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In lieu of an actual blog post …

I’ve never worked for months on a blog post before.

I’ve been working on one since early summer.

I have the title. It’s “In Praise of Men.” That’s been so since the beginning. But writing such a thing is complicated, both because of the strange age we’re in, when to be male is to be eeeeeeevil, and because of my own background.

Men (as even men are likely to agree) are simpler creatures than women. But there is nothing simple in relations between the sexes and there is nothing — nothing, nothing — simple about being a man in a time where men are both reviled and desperately needed.

My “work” of the last three months has been not putting a word in pixels while trying to figure out how to tackle the complications of the topic.

Might be a while yet. Getting closer, though.


Meantime, I found this column by the ever prescient Charles Hugh Smith: “Goodbye To All That: Are Our Rituals of “Prosperity” Increasingly Meaningless?”

Of all the economic heresies imaginable, perhaps the most heretical is to recognize what we label “prosperity” as increasingly meaningless rituals more akin with Soviet-era staged parades than actual well-being.

This is the most dangerous heresy because it breaks the link between consumption–the core activity of our economy–and human happiness. If conspicuous / surplus consumption is ritualistic rather than fulfilling (i.e. it adds to our well-being), then it becomes meaningless or even corrosive.

He goes on to show what happens — what’s already happening — when we realize how empty many of our daily activities or entertainments are.

Smith is one of those rare writers, who even when I don’t agree with him, opens my eyes and challenges my perceptions. On this subject, I fear he’s right on. I hope he’ll write more about the long-term consequences.


Back to you later. Maybe even soon; I don’t know. Now that I made my little confession, I suspect ideas might flow better. Besides that, there’s always a chance that someone will say something in comments that adds dimension or gives inspiration for “In Praise of Men.”


  1. N.P.
    N.P. September 28, 2020 6:15 pm

    My Girlfriend (who will be my wife someday after we leave the fascist state of Kommieforniastan)…Refers to me as the Spiritual Head of the household…When I am not doing good (personally/spiritually), either does the Household. We as a Partnership (I call us the administrative leadership of this going concern) share labor, financial burden etc. equally. I respect her opinion (probably more than my own) and when She makes a decision-I follow it. She also gives me that due respect in return. In my experience, Man-Woman relationships do not always work this way, Which makes Her an incredible exception to the rule in this particular state and I suspect in the rest of the world, Although I might be terribly wrong and I bet there are as many Good Women as Good Men-Although the Lamescream media would always disagree with me on that point. I have not Stated my Faith (we call it trust), We Are Followers of Christ(not the Jesuit definition of Christian). I don’t know if that makes a difference in reality, but It does to Us. Two phrases we have removed from our language when speaking to one another is: 1. “You Should…” and 2. “Don’t”. We also try not to address others in this way. It takes away their autonomy and is demeaning and controlling. In turn we say: “You might consider…”. Thoughtfulness and Kindness towards one another goes along way. We try not to do as the world does so woefully well: Dehumanize each other or others. I thought this might be a good addition to what you are writing. And Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking posts and blogs. We await your forthcoming work eagerly and Gratefully!

  2. Myself
    Myself September 28, 2020 9:29 pm

    I’m not sure that your impressions of the (U.S.) society’s views on males is entirely accurate.

    Assuming you are correct however, what traits, or attributes do you think a man must possess, and what differentiates, a man from a woman (besides anatomy)

    Does any adult person with a y chromosome qualify as a man, or do you have some other requirements?

  3. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 28, 2020 11:15 pm

    From the link:
    While many will miss the performance of these rituals, others will realize they don’t really miss them. Some will feel immense relief that they no longer have to put up a facade of enjoying the tiresome, meaningless rituals.
    So some people enjoy watching football, and some don’t. It’s called individualism. Personally, I’d much rather go to the range and knock down targets, but not everyone likes that, either.

    And yes, mainstream rituals change over time, “time” including both the passage of years and individually aging. I don’t find interest in several activities I pursued when I was younger. But as old rituals fade away, new ones are born. The Big Band era is obsolescent, but where I live I can easily find live music from Jazz to C&W to Rodgers & Hammerstein.

    Two sandwiches and two drinks, sales tax and a tip is now routinely $50 or more.
    Another reason I don’t “split my time between San Francisco and Hawaii.”

  4. Carol, US
    Carol, US September 29, 2020 4:25 am

    Claire – I am SO excited for your post. You are such a wonderful logician and writer, and it seems like I have never disagreed with your opinion on anything. I follow your leadership happily.

    On that note, I am excited for this article because a few years ago I noticed this anti-male bias and hatred ongoing in the media, and even in person with some people. If a man exhibited masculine qualities, he was a brute, spewing toxic masculinity, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Unless he was “woke” and willing to be a “feminist” (how is such a thing even possible???), then his opinion didn’t count.

    I can tell you that I love my husband of 35 years more than my own life, and if the choice were put to me, would give mine willingly without hesitation to save his. There are so many wonderful words for him, but let’s just keep it simple here and say that he is literally the other half of me. We need and depend on each other, we respect each other, and that, along with a deep love for each other, is enough for us. Phooey on what other people think..

  5. Toidhealbheach Beucail
    Toidhealbheach Beucail September 29, 2020 5:12 am

    Claire, I had skimmed this article but upon your recommendation, I will read it again in more detail.

    I was speaking with The Ravishing Mrs. TB earlier this month on a rather minor but indicative item, that of the tradition of Christmas Cards. Over the last few years we have been receiving less and less; I wonder if the events of the last year will significantly impact that tradition to the point that it rapidly declines to a handful of cards one sends to those who are close instead of as a sort of annual greeting card

  6. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 29, 2020 7:44 am

    Take your time young lady. Here’s my thought;

    Vir is the Roman word for man, from vir is derived Virtus.

    IMHO the attack on man is really just an attack on virtue. Only men without virtue can be made into slaves in both mind and body.

  7. david
    david September 29, 2020 9:04 am

    I consider myself to be both male and a Man. I’m not the Man I want to be yet, but I’m 72 so have accepted that I may need to finish the journey the next time ‘round. I consider myself a feminist – after participating in the parenting to 10 kids, 9 of them girls, I don’t see how I could not be a feminist. Girls seem to have an inherent insecurity about their abilities as they grow, and I’m not qualified to say if it’s somehow pushed on them by society or mom or if it’s innate. But I have done everything I could to try to give them the sense of ‘no limits’ and ‘I can’ that they deserve.

    I have other traits of which I’m somewhat proud, and a long list of events I consi
    der failures to achieve the Man-ness I wish to demonstrate. Of these I am personally ashamed, but I don’t share those memories. I do try to correct every failure going forward.

    I’m not – for example – as patient with women I’ve known as I would like to be. However I make bad decisions in the selection process and so my patience wears thin. I don’t k is the decisions are bad before that point.

    On the other hand, I am generous to those close to me. I work, and diligently too. I love animals and am kind and compassionate to all my furry friends. I strive to be the entire list of ‘A Boy Scout is…’ traits, and more. I try tto keep my ego in a box, as ego is the root of all suffering and most evil. But I could go on and on; and I did not sign in here to write my eulogy or autobiography so I’ll stop here. I will however append something a friend sent me this week, which I think is a good set of ‘rules’. I do not know the source…

    RULES TO TEACH YOUR SON – what a different world this would be.
    1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
    2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.
    3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.
    4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
    5. Request the late check-out.
    6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
    7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
    8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
    9. Play with passion or don’t play at all…
    10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
    11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
    12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
    13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
    14. You marry the girl, you marry her family.
    15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
    16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
    17. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
    18. Never turn down a breath mint.
    19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
    20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
    21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.
    22. Eat lunch with the new kid.
    23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
    24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
    25. Manners maketh the man.
    26. Give credit. Take the blame.
    27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
    28. Write down your dreams.
    29. Take time to snuggle your pets, they love you so much and are always happy to see you.
    30. Be confident and humble at the same time.
    31. If ever in doubt, remember whose son you are and REFUSE to just be ordinary!
    32. In all things lead by example not explanation.

  8. Tahn
    Tahn September 29, 2020 9:12 am

    Tough and sensitive subject but an important one. Good luck with it Claire.

    I believe that the current trend to emasculate men, was a result of women wanting/trying to be a man but in the majority of cases (not all) they failed soooo if they couldn’t be like a man, they decided (maybe by default) to make men more like women and become “equal” that way.

    I do believe, as others here have stated, that ideally, men and women, being their natural selves can form a pair and become greater than each individual. Traditionally, it is called a family.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous September 29, 2020 10:09 am

    Men (as even men are likely to agree) are simpler creatures than women.

    I don’t believe that anymore. I think that’s a negotiating position by women to reserve maneuvering space, and men fell for it. If ‘a woman can always change her mind’, then she isn’t mature enough to sign a contract, and needs to be ward of a male guardian. Men, when a woman says something that sounds like ‘heads I win tails you lose’, ask yourself ‘how would I feel if a man said that to me?’ If you would score a man saying it as a calculated lie to abuse your trust, then that’s what it actually is.

    nothing — simple about being a man in a time where men are both reviled and desperately needed.

    Men, suppress in yourself the instinctual urge to rescue women. When a woman reports being sexually battered, the first investigation question should be ‘why didn’t you shoot him with your handgun?’ If the answer isn’t something admirable like ‘there were six of them with knives and I had to clear two misfires’, then laugh and walk away. Natural selection will eliminate the unfit genes.

  10. Daylan
    Daylan September 29, 2020 8:07 pm

    Interesting that you wrote ‘Praise of Men’ instead of ‘Praise of Man’ – am I reading too much into it?

    I personally don’t think having a penis (or vagina) or any unearned physical attribute deserves praise. IMHO praise should be reserved for choices and actions taken to make things better. (Some) men (and women) deserve praise, others deserve condemnation for their choices and action.

    I understand I am biased against ‘Praise of Men’, but I do look forward to your writing about it.

  11. John
    John September 29, 2020 9:02 pm

    I second the last.

    That we have for some expedient, moved toward giving decisions over to children, does not matter to the universe. It will of course matter to the living.

    Humanity has several thousand years of recorded exploration of ideas that work, and ones that do not. We play grand experiments at our own peril. I’m disposed to move in direction of risks that look to me to be mostly rationally sane, and away from what look wild and insane.

    Men and women have been here a little while. We’ve do pretty well…

  12. stryderoftheuplands
    stryderoftheuplands September 30, 2020 4:50 am

    ” I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.” Quando omni flunkus moritati

  13. Pat
    Pat September 30, 2020 7:10 am

    In spite of what feminism says, both sexes bring some attributes (either inherent or cultural) to the world and to relationships that enhance society as a whole when each is allowed to fulfill their roles.

    Most societies have not allowed the sexes to fulfill their roles on an equal basis, and that is the fault of cultural evolution — i.e. how we have interpreted ourselves throughout history. As human instinct is essentially nil, we are left with choices —— That often cause a confused and antagonistic dilemma.

    Ardent 20th Century feminism has chosen to declare war on the male portion of the species. But to judge a person’s actions, ideas, or values solely on their sex is sexism, and is totally unfair, unnecessary, and makes it difficult to recognize the true worth of each sex in action while control and competition are in play.

    Claire, I am most interested in hearing what you have to say “In Praise of Men”.

    “”I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.” Quando omni flunkus moritati”

    Please don’t. I like men.

  14. Claire
    Claire September 30, 2020 9:53 am

    RLW — Thanks for the link. Although I have neither the patience nor the bandwidth for most of those videos, I watched about half of his MGTOW talk and it made a lot of sense.

    NP — That’s beautiful. I particularly appreciated your and your girlfriend’s commitment to speak respectfully to each other. That makes such a huge difference all by itself. My best to the two of you. And good luck escaping California.

    MYSELF — Those questions are the crux of the matter, aren’t they?

    LARRYARNOLD — Well-observed, as usual. Yep, rituals are individualized and rituals change over time. The “interesting” parts come when some power group or power-group wannabe attempts to impose their new rituals on everybody else.

    CAROL, US — I love what you describe of your relationship. You and your husband are a wise and fortunate pair. And thank you for the wow comment, but please don’t follow my leadership. I’m no leader — just glad to have really interesting companions along on this strange journey through life, politics, the universe, and everything.

    TB — Glad to see you (and indirectly your ravishing wife) here. Hm. I thought Christmas cards had died a long time ago. Oddly, one of the few families who send me a Christmas card each year are Orthodox Jews.

    CX — Excellent observation on virtue.

    And David — Great examples of what virtue can be.

    TAHN — Yes, in the 1970s iteration of feminism, the aim was to be as man-like as possible (OMG, those office power suits!). Disaster. And trust you to pick up on the nuances of any issue and to offer kind support. Thank you.

    ANON — Yikes. You’ve interpolated a lot into a single statement you disagree with. The war of the sexes is ancient; both sides have their points. But the kind of grudge-driven bitterness you display is part of the problem, not even remotely approaching a solution.

    DAYLAN — Don’t worry; I would never praise all men, or all women for that matter. I would, however, defend and encourage the best in both — and thanks for being around to read it.

    JOHN — I’m personally not sure how well either men or women have done, in the main. But I sure endorse the potential.

    STRYDEROFTHEUPLANDS — Heaven forfend. 😉

    PAT — Wisdom once again. You’re right; we are so often out of balance, so often attempting to cram individuals into stereotypes. The stereotypes (as they usually do) have an authentic basis; but it’s destructive folly to impose them wholesale — and that’s true whether it’s done out of hatred or out of misplaced ideals of love.

  15. John Wilder
    John Wilder October 1, 2020 8:47 pm

    I’ve got one that’s been rattling around in my brain for almost 18 months. One day. And then sometimes I re-write a similar subject until I get it right (or as right as I can get it.

  16. Friday Links | 357 Magnum
    Friday Links | 357 Magnum October 2, 2020 7:27 am

    […] Claire Wolfe at Living Freedom – In lieu of an actual blog post … […]

  17. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan October 3, 2020 9:07 am

    I think this might have some inspirational value, although I couldn’t see clearly for couple minutes after reading it.

    I fixed my mom’s house up nice after stepfather passed, removing carpeting for easier to maintain laminate, added wood stove so warmth during the winter didn’t just feel like throwing money away, (she would only turn on one baseboard heater before). We went to the woods and got firewood every fall, even after the kids/her grandkids arrived. New sink, faucet, toilet. Sigh, she was suppose to live comfortable the rest of her life there.

  18. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge October 17, 2020 11:16 pm

    Great post. Great comments.

  19. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge October 17, 2020 11:33 pm

    I am dismayed at the disappearance of male only social groups. Having attended an all male high school as well as having been active in boy scouts (as both a youth and adult) I can say that they do have their advantages (I was chagrined when scouts went co-ed). While such organizations may not be for all males and should be strictly voluntary (after all, we are all good libertarians here) I can say from experience that when you at least temporarily remove the distraction of girls, boys tend to focus more clearly and cement stronger friendships. It seems politically correct to allow girls to voluntarily segregate by gender but not boys. Anyway also check out Its a great website.

  20. Tahn
    Tahn October 18, 2020 3:56 pm

    Just a late thought, I have just finished watching a documentary on Netflix called “Dolly Parton ,Here I Am” which I really enjoyed and thought relevant to your topic, from a woman’s perspective.

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