Hey man, who are you?
I recently called-in to the radio show of a guy whose online bio claims he is a “Cult leader, podcaster, benevolent bully, deep thinker, cat lady, progressive NRA member, huge penis, Thor of Truth hammering and your mentor”.
Now, given that list, you might assume, as I did, that the individual who wrote his own bio in such terms was engaging in satire or parody.
“cat lady” ? “huge penis” ? “your [my] mentor” ?
A more detailed reading of his site convinced me that while he might have been joking, he wasn’t kidding. I won’t bore readers with a comprehensive rebuttal, but it’s worth noting a few of the inconsistencies. My reason is not to deride the author. Rather I am motivated that inconsistencies typify a certain popular set of mind, shared widely in what passes for mainstream culture. In addition, the individual also called himself a “supreme alpha male”, which I’ll return to later.
Later, not because we’ll spend any time deconstructing the author, podcaster and cat lady in question, but because although that individual correctly estimates the current social landscape in western culture.
“What has happened to the American male?
Simply put, he has been deconstructed, vetted, redefined, insulted, and in essence, burned to the ground. Prescribed burning at the hands of feminism, in an effort to control, manage, and for all intents and purposes reset him, has forever changed the state of the American man.”
These observations will appear self-evident to most within, and even outside the MHRM.
However, his proposed solutions appear to skip entirely past any analysis of causes, shifting economics, technological advance, communications and connectivity, all of which have transformed our world in the last half century. Our friend, the cat lady and Thor of truth takes almost no account of such detail, but proposes a solution. However, he is merely one example of what appears all too common as his conclusions are replicated by others of similar mind.
What conclusions? Here are a few, borrowed again from our friend the benevolent bully and deep thinker.
“So herein lies the terrifying truth… real men are almost extinct.”
Admittedly, this is one of his observations, rather than a proposed solution, but alert readers should already have spotted the problem: “real men”.
There is no such thing. The phrase “real men” is a term of art, used to shame and control men not complying to an external pattern of behavior or thought. If you aren’t a male of sufficient utility to your social betters, disposability and stoic silence in the face of your own injury or marginalization, well son, you’re not a real man.
That our Hammer of Truth, Mentor and Alpha Cat Lady uses this term without apparent irony suggests his self identification as a deep thinker may be somewhat premature. Like “good man” the phrase “real man” is an external shackle, placed on the minds of children, and used to yoke them through adulthood to the service of a culture which devalues their humanity in preference to disposable utility and compliance.
There is no such thing as a “good man”, or a “real man” except where those terms are used against men and boys, to coerce male compliance with a mode of behavior best described with words like appliance, or slave.
Now, to be fair to the individual whose radio show I called, his webpage, from which I’ve selected some quotes with which to disagree, also includes points which seem obviously true.
“Whether or not they are aware of it, feminists have created a culture in which a boy born today is medicated for having normal energy. He is left behind in school because teachers feel he does not need extra help, the world is already easy enough for him. Before he is 16 he has been programmed to believe that everything about him is wrong, and that everything wrong with the world is about him. He causes wars, he creates a rape culture, he is stupid, and he is concerned with little more than his continuous participation in various pissing contests.
Boys are assailed by messages on television and in every modern advertisement that man is a dummy, incapable of doing anything right, who instead must wait for his wife to finish rolling her eyes so she can fix whatever mess he’s gotten into.”
And, a few lines farther on :
“To the modern feminist, boys are a dangerous wildfire that needs to be controlled at all costs.”
And what’s the solution? Or more precisely, what is Jake Pentland’s solution?
“When I think about everything I do, everything for which I have fought and overcome, I try to pinpoint what really drives me as a man. Is it money, recognition, fame? Sure those are part of it, but those motivators don’t explain why it is I care so much.
The reason why I care is simple. It’s because I want to be a good father.
To me there is no higher goal, no more important quest.
That is what a real man is.
And that is the real reason why America is in the toilet. It is because men are not good fathers anymore.”
There it is again, the real man, this time offered as a self definition. And if Jake wants to define his own purpose in life as a good father, good for him. The world needs good fathers. But that’s where we find ourselves back in slippery territory. This real man – as offered up by one who self identifies as such is still a definition based on utility to others.
The “real man” – whether conforming to a feminist definition, or to a traditionalist model, is still a referential identity.
The real man is dependent on approval by others, and by utility to others for a positive social identity. If he pauses, for whatever reason, in the job of being a good appliance, and the real man becomes a bad man, or no man at all.
So what about the guy writing this article. Am I a good man?
It depends who you ask. Some within the MHRM would probably say I am. Many outside this movement might disagree. How about an easier question. Am I a real man?
Nope. At least, not according to anybody, whether traditionalist or feminist who entertains the idea of “real man” as anything other than a tool of shame and manipulation.
But I’m not an imaginary man. Which is to say, I exist. It’s a feature shared in common with our self defined alpha male, and with every reader of this article, even those who aren’t men at all.
A remarkable thing about some people, particularly those who aren’t men, is that they are “people” in the sense of having positive social identity, without reference to their utility to others. Their identities are innate, rather than referential.
And this is where we come to a question of male identity. Who are you, man?
That question is more than simple rhetoric, and it’s not one I have any illusions about being capable of supplying an answer to, other than for myself.
Jake Pentland asks this question too, although he also limits the scope of his answer, returning to a potential male identity limited to that which must not offend who Jake recognizes as the real owners of whatever identity he might claim.
“So what is a man to do? How do we redefine ourselves so as not to be threatening to women, yet still honor our genuine essence?”
I have no idea what “genuine essence” is, but I do know that however I might define myself, whether that definition is threatening, appealing, appalling or even of interest to anyone else is far far down the list of priorities.
“How do we redefine ourselves so as not to be threatening to women…”
Why is any question of male self identity or self definition framed with the added and superfluous baggage of anyone else’s feelings?
“… so as not to be threatening to women..”?!!
It seems fairly obvious that as a member of a species of social animal, the opinions and attitudes, and even emotions of others, including women, do feature prominently in matters of personal conduct, behavior and so on. I am not, and most of the readers of this site are not sociopaths.
In the question of self definition as a man, who gives a fuck what somebody else thinks?
In self determination of identity; in defining oneself as a man, who gives a fuck what women think?
Well, “real men” apparently place that consideration before all others. And that consideration, in turn, supplies us all the answer to Jake Pentland’s question:
“How do we redefine ourselves so as not to be threatening to women”?
By being men whose identity does not exist without referential and deferential dependence on the emotions and the approval of others. There’s your alpha male. There’s your Thor of truth, hammering.
And this leaves only my relatively simple question to answer.
So, who are you, man?