Two very well-behaved boys left to figure things out on their own: Reflections on being raised ‘Blue Pill’

“No one told us about: ‘Feminism’, ‘Gynocentrism’, ‘Hypergamy’, and ‘Misandry’.”

This is my second submission on A Voice for Men (AVFM) – the first being my 2017 Father’s Day post published on my own blog, Big Words. After sharing that I mentioned him in it, Paul Elam saw fit to publish it on AVFM as it discussed my father’s money and life lessons – many of them painful. It was also about some of Dad’s personal struggles – some of which I’ve only comprehended as I’ve become a man myself.

I stumbled across Paul’s An Ear for Men (AEFM) YouTube channel in 2017, and in this season of my life as a single man, his words have been like music to my ears, explaining much of what I’ve experienced dating or ‘pair-bonding’ as he calls it. They’ve helped me feel okay about not rushing back into the next relationship. Furthermore, they’ve affirmed that me and my brother were never alone regarding our lifelong struggles with the opposite sex. There were in fact other boys who were raised by women with minimal quality male mentoring, left to figure things out on their own as they transitioned into manhood.

This essay is not to bash my parents as they did the best they could do. I wrote this essay to speak to what I think a lot of other men from similar backgrounds have experienced. For me it was always reassuring to know that I wasn’t alone in my experiences, and there is a power in sharing common experiences.

I think about myself and my brother’s upbringing a lot these days – how we were socialized and how we were raised – mostly by my mother and my grandmother – mostly under a female’s point of view. My father who remained as visible as possible following my parent’s divorce, did the best he could to teach us how to be men, though I would later find that his own knowledge about how to navigate this world as a man was somewhat limited and even flawed in some fundamental ways. Thus me and my older brother, both two very well-behaved boys both have taken our lumps in the adult world in terms of romantic love and pair-bonding. Again as verified on AVFM and AEFM, there are a lot of men like us out there who were let to figure things out on their own, if at all.

* * *

“Your sons are so well-behaved,” said many of the women at the Baptist church we attended during my early years. My childhood was anchored in Christian values and teachings – principles which would teach us to be fine and upstanding men. I won’t say that the men at our church didn’t care, but it was usually the women who commented. Later on, men like auto mechanic Mr. Gray of “Gray’s Auto”, observed that we were, “different,” and that there weren’t many boys like us coming out of Buffalo’s eastside where most of the black families lived.

Growing up without any consistent strong male figures, I enjoyed being around Mr. Gray and hearing his stories like the time he broke some guy’s jaw with one punch. Mr. Gray had rock-like hands and knuckles, and I think the guy came after him at his repair shop over a woman or a repair job. I had never heard such stories in my 20 years, and something about it was cool. Though an older man, Mr. Gray was in excellent shape and enjoyed being around young people who were on positive paths. He exuded the ‘masculine energy’ Dr. Robert Glover discussed in his book No More Mr. Nice Guy. Unfortunately, we only went to lunch a couple of times, but I soaked up everything I could from him. Throughout my youth and beyond, I was drawn to the stories and wisdom of strong men like Mr. Gray.

Within our home, Mom was an old school, ‘throwback’ mother and took pride in our behavior. She established discipline and respect early on, and she didn’t have to spank or whip us much. I personally recall just the threat of the belt striking fear into me. She did it mostly on her own as Dad was five hours away and wasn’t involved in our daily development and socialization. It was a safe home filled with love. It was also a sheltered home – one which kept us isolated from the streets and the darker sides of human nature – the church included.

It was very important for Mom to raise two well-behaved boys. She and my grandmother felt that you raised your children for society. That is, you raise them to be good citizens and to play fair and square. While me my brother however were raised to be two well-behaved boys, we gradually learned that it wasn’t a well-behaved world we were going into – particularly in the dating arena which turned out to be more of a ‘Darwinian/Survival of the Fittest’-type of place.

“Be attentive to her moods. Be sensitive to her feelings. Be romantic. Be thoughtful and caring. Your father certainly didn’t know how to be romantic towards me.” These are all things Mom told me in terms of “courting” and dating women as I transitioned from my teens into my twenties. In hindsight, these were probably all of the things that were on her wish list for men – things she didn’t always receive. “Relationships are work,” is something else Mom told me – words which stayed with me. They were true but without self-love, I discovered that they could lead to staying trapped in toxic situations way too long. From my grandmother, I remember hearing a lot of talk about, “providing,” and this was usually in discussions about an aunt’s husbands who was, “a good provider but not much a father.”

Very early on I gleaned that a man’s worth and usefulness were tied directly to his resources and service to women. In hindsight, many of the marital relationships in my immediate family circle were dysfunctional, some violent, and most ended in divorce. After hearing stories about how my mother was physically abused by our father, I think me and my brother both set out to be much better men. But who and what awaited our good, upright and upstanding intentions?

What awaited us was a jungle – a world where two well-behaved boys were easy targets, and prime candidates to be taken advantage of, especially in the dating arena by some of the women we encountered there. What we found was that while we were taught to be nice, attentive, caring, thoughtful and sensitive to the needs of the women we took interest in, we weren’t told that we wouldn’t necessarily get those same courtesies in return. We weren’t told that we could get the exact opposite of what we were giving out. We weren’t taught about the darker sides of female nature, and the perils of them. We had to learn those on our own.

Furthermore, while we were taught that a man’s role is to provide, we were ill-equipped to reconcile the traditional roles for the sexes in a world that had become very non-traditional. With women now working and generating their own incomes, what were they supposed to do? No one told us about: ‘Feminism’, ‘Gynocentrism’, ‘Hypergamy’, and ‘Misandry’ – the ‘Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse’ which make relationships, dating and marriage utter hell. I knew nothing about the former three words until watching Paul’s many ‘Red Pill’ podcasts on AEFM – prior to which I thought something was wrong with me. I briefly heard about feminism when my brother started college and enrolled in some “Women’s Studies” courses.

By the way, this essay originally also looked at my brother’s journey, but to keep the family peace, I’m just focusing on myself. I’ve had three adult relationships, all of which were blood baths – my blood and for a myriad of reasons – the central of which was having low self-esteem and a lack of self-purpose and direction. When I say a lack of self-esteem, I’m grouping a bunch of things together: a lack of self-confidence, a high level of insecurity, and a lack of self-love.

I believe this ‘Unholy Trinity’ was due to not having consistent strong male figures around, and no one stressing the importance of self-love and boundaries. The understanding that, “relationships are work,” compelled me to stay in some situations much too long as well – there can come a point when relationships are too much work, and where the ends don’t justify the means. How much work is too much work? It’s a very, very important question to ask one’s self and to be honest about when that threshold has been crossed.

Without knowing to protect my psyche, being a teachable and malleable person – strengths in some instances, allowed me to fall victim to the psychological warfare waged in the toxic pairings I landed in. It was also the unconditional deference and love for women that I learned growing up. I can’t remember my mother or grandmother teaching us to know when to call it quits. Actually to their credit, I do remember hearing the riddle, “You teach people how to treat you,” but it was always stated in such a gentle and well-behaved way. By the way gentleman, a key signal to end a relationship is when your personal health is compromised – the emergence of physical indicators of increased stress, a loss of appetite, and a loss of peaceful sleep are all dead giveaways.

* * *

I swear to this day that my brother and myself were fortunate that our father was visible and we could call him whenever we wanted to. This was good early on, but in some ways harmful for us later. Dad and I talked a lot about girls and women throughout the years and he told me many of his horror stories – some about the women he dated, and many stories about his marriage to my mother and his second wife (from his point of view).

Overall when it came to women, he honestly wasn’t very successful with them and in hindsight it makes sense why I didn’t get much useful ‘game’ from him. How can you be unsuccessful at something, and then teach someone else to be successful at it? My brother? He never really listened to anyone anyway which in this regard worked out in his favor. Dad recently went through his second divorce and is now back on the market, lonely and hoping to have someone.

What kinds of things did Dad teach me? He was always pretty big on age. In short, younger women were good, and women my age and older were bad. It was a very black and white way of looking at a world full of gray. Women my age and older were in his words, “smarter and more advanced,” and would look to take advantage of my inexperience. I can’t think of an instance where he stated that the right older woman may have the maturity necessary for something long lasting, and that they weren’t all bad. I’ve certainly left a couple good ones on the table due to his sage wisdom. While the theory was that younger women would look up to us, Dad didn’t say anything about many of them being immature, fickle and difficult which I later found was the case. This taught me that you can’t always take your parent’s words as the gospel.

Dad was always pretty big on horoscopes as well. He always wanted to know how old my love interests were, and when they were born. He knew his astrology so well that he could easily state who was an ‘earth’, ‘air’, ‘fire’, or ‘water’ sign, and he would give his commentary on how well we would astrologically fit together. And that was the extent of it in addition to women being, “all about the money.” In some ways he right about that – again a large percentage of a man’s usefulness was his resources. Dad was also accurate about women typically also focusing more on what a man is not doing as opposed to them myriad of things he is doing – a sobering revelation from someone you’re loving unconditionally and working hard for.

Much of the advice I got from my father was from a position of powerlessness, anger, fear and despair as it related to women – one where life’s glass was consistently half empty. Very little of his teachings discussed self-love and developing my ‘Personal Power’ – things I had to learn from other men. Self-love is powerful because it helps you to put a certain amount of value on yourself, and it compels you to enforce your own principles and standards – something Paul stresses in both AVFM and AEFM.

Even after earning a Ph.D. in a STEM-field from one of the greatest universities in the world, my self-love was still in the toilet. It was around that time that Dad’s telling me, “I’m proud of you,” also seemed to stop all altogether. In some ways he became an adversary who didn’t celebrate my success, but instead wanted to make sure that I didn’t feel too big because of it. Ironically what most women wanted and needed, was a confident and strong man – one of who felt a sense of personal power and confidence – one who could stand up to them and even walk away when necessary. Strangely – and I’ve seen this a lot in families, Dad also taught me that while your parents should be your biggest cheerleaders, some can become your biggest competitors and adversaries. Ironic isn’t it?

* * *

So what’s the take away from all of this? Is it to not be nice to women? Is it to be an asshole to women? No. My best friend and others have stated that there was nothing wrong with being raised to respect women. There is however something wrong with being a doormat – a ‘Simp’ in modern terminology. And that’s exactly what you are if you’re only told respect women. You also have to protect yourself, your heart and your spirit. There’s nothing worse than being nice, and cherishing someone only to be shitted on and pimped because you didn’t know that your love would be taken advantage of. It turns out that there are different interpretations of love, and being nice, attentive, romantic and caring are only 10% of the entire playbook when dealing with the opposite sex.

I realized early on that we were missing the other 90% of the playbook, and I actively sought out the rest of that information. If you were raised like us, I would encourage you to ask questions, study and find male figures who actually know what they’re doing and have worked their way through this stuff. It’s never too late to start filling in the gaps in your knowledge. If you can’t find other successful men initially, you can at least watch the abundance of ‘Men Go Their Own Way’ (MGTOW), and ‘Red Pill’ podcasts like Paul’s library of AEFM podcasts. Being a black man, I also spend a lot of time in the “Negro Manosphere” where these and other topics are discussed daily.

I showed this essay to a mentor as I got the content closer to its final form. He stated that it wasn’t surprising that a child of a broken home would struggle in relationships, but also that he was looking for some sort of resolution – a happy ending of sorts. After pondering his words, I realized first that in this world we live in, there isn’t always a happy ending no matter how much we want one – something else I learned through experience and observation. Secondly my personal story isn’t finished, and there may in fact be a happy ending for me. In any case, I understand my history much better now in addition to what’s happening in society overall. I also understand that I’ve made faulty choices in the past in terms of mating, and one of my challenges is thus not to repeat them going forward.

I want to thank Paul Elam for starting AVFM and AEFM, and for all of the other men’s channels for creating their content, and for providing the key information that many of us weren’t taught at home. Many of us ‘Blue Pill’ men left our homes blind, and without this information, we would’ve never known what was going on or why – this is the essence of the ‘Red Pill’ movement. As mentioned before I have my own blog titled Big Words which I’m working to grow. There I write about: Education, STEM, Financial Literacy and other topics. Please stop by. You can follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, at the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. I’ll close this with one of Paul’s usual endings and say, “Thank you for reading my essay, and I hope you enjoyed reading it, even if you didn’t.”

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