Scores of men today are crowded together at a bewildering impasse in the path toward their own identity as men. Largely severed from the lore of their father’s fathers, they are left struggling to feed their souls in the arid wasteland of a misandric Zeitgeist.
We live in a realm where the classic male archetypes, models of inspiration and aspiration, have been gutted and replaced with a model designed not to battle for progress, power or the greater good, but to fall on its own sword in self loathing, imposed from outside by its feminist creators.
Our archetypal Samurai has been replaced by a Shogun of Shame, a Sampson sheared of his hair, and the world of men now suffers from it.
The result is the grievous spectacle of masculinity succumbing and descending into the dismal culture of shallowness and self indulgence that is the hallmark of third wave feminism; the land of options without obligations; of self gratification without self awareness or self discipline.
This aimless, narcissistic existence is a fitting escape from lives lived as apologies for being male, making all efforts to deny their true nature, unless it serves the whims of others. And while serving others is and always has been entrenched in the nature of men, it is now just a trait to be exploited when convenient, and denied when not in use. Most men submit to this without even knowing it.
With the male image so vilified and demeaned in today’s world, and betrayed by the previous generation of men that let it happen, the newly reengineered man is all but defenseless against this downward spiral into insignificance.
It’s happening all around us.
And though they must be held to account, we must remember that they live in a world they inherited, not one of their own making. And without an available model of manhood that does not lead to their own destruction, they will be lost forever.
Underlying the platforms and politics of the Men’s Rights Movement is an unspoken mission to serve as a lifeline to this lost generation of our brothers. More than anything else, it is the job of men who understand, who have taken the red pill and seen through the Matrix, to push a meaningful archetype of manhood into the collective consciousness; to push it past the feminist censors and their obsequious male henchmen; to be willing, in fact, to roll over them in the process.
The only real question is what that manhood should look like.
And that, just as with the lost men of this generation, brings us to a crossroads as well.
I have written recently about what it means to be an MRA; how we must abandon reflexive chivalry and blind reverence for traditionalism; how we should dispense with party politics and move past internal divisions to further the cause of men and boys. That task, as important as it is, is just a preamble to this one. Because the real point of all of this is not what we do so much as activists, but that in doing so we define and exemplify what we aspire to as men.
The road to that enlightenment will not be an easy one. We remain divided along the many lines I have already mentioned. Underneath that, though, are the real divisions; divisions as old as mankind itself.
The world of men has always been a hierarchy. Alpha males residing at the top, the rest of us falling behind them, either as soldiers to their causes or as potential competitors for a spot at the top, and frequently both.
And in a world of defined gender roles this served us pretty well. Civilization progressed; advances were made and made again. And most of us shared, if not always equally, in the benefits.
The warrior, the athlete, the statesman and the like gave us models to emulate, traits of greatness to pursue and achieve in our own right. And honorable codes kept in check, as best can be, the corrupting influence of power. While evil existed and sometimes flourished, the system also produced widespread goodness, progress for all, and produced warriors, when needed, to combat the worlds evil and stop it in its tracks.
But in a world where one sex has moved past their role to assume political and legal dominance, and where the codes of honor have been replaced by the unbridled quest for control, the alpha male, the pinnacle of masculine archetypes, has gone from a needed figurehead to an agent of evil.
Ask yourself this. When feminism launched its attack on the core of masculinity some forty years ago and spread like cholera though every aspect of western existence, where were the alpha males?
They were doing what they have always done, consolidating and using power, often for the greater good, and admittedly sometimes not. Only, now, in our unanswered gender war, codes of honor and integrity were the first fatalities, killed off as enemies to the feminist agenda.
Faced with either retaliating against a population they had always served, or giving up power altogether, alpha males compromised, rather capitulated, with the surrender of their values.
Stripped of their guiding, corruption inhibiting principles, they became the muscle of the feminist Mafioso, maintaining rank and privilege through enforcing feminist will on the defenseless masses beneath them. They became cops hauling men to jail on the simple accusation of their wives. They became judges bludgeoning men with their gavels in corrupt courtrooms; politicians passing ever more misandric legislation; C.E.O.’s of pharmaceutical companies pushing drugs to sap the masculinity out of our boys, to make them more malleable to feminine control.
They became the enemy their codes had always compelled them to fight, and so colluded with evil to destroy the world of men. In an ultimate act of irony, the men who had been charged by feminists as evil, stooped to embrace them, and for the first time became the evil that had been alleged.
And since there will be no power for alpha males in heralding the cause of men and boys until the feminist hegemony is terminated, they are the primary enemy of the cause. It serves us well to consciously reject any notion that they are a relevant model to which men should aspire.
Another archetype is needed. And another archetype is available.
He is The Social Warrior.
He has many names. One of them is Tom Joad.
The protagonist in Steinbeck’s classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” Joad was an unlikely hero trapped in a Machiavellian landscape during the great depression that bears eerily similar features to the lives of men in more modern times.
Much like the growing phenomena of men in the west who increasingly either expatiate or seek to marry women from cultures other than their own, Joad abandons Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl for dreams of a better life in California. And just like the many men who find themselves duped by mail order brides more savvy to western law than they imagined, Joad lands himself squarely in the middle of troubles he intended to leave behind.
This leaves Tom faced only with more circumstances that seem beyond his control. He is pummeled by a shadow government, designed to use him as slave labor for the enrichment of a ruling class.
Joad tries first to keep his head down and work, surviving and ensuring the survival of his immediate circle. But he discovers, much like the men of today, that he is not going to be left alone to simply live his life.
As the prevailing powers seek more control and more utility from Tom and others, the ensuing friction finally ignites.
Tom witnesses the murder of Jim Casey, a disgraced former minister who has mentored Tom in the philosophy that divinity is not an ethereal ideal, but a tangible, supportive connection between fellow men.
And it is that ideal to which Casey martyrs himself, transforming Tom into a heroic archetype that avenges his mentors death and moves on as a fugitive to organize and fight on behalf of his exploited brothers.
In departing from what remains of his family, he becomes a Man Going His Own Way, but promising that his path is not of corrupt self indulgence. We will see him, he assures, not in the flesh, but in the spirit of men who fight back on behalf of their brothers against the forces of tyranny in whatever form they take.
It is easy, and I think in error, to infer that Joad’s rebirth is just an indictment of capitalism and a move toward collectivism, though it’s an idea that seems plausible in a story that unfolds against the backdrop of depression era America.
But the real message here is transcendent, delivered by a spiritual, not political leader, and speaks to the fellowship of man in a universal context, a connection far removed from the polemics of human political struggles.
One might also observe that the enemy of Joad was also the alpha male. That would be partially correct. Mankind has always struggled with the ebbs and flows in character from the corrupting influence of power. But Tom was merely the manifestation of the positive force in that struggle; the human embodiment of the code that has always risen to put evil in check.
Tom Joad was among the men that stormed the beaches at Normandy. He was the American revolutionary that fired the shot heard round the world. It was his arm that gave the first mighty swing of the hammer that toppled the wall in Berlin.
And he is the unknown, unsung and unrealized hero of men who face a similar struggle today.
In this context, Steinbeck offers us an archetype to replace the old one; to replace the one that failed us when he failed his own honor. We can now reject this model of manhood, the one that first enabled, then rode on, feminisms wave of power. And we can call these men out as the enemy they are, armed with philosophy and the righteousness to take them on, and win.
Call it the rejection of the archetype, or rebuilding of it if you will, as long as you keep calling these men to task.
And while they still have power and can inspire fear, we will see more men, cornered and desperate in this feminized world order, rise against it to fight. Or, in the immortal words of Tom Joad himself:
“It don’t take no nerve to do sumptin’ when there ain’t nothin’ else you can do.”