NORMAL to notice beauty; it’s NORMAL to be struck by a sexy female body. But, in each of us, we have an invisible line which I believe many of us cross on a regular basis. We take things too far. For any individual, it might be OK to watch a bit of pornography; particularly if you’re lonely and single…sure, have some fun. But, HOURS? But, DEBT? But, EVERY DAY? Are you over your line? THAT’s the question to consider.
(Oh, and I know a lot of guys, and I know that MOST look at porn…)
Also, if you pass a ravishingly beautiful woman on the street, it would be crazy not to notice her. But, do you check out LOTS of women? Do you secretly need them to give you a little glance too?
Know this, if we men pull back this empty attention, and keep this power for ourselves there will be a radical social change. Women will no longer be the recipient of all of our power, they will no longer benefit from the massive validation they receive on a daily basis from men. Instead, the social energy will be more even and healthy. Women will feel less threatened by men.
The removal of this objectification will also allow men to have actual standards of behavior and integrity from women. No more will she be allowed an easy pass based on her looks, the primitive and primary object of value for men. Rather, we will value HER and she will have to start measuring up in a different way. This will be covered in a few weeks, when I talk about not tolerating bad behavior.
The only way that issue can be challenged is that we must stop unhealthily revering her beauty to the detriment of our own values and standards. And the only way to realize the power to uphold these values and standards is to stop SPENDING it on her outsides, her external beauty. Power is like currency, and men too often invest in the wind. My challenge to you is to first invest in yourself…for the long-term.
How then can you, and me, and many men out there, stop this leakage and reclaim the small power we have left in order to build upon it? How do we begin this investment process?
It takes a whole helluva lot of willingness and an ability to forego ‘results’ for a while. My experience? Chasing results always led to the same results – single, lonely and living only at square 1.
The practice here is to save this energy, and start the slow, arduous, meaningful process of building a life on the bedrock of security, autonomy and integrity. This is hard work. Focusing on the externals in life is easy, and childish. The growing up process is difficult. It requires that we first face our own insecurities, our own “lack”, and our desperate attempts to distract ourselves from this reality. We must stop chasing the uncontrollable, and instead focus our vision inwardly. The “quick fix” and “instant gratification” lifestyle must be dropped and replaced with a willingness to be uncomfortable, to work hard, and to “not know” what is coming for the future.
Most men will create an excuse why this is not for them. And certainly, I don’t blame them. We need not strive for perfection in this cause, but we can plod forward, patiently improving ourselves and our lives. Interestingly, I propose that this way of attraction (which is, in truth, the becoming of “being attractive”) is FASTER than the life at square 1. There, the man chases his tail – constantly, confusedly. What’s worse is that he hasn’t the foggiest clue that this is what is happening. It’s a very sad state of affairs as he never actually gets anywhere.
The real work (in my humble opinion) in fact promises real improvement, but it’s slow, and it burns off the fantasy that we all purchase – “Very soon, it will all be finished; I will have the girl, the money, the lifestyle, the clothes, the girl, the girl, the girl…”. What replaces it is an honest acceptance of reality, and a strong willingness to work and earn my life. Nothing comes freely, and there are no short cuts – believe me, I’ve tried them all.
What ultimately replaces the fantasy of “tomorrow” is an acceptance of today. A real self-esteem begins to emerge. Actual growth happens. We find we need not perform in life, but that something is changing which I cannot explain. Our interactions morph into something more connected and involved, more real. Our plastic poses fall from us like the shackles they are, and instead emerges the beginnings of a real man.
This is what we can hope for by keeping our power. But, once this process begins, once we commence with real growth there will need to be forces present to help shape and mold this. This leads me to my next topic: “Redefining Masculinity”. Inherent to this topic is the immense importance of mentors and a community of men to encourage, guide and reflect to us ourselves. This will be discussed in the next post in the series.
Until then, ponder this and explore the ways that you drain your feeble power. Can you patch up these leaks? Of course you can. A better question might just be: Do you WANT to patch up these leaks?
If you do, anything is possible.
Click here to read the final installment of this series on feminism and relationships – Part IV: How To Be A Man