April 3rd, 2018
Bread and Circuses
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jewed Faggot States of ApemuriKa
The Way of Men by Jack Donovan
The Way of Men is The Way of The Gang
When someone tells a man to be a man, they mean that there is a way to be a man. A man is not just a thing to be—it is also a way to be, a path to follow and a way to walk. Some try to make manhood mean everything. Others believe that it means nothing at all. Being good at being a man can’t mean everything, but it has always meant something.
Most traditions have viewed masculinity and femininity as complementary opposites. It makes sense to say that masculinity is that which is least feminine andfemininity is that which is least masculine, but saying that doesn’t tell us much about The Way of Men.
Boys and girls don’t pair off at birth and scurry off to a dank cave together. Humans have always been social animals. We live in cooperative groups. Our bodies sort us into groups of males or females. We interact socially as members of one group or the other. These groups aren’t arbitrary or cultural—they’re basic and biological. Males have to negotiate male and female groups as males. Males aren’t simply reacting to females. We react to other males, as males. Who we are has a lot to do with how we see ourselves in relationship to other males, as members of the male group.
A man is not merely a man but a man among men, in a world of men. Being good at being a man has more to do with a man’s ability to succeed with men and within groups of men than it does with a man’s relationship to any woman or any group of women. When someone tells a man to be a man, they are telling him to be more like other men, more like the majority of men, and ideally more like the men whom other men hold in high regard.
Women believe they can improve men by making masculinity about what women want from men. Men want women to want them, but female approval isn’t the only thing men care about. When men compete against each other for status, they are competing for each other’s approval. The women whom men find most desirable have historically been attracted to—or been claimed by—men who were feared or revered by other men.
Female approval has regularly been a consequence of male approval.
Masculinity is about being a man within a group of men. Above all things, masculinity is about what men want from each other.
If The Way of Men seems confusing, it is only because there are so many different groups of men who want so many different things from men. Established men of wealth and power have always wanted men to believe that being a man was about duty and obedience, or that manhood could be proved by attaining wealth and power through established channels. Men of religion and ideology have always wanted men to believe that being a man was a spiritual or moral endeavor, and that manhood could be proved through various means of self-mastery, self-denial, self-sacrifice or evangelism. Men who have something to sell have always wanted men to believe that masculinity can be proved or improved by buying it.
In a united tribe with a strong sense of its own identity, there is some harmony between the interests of male groups, and The Way of Men seems straightforward enough. In a complex, cosmopolitan, individualistic, disunited civilization with many thin, à la carte identities, The Way of Men is unclear. The ways touted by rich and powerful men are tossed with the ways of gurus and ideologues and jumbled with the macho trinkets of merchants in such a mess that it’s easy to see why some say masculinity can mean anything, everything, or nothing at all. Add to that the “improvements” suggested by women and The Way of Men becomes an unreadable map to a junkyard of ideals.
To understand who men are, what they have in common and why men struggle to prove their worth to each other, reduce male groups to their nucleic form. Sprawling, complex civilizations made up of millions of people are relatively new to men. For most of their time on this planet, men have organized in small survival bands, set against a hostile environment, competing for women and resources with other bands of men.
Understanding the way men react to each other demands an understanding of their most basic social unit. Understanding what men want from each other requires an understanding of what men have most often needed from each other, and a sense of how these needs have shaped masculine psychology.
Relieved of moral pretense and stripped of folk costumes, the raw masculinity that all men know in their gut has to do with being good at being a man within a small, embattled gang of men struggling to survive.
The Way of Men is the way of that gang.