What is a man?
This is a question frequently asked, and immediately answered by pundits of sexual politics both online and in various flavor of the mainstream media. Strangely, this question pervasive as it is, and as forceful and plentiful as the many answers are – is almost never asked or answered by actual men defining themselves. No, what is a man, or what is a real man – these rhetorical devices are supplied by individuals – male and female – who are seeking to draw a line around the definitive “real man” outside themselves. If you’re a man, it’s individuals with their own axe to grind, supplying you with a definition of what you are, or what you should be. If only you were a real man by their authoritative, informed, and approved-by-the-central committee definition – you might have worth.
The attempt to control the definition of a “real man” is considerably more pervasive than the long reach and direct address of the topic in the mainstream media, and it is increasingly more shrill, as men begin to provide their own answers and self definitions without explanation or apology.
The acceptable mainstream narrative encompassing an acceptable man, or a good man, or a real man comes – in almost all cases – from a position of feminism. However disguised, the real goal is that a good man is one who is useful to women, and not ever a self actualized man who doesn’t need outside approval to define whether he’s worth the space he takes up.
One of the forms of public indoctrination of what you as a man should aspire to be comes from the modern mythology of the cinema. This was made clear to me when I was given a copy of a movie with the recommendation that I would enjoy. The movie in question was Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington. The plot summary is that our protagonist – a former soldier and assasin is a flawed, broken man, who redeems himself by enduring various physical abuse from a collection of highly organized kidnappers and extortionists while employed to protect a blonde white woman and her blonde white child from said bad-guys. In the film’s conclusion, our dark skinned protagonist redeems himself by voluntarily dying so that the rich white woman employing him can live.
Hooray, another fictional male protagonist meeting his full heroic potential…
and earning all our approval by dying for somebody else’s convenience. To you men in the audience – can you even aspire to this level of personally mortal self sacrifice? Because if not, how dare you consider yourself a real man.
This is the myth of masculine worth, and it is not a new idea. It is not some new version of the value of male identity which came along in the last 100 or 50 years with modern feminism. This concept of male worth is as old as human civilization – that the value of a man’s life is it’s utility to kings, and women. What’s come along to put a new spin on this is the feminist-normal idea that men – those good old reliable disposable dispensers of money, labor and violence on behalf of the preferred sex – are creatures who are no fucking good until and unless they’ve submitted to ritual shame and public conformity to working hard at reform – at becoming worthy in female, ah, feminist, eyes.
This is the myth of masculine worth, but its a cynical lie from those telling it on the women’s side – its an unattainable fiction no sane adult can meet, or would try to. Its purpose is control and social censure. On the side of male apologists for this myth – it’s the lie of piety. The very same righteous hypocrisy of the priest or the politician denouncing homosexuality a week before discovery with a male prostitute.
For a man, the universal presentation of the feminist myth of man as real only through utility and self sacrifice, this becomes a more and more obvious lie that obscures as personal self actualization is realized. The red pill makes a great deal of modern mythology much more obvious for it’s bankruptcy. After ingestion of the red pill, watching television or movies with that universal message of servitude and sacrifice, as if acceptable masculinity, is is revealed as slavery with crystal clarity.
So what is a man? What is a real man?
The people providing the acceptable answers to that have their own agenda – and it’s one that benefits them. I have my own agenda too, to pretend otherwise would be absurd – but my answer to that question is not what you need to do to be a real man. It’s only what I need to do. What you need to do is what you decide, without any self serving ideologue providing you the approved definition of your disposability, or your worth.