It has been said that there needs to be a restoration of a sense of meaning in men’s lives. In a world where man is attacked as a people and as an archetype, there is no objection to this fact. The crisis is existential when the worth of a male individual is under extreme duress, that is, when it makes being a male something to be questioned and too often hated.
I want to expand more on this premise and say that what is really needed is a restoration of a self-discovered narrative for men. Rather than men having no meaning in their lives, it is perhaps more accurate to say that the world is overrun with negative meanings for men. Two variants come to mind.
The first as we know is the narrative metastasizing to this day in the mainstream consciousness since the advent of feminism. Malekind is declared as the fundamental historic culprit against femalekind as well as every conceivable problem in the world big and small. Even when men’s issues come close to being brought to light, men again are fundamentally to blame (“The patriarchy hurts men too.”) This is the feminist “Original Sin” credo, based on false premises as it is, in which men are sinful by nature and can atone through two virtues: servitude and self-sabotage. Male feminists decry their own sex, vow on their knees to be less of a man, and still profess to “protect and defend” women in Pavlovian fashion. As we see, there is no absence of meaning; the meaning prescribed by feminists is that of self-diagnosis (the male sex as a disease) and self-sterilization.
The second variant, the neotraditionalist gynocentric narrative for men, serves as a reaction against the first, with strong appeals to “the way things used to be.” On the basis of traditional gender roles, this narrative professes to be of benefit to men. The idea of the chivalric knight in service towards women and towards the expense of self, however, is no less present here than in the feminist narrative for men. It is just manifested differently. Man is not a disease, but rather a useful tool; a means to an end. That endpoint, ironically, is for women’s benefit. The emphasis of fathers and intact families are rightly brought up, but curiously offset by the expectation of men to be physically away from the family to provide for the wife and children, and to die not only in wars, but at a moments notice in the name of protecting a woman. The wife in this arrangement would play victim if the husband doesn’t earn or work hard enough, and would do the same on the other hand for being away and not spending time with her and the kids. I believe we’ve seen enough of both as examples of grounds of divorce and the ultimate ruin of a given man.
Both narratives place men in a rat’s maze in which he as a male is punished, and he is likewise punished if he is not their standard of “man enough”.
The worthwhile narrative for men to be discovered is the one he does by himself, for himself. The positive meaning in men’s life must be attained by leaving the tribe. What is meant by this is that a man must be encouraged to find his own meaning in life as an unabashed man and not what society wants men to be. This is not to say that masculinity has no standard nor counter-definition to femininity, but that only in a man’s liberty in his body and soul can he discover his own natural expression of his masculinity.
We know we’ve had enough of the narrative that says that man is an aberration defined against the more wholesome, “fairer sex”. We also should know by now the prescribed narratives in which man can only feel good as a man if he is a sacrificial animal, as a tool and a means to another’s end, and worst of all it is only virtuous if he is bestowed with the divine approval of, you guessed it, the “fairer sex”. Now it is time to look to the alternative to both of those, towards the meaning of life of an unbeholden, unsacrificed man with intact body and intact spirit.
There will be more to say on such a man in the coming years. Stay tuned.