Note: I’ll be speaking of averages and generalities as I go along. Nothing I write should be taken to mean that I believe individuals should be wedged to fit stereotypes. Far from it. Averages and generalities can be anywhere from useless to downright destructive when applied to individuals. BUT they’re very useful when talking about the whole — of civilization or of the human race.
See Part I here, which mostly lays out other premises.
Evolution and civilization
Civilization as we know it was largely designed (by chance and nature more than by intent) to protect women and children.
Not out of some sort of caveman chivalry, but to perpetuate the species.
Early hunter-gatherer societies were probably more egalatarian than, say, early agricultural city-states or Victorian England. But the division of labor was there, biological before it became cultural. Women gave birth and nurtured. Men protected.
Males of the species eventually rose to the top of the social hierarchy because they were best equipped to be fighters, hunters, and (once humankind settled into cities) general providers while women were better equipped to stay in the cave or the hut and take care of the offspring.
Men came to rule because they were physically stronger and generally more dispassionately ruthless than women (more on the relative ruthlessness of males and females below).
Have there been exceptions? Sure. There are always exceptions. There have been warrior queens and bold huntresses. There have been gentle men who stayed in the village and cared for small children. Individuals will always bust through the rules.
But “woke” pseudoscientific proclamations to the contrary, overall biological and social patterns were established early-early on. Today we’re still stuck with that inheritance. The social is easy to alter; the physical, not so.
The dark secret behind male dominance has always been that, once a successful pregnancy is launched (which, face it, isn’t exactly an arduous task for a guy), men are less essential to the continuation of the human race than women and children are. Men are necessary to the process (and delightfully so), but a few men can take care of a lot of women. No doubt that’s part of the reason that competitiveness developed so strongly as a male trait.
I’m not saying anything that should be controversial. This fact is why it’s been “women and children into the lifeboats first.” This is why young men have been expended by the millions in wars while, in civilized societies, women and children have stayed home — perhaps performing important support roles, but protected as much as they can be.
All the while, the real “support role” in human development has actually been the man’s.
Now of course the old order has turned upside down. We women have been freed from enforced child bearing. We’ve proven ourselves smart and capable (even if most of us remain “differently abled” than our male counterparts). We’ve leaped into the workplace and done well. We’ve learned to take care of ourselves — or to take advantage of governments offering to protect us and our children. More recently, we’ve even begun getting pregnant with no more than the casual, sometimes downright immaculately clinical, assistance of men — men who may be complete strangers or good friends, but who aren’t going to fulfill traditional father/protector roles. Consciously or unconsciously, a lot of women are looking around and asking, “Who needs men?”
There are even some — admittedly on the fringes at this point — who believe women should put men out of their minds and their lives entirely. (Although the view is extreme, I note that this hate-filled harridan manages to get away with publishing her hate-filled book in a country that has stringent hate-speech laws, and officialdom isn’t raising any objections.) (H/T C^2)
The times they are a’changin.
Some of this is not likely to reverse. Some of it shouldn’t reverse. And some of it is batshit bonkers.
Just as our bodies still carry the “caveman” traits of craving sugar and storing fat even when we no longer endure starvation, our bodies and brains have evolved to fulfill certain roles, and the physical, intellectual, emotional characteristics behind those roles are still with us.
What was healthy eating — or at least a sensible survival pattern — for our hunter-gatherer bodies now renders us obese and diabetic. But we’re stuck with it.
What worked for us socially when Ogg needed to club dire wolves to death to protect Mrs. Ogg and the Ogglets, or when semi-civilized tribal patriarchs were gathering harems and producing hundreds of chilldren to ensure that a few reached adulthood and duly reproduced doesn’t appear to work so well for us today. But we’re stuck with the very definite physical legacy of that, too.
Our new reality has left men adrift, boys confused, women angry.
And as women, and feminist thinking, dominate teaching and social work and various other opinion-making professions, there’s a growing feeling that men and boys are not only far less necessary than they once were, but that they’re downright inconvenient and troublesome.
Where once women balanced the good in men with the negatives — good provider vs sexual aggressor, strong father figure vs aimless young man, wise leader vs arbitrary master, beloved friend and partner vs emotional bull in a china shop — our modern emphasis is increasingly on the bad side of maleness. Who are these violent, sexually predatory, “privileged,” emotionally blunted creatures, anyhow, and who needs them? So modern feminist thinking seems to go.
We’re making men and boys pay for the sins not only of their fathers, but their great-great-great-great-great-etc. grandfathers, on into antiquity. AND often making them pay for things that were not sins, but essential to our survival.
Now, from a position of strength, the increasingly female-leaning intelligentsia can with impugnity condemn patriarchy and all its works. And too many of us (sadly both male and female) believe that we can not only rid ourselves of male social domination, but that we can replace traditional strengths of maleness in society with “superior” female values — yes, even unto believing that “teamwork” and “inclusivity” are more important than solid engineering for building bridges.
A strident educational establishment insists that inconvenient traits like restlessness, aggression, and cool-headed logic should be trained (or medicated or crushed) out of male children.
There are two problems with this. Well, more than two, many more. But for purposes of this series of posts, two:
First: we don’t need feminized supremacy and social control any more than we needed male supremacy and control. We need, we have always needed, balance. Each sex and every individual should be valued for who and what they are and the contributions they can make.
Neither sex is superior. Or inferior. Neither has a lock on being right or good in all things.
Second: The increasing devaluation of traditional (and biologically based) male skills, traits, and roles in society is a mistake. A mistake based on an illusion. Or really, based on a delusion.
We delude ourselves that civilized society — with its neatly laid-out structures, its smooth supply lines, its defined rules, its prosperity, its diversions, and above all its comforting safety — will always be with us.
It won’t be. You and I know that, but millions don’t. And boy, are they — and alas, we — headed for a fall.
After that fall, we (meaning both women and society as a whole) are going to need men — good, strong men — as we haven’t needed them in several lifetimes. And as things are going now, we won’t have them.
Protection is of the essence. It’s why tribes (extended families) formed. It’s why early cities had walls. It’s why the biggest and strongest initially got the dirty killing jobs, then the top-dog jobs, then the biggest rewards while the physically weakest practiced other labors.
Both men and women have protectiveness built in.
But — again, generalities! — protection is different between the sexes.
Rudyard Kipling wrote that the female of the species is more deadly than the male (thank you, C^2 for the reminder). Anthropologist Margaret Mead had an interesting theory that one reason women have been so persistently socialized and stereotyped as gentle and helpless is that, in fact, when unleashed, we are deadlier than the male — under certain circumstances. (Her reasoning wasn’t far from Kipling’s.)
The idea being that, in defense of home and children, the female (and not only of the human species) knows no bounds. She won’t “play fair” or negotiate when roused. She’ll simply eat you for lunch if you’re a threat to what she holds dear. Or maybe lift your car in the air if its tire happens to have landed on her son or daughter. But commonly, for a woman, that passion and strength comes only at the extremes. And is deeply, deeply personal.
Male protectiveness is, let us say, both broader and more of an everyday matter. A man wants to provide for his family every day as well as protect it from dire threats. His desire to protect spouse and children is as deep as any woman’s. But his protectiveness extends beyond family. He’ll defend clan, community, country, church, and abstract principles in a way most women won’t.
And again — exceptions! Here I am, writing this, a woman who never related to children but whose lifelong focus has been protecting and perpetuating principles of freedom. Individuals always bust the rules.
Still, the generalities are useful. In each sex, in different ways, the urge to protect can be overwhelming. It’s so basic and so strong.
Both men and women can also — it should go without saying — misuse their protective instincts. But again, the most typical misuses are different between the sexes.
The most notorious male misuse of protectiveness is to attempt to control others virtually to the extent of owning them, demeaning them, and sometimes killing them if they try to break free. The most notorious female misuse of protectiveness is stifling the development of children by trying to keep them “safe” from every tiny harm, real or imaginary — a practice damaging to both boys and girls, but more destructive to sons than daughters.
(It’s not hard to see that feminized misuse of protectiveness in our current safety culture, where children aren’t even allowed to play unsupervised or walk to school on their own.)
Other utterly bogus forms of “protection” include the bad old excuses of “protecting us from ourselves” or protecting us from information that the holder thinks will harm us (but is really about the holder trying to protect himself from us). And of course there’s always the bad old mafia/governmental “protection” of extorting money from us to prevent our alleged protectors from doing us more harm than they already do.
The deep human drive to protect (and be protected) is often misused. No doubt about it.
But in its best forms, protection is the glue that holds human civilization together. And you’ll pardon my political incorrectness in saying so, but when men’s innate energies and drives are well-channeled, men do protection in the best possible way. Every day and with a healthy dose of good sense.
More on that to come.
Way to go, Claire!
Context matters, I suppose. Like, where you live. I spent my entire adult life carefully hiding my means of physical protection, because in a city somebody catching a glimpse of a gun or a sharp pointy thing on your person could cause a scene or even get you into trouble. Nobody EVER said to me, “I feel safer because you’re armed” – until I moved into the boonies and started wearing my weapons openly. Now, though it’s rare, that thing has actually happened more than once. Because in wild country, sometimes you really do have to shoot dangerous stuff.
[…] https://www.clairewolfe.com/blog/2020/11/12/in-praise-of-men-part-iievolution-and-protection/ […]
The human branch of evolution split off from the great ape branch. This means the first human was a mutant born into a great ape social organization, which already had domestic responsibilities split up by sex and age. Humans didn’t invent sex roles from scratch, they repeated a successful arrangement which each individual was able to perform due to a combination of genetic instinct and learned behavior.
Likewise for politics.
Here’s a question. Just how feminine is a modern American woman going to have to act to inspire men to protect her again? Will long hair and a dress do it? Or will she have to give up working outside the home and owning property? Because if the man’s not the provider and leader in the relationship, then her instincts will reject the man, and men know that now. Women in future society will either be homemakers or Amelia Earhart, and nothing in between; because womens’ instincts don’t allow it.
Anonymous – you have it backwards. Men don’t protect women because of how they look or what they wear. As Claire wrote:
“(H)is protectiveness extends beyond family. He’ll defend clan, community, country, church, and abstract principles in a way most women won’t.”
I can only speak for myself, but I believe many men experience this. For example, when I see a pregnant woman that appears in distress or need, the urge to protect her is especially reflexive and powerful. It comes from somewhere deep and primal, and shoots right past cerebral editing and control. Her clothes, face, figure, mannerisms don’t matter.. I’m not aware of them in the way I am when I’m admiring a pretty woman.
The question isn’t how a how a modern American woman has to act to inspire men to protect her. The question is whether after generations of feminization, mass drugging of boys, and relentless denigration of men and masculinity, IF that woman will be able to find a man who is motivated and able to protect her. Or if she will even want a man who exhibits those masculine instincts and behaviors.
If a woman in America wears a crew cut haircut and pants in America and has male body language, then to American men’s instincts she doesn’t register as a woman. There is a gradient here. A woman lawyer may have long hair and dress feminine but act more aggressive than a man. For an example from the tabloids, consider George Clooney’s wife. Then male learning comes into play. That woman bites the man, and he stops reading her as a woman. Male learning continues until you have pretty, thin, 21 year old college coeds with their faces buried in their phones and the man has learned none of them want any maleness.
The question is whether after generations of feminization, mass drugging of boys, and relentless denigration of men and masculinity, IF that woman will be able to find a man who is motivated and able to protect her.
Two responses: 1) there’s plenty of whining today from American men who would like the 1950’s deal; so those men exist. 2) What’s in it for the man? What profit does the man receive in return for protecting the woman? If there is no profit then the proposal is just communism, aka liberal feminism.
Or if she will even want a man who exhibits those masculine instincts and behaviors.
I think that’s the controlling factor. Women have rejected maleness; men have not rejected feminine women. For example Fred Reed complaining at length about how American women have a chip on their shoulder, and thus he prefers non-American women (and married one, and seems happy).
“Whining about the 1950s deal” isn’t actually proof that a particular man is caring and protective. It reveals a longing for (usually more mythical than real) good old days, and might possibly signal a longing for days when a man was supreme in his household. It doesn’t tell whether a man is capable of maintaining a good, healthy relationship with a good, healthy woman. (It doesn’t tell that he isn’t, either.)
Not all women have rejected maleness. And not all men define “feminine” in the terms of how submissive (or long-haired or good looking) women are. There’s more variation than you imply.
That said, let’s not turn this comment thread into a personal resentment-fest. It cheapens the discussion and gets us nowhere on the bigger cultural issues.
From another perspective:
Bruce Jenner wears a dress, high heels, and lipstick (in public at least). Likewise Ellen DeGeneres wears jeans (so do I) and neckties, and cuts her hair shorter than many men wear their hair. Who’s the male, and who’s the female?
The evolution of humans from apes is essentially irrelevant as we are so far removed that any vestige of instinct acts as nothing more than “ghost memory”, if that, whereas the influence of culture, history, and tradition have taken over and become the norm, orat least all we act on. Human (and humane) interaction began back when humans started thinking and making choices that overrode instinct.
This is a very well-reasoned and well-organized argument, Claire, and I hope the rest of this series follows shortly.
“Civilization as we know it was largely designed (by chance and nature more than by intent) to protect women and children.”
While I knew civilization ran parallel with the relationship of men and women, including protection, I never thought precisely about protection being the reason for it. But that makes a lot of sense.
Every animal wishes to keep its species alive. And every act, instinctive in animals or by choice in humans, must be geared to that.
We are, in fact, the only species who has the desire and can choose to consciously abort its own kind. Also the only species that consciously chooses to make wholesale war on its own kind. Somehow those efforts make humans seem less humane than animals, in my book.
But choices are the factor that leads to an ethical society, and ethics can be found — and acted upon — only in individuals. The fact that abortion and war have brought us to the point of this discussion is interesting indeed.
I had to read this post a number of times before I understood its structure (I’m a little slow). I think I have it figured out: This post, up to the heading “Protection,” is an introduction to the thesis. “Protection” begins the body. (“Part One,” the previous post, was the preface).
So I’m going to put aside the intro for now. I’m sure Claire will expand upon those points later.
I believe that Claire was absolutely correct to begin with protection. It is the most intractable problem for lone households and small groups.
I’ve read a lot about frontier life in America. A family could usually provide for their own food, fuel, shelter, and nursing. They could produce enough to trade for necessary tools and clothing. The problem of defense, however, seems to be unsolvable. One intelligent criminal could defeat them. A handful of ruthless, not very bright, marauders spelled doom.
A civilization (starting with a fortified village) arises only when the labor of community protection can be assigned to those best qualified. Biologically, these people are almost always men. And even a qualified woman is probably more valuable to the community as a mother or other caregiver.
Very nicely done, Claire.
We’ve learned to … take advantage of governments offering to protect us and our children.
Amen! And not just on the caveman-level “keep the direwolf from the younguns” front.
Last summer (2019) my wife wrote a newspaper story for Juneteenth* where she interviewed older members of the Black community about the celebrations when they were young, back in the days of segregation. “A committee of fathers would buy two or three cows and barbeque them. A committee of mothers would prepare the rest of the food. Local bands would provide entertainment, and the kids would invent games involving sticks and balls, etc.”
The 2019 Juneteenth celebration was organized by the city Parks and Recreation Department, with catered food and bounce-houses. It was held in the old Black schoolhouse, which is being renovated into a recreation-community center via city and state grants. There aren’t enough fathers in the Black community to form a committee, and the single mothers were either working or on welfare. The police chief and several officers showed up to try and keep the kids from turning into grownups law enforcement would have to deal with later. And of course, the mayor made an appearance.
That’s in a small town where Black community leaders are still role models and the crime rate is half the national average, not the cities where the role models are “peacefully protesting” and calling to defund the police.
Ladies, government offers to protect the community, and civilization, and doesn’t always succeed. As individuals, you and your kids are on your own.
* Juneteenth: https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
The personal resentment-fest is experimental observations. The theory being developed must make predictions which match the lived experiences; if it doesn’t that’s how we know the theory is wrong.
Pat writes: The evolution of humans from apes is essentially irrelevant as we are so far removed that any vestige of instinct acts as nothing more than “ghost memory”, if that, whereas the influence of culture, history, and tradition have taken over and become the norm, or at least all we act on.
That’s factually incorrect. The few percent of DNA difference between chimpanzees and humans is not all composed of the chimpanzee social and political instinct programming having been removed. Humans are not an instinctual blank slate into which either New Soviet Man or Libertopian Man can be programmed into in elementary school. Desmond Morris as zookeeper watched the monkey cage and pointed out behavior similarities with humans.
Every animal wishes to keep its species alive.
Human liberals apparently don’t, thus all the work to undo increases in material lifestyle. I score that as a widespread mental illness. Syphilis and tuberculosis were once widespread in first world societies; why can’t a mental illness be similarly widespread? Why should we believe the majority is always in good mental health?
Also the only species that consciously chooses to make wholesale war on its own kind.
Factually incorrect, and Jane Goodall was appalled.
We are, in fact, the only species who has the desire and can choose to consciously abort its own kind.
Lots of species of animal males will kill babies from other fathers to force females back into heat. I’m not sure about abort. I suspect humans are not the only species that aborts or abandons.
Your claims that modern women aren’t fashionable enough or submissive enough to “register as women” in men’s minds are not only completely subjective, but don’t offer evidence for or against any theory that’s been proposed by anyone here. Your “experimental observations” don’t show the slightest use of scientific method, or any other method that might be reproduceable or falsifiable. Other men’s subjective views and life experiences may be totally different from yours, yet equally valid. Experiments? Oh please.
I’ve put you on moderation status. If you want to make relevant observations or present counter arguments to other commentors, as you did in the rest of your most recent post, great. Agree or disagree, I’ll put your comments through and anybody who wants can discuss them with you. You’ve said a few interesting things that deserve further thought.
But take the whining and the non-sequiturs elsewhere and do everybody a favor by not trying to justify yourself by claiming you’re critiquing theories and conducting experiments.
To everybody else, thank you for the positive, thoughtful, and helpful comments. Keep ’em coming.
“Humans are not an instinctual blank slate into which either New Soviet Man or Libertopian Man can be programmed into in elementary school. Desmond Morris as zookeeper watched the monkey cage and pointed out behavior similarities with humans.”
No, not a complete blank slate — but the human brain with its thinking cap on can override DNA, just as a genetic physical weakness, say a history of diabetes in the family, can be overridden and eliminated if a healthier diet is introduced and followed by subsequent generations.
A person who chooses to face an unknown danger rather than running to hide is challenging their “instinct” and rising above it. The more he challenges, the better he feels able to handle any unknowns, until the “instinct” to hide gets lost in the shuffle of time. The human mind can overcome the prejudice or fear.
I’ve read Desmond Morris and Jane Goodall. Goodall was appalled because her experience with the chimps was an exception to the rule —— and an exception to all her previous observations.
I am not convinced that much of Morris’s conclusions were correct at all. (I believe at one time he was questioning his own original theory.) In any case, similarities do not necessarily translate into instinct.
I also wonder how much effect human contact, *especially in a damn zoo*, can be blamed for animal behavior. (I am not a zoo fan! I don’t believe in taking wild animals out of their natural habitat to put on display, or to live in the animals’ habitat to the point of affecting their responses.) I think the people and trainers who get mauled, or chased by bison on the plains, deserve what they get.
Killing other babies in their own species is not abortion.
Neither is leaving one’s infant to die, or killing it outright, when unable to care for it or it’s unable to care for itself. Animals have done this also. But it’s not a conscious choice either; it is an instinctive what’s-best-for-the-species decision. They don’t willfully try to get rid of a pregnancy unless their body tells them something is wrong.
Well argued, Pat. (And well read.) Interesting discussion.
This is a brief response to Anonymous, whose final comment I sent to trash.
Anon — I never denied and never will deny that men are usually attracted to (at least in fantasy) “hot” women. That, too, is biological. And it is one datapoint in the vast complexity of the issue at hand.
But you’re missing the entire point of this series of posts when you reduce everything to the single question of whether women will render themselves attractive enough and submissive enough to please men like you. And my lord, you spectacularly beclown yourself when you point to your visits to porn sites and hook-up sites as the sources of your oh-so-definitive “experimental observations” on the nature of men and women.
Now take your obsessions, your tunnel vision, your non-sequiturs, and your reductio ad absurdum arguments, and — go away. You are banned.
To everybody else, I apologize.
This is good, and I’m looking forward to reading the other installments. I’ll be especially interested to see your thoughts on how a changing economy has, and will, change how the concept of manhood is defined.
Thank you, Myself — and yes, that’s a good direction.
This is a dauntingly complex topic and one that can so easily raise hackles. I appreciate all the support, as well as all the constructive criticism, the Commentariat has to offer.
LOL, who says only men are protective? Way to go Mama Bear Claire!
A well written and thought-provoking article with some astute observations, as usual. You’ve already discussed some of the ways we evolved to be this way, but I’m also interested in some of the more proximate causes.
Explaining things like dropping testosterone levels would require some serious scientific research, but the cultural changes are easier to speculate about. Of course, it’s a complex issue involving lots of factors, but to me the most important factor by far is government schooling. When I was attending public school in the 1960’s, there was already a lot of propaganda built into the system, but back then teachers used to be more independent and have enough flexibility in how they conducted their classes that there was some diversity of thought. Now, in the name of standardization, equality and accountability, there is a tendency for thought to conform to what is socially allowable with a shrinking Overton window about what is debatable.
Another question: Are the same factors that have helped emasculate men been partly responsible for producing the likes of Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi? I’m guessing that women like them have always existed but without government-controlled schooling, the electorate would never have allowed them to reach such prominent positions.
This may not really fit into your series of essays, but I’d be interested if you or anyone else can think of a factor that has been more influential than government schooling.
“Another question: Are the same factors that have helped emasculate men been partly responsible for producing the likes of Kamala Harris or Nancy Pelosi? I’m guessing that women like them have always existed but without government-controlled schooling, the electorate would never have allowed them to reach such prominent positions.
This may not really fit into your series of essays, but I’d be interested if you or anyone else can think of a factor that has been more influential than government schooling.”
Maybe not more influential, but certainly AS influential, and simultaneously with the liberal takeover of the school system (take your pick, or lump them together as Feminism): the Affirmative Action Act, the Civil Rights Act, Roe vs Wade, the emphasis on women in general in jobs, equal wages, etc. Those factors increased in political importance as the unimportance of the male was decreased.
The trashing of men was deliberate from the 60’s feminist movement, and fedgov and Big Biz were very quick to move women into place to fill previous men’s positions — if for no other reason than to prove they were not “male chauvinist pigs”.
It was the first “cancel culture” in modern times, and it was well under way before ordinary folk realized it. It became a no-no to question a woman’s right to anything — much as it is today to question a black’s right to anything — even though she was not qualified.
(And God knows many political women are NOT qualified. But then neither are the men, so on that basis, you could say that the sexes are equal!)
Pat, thanks for your thoughts. The items you mentioned were undoubtedly influential, but do you think any of them would have happened had not the government schools been successful in shaping the culture so the citizenry would accept them?
“…the liberal takeover of the school system…”
In the long run, I don’t think which party (liberal or conservative) took over control of the school system matters that much. One side or the other will use its control to push its own agenda and to create obedient and compliant “public-spirited” citizens.
When I said “liberal takeover”, I meant the left-leaning academia that insinuated itself in the colleges during the 60s and 70s, and the textbooks that eventually came down into the high schools and lower grades. I didn’t mean the liberal side of the govt aisle per se.
There’s no question in my mind that goverment schools helped shape our culture, but I think the laws were passed because the cultural awareness also demanded it at that time, and ultimately influenced academia and government. They fed each other.
As I said, “Maybe not more influential, but certainly AS influential, and simultaneously…,etc.” It may have been inevitable, given the Vietnam War, the draft riots, the polarization between generations, awareness of racism and sexism, elitism that was starting to show itself, and general upheaval.
I think the questions you asked definitely fit into this blog. My answer addressed specifically where the atttude toward men came from. Claire or someone else may have another position on the subject.
Thanks for clarifying.
I don’t think you’ll agree with me, but the point I was trying to make is that government involvement in education is bad per se, regardless of who is in charge of it or who influences it. If government schools exist, they will be used to inject propaganda. Education is too important of a product/service to allow government to control it, and there is no reason that it can’t be provided privately. Making the arguments for this point of view would be way outside the scope of this thread, so I’ll simply assert that I believe it to be true and that it is at the root of a lot of societal problems.
That said, I agree with you that the other factors you mentioned have been major watershed events that have also heavily influenced cultural attitudes about men. And I’m sure there some other ideas that I haven’t even considered.
I think one of the watershed things that have pushed the equalization and then given the drive to overtake men was the introduction of the birth control pill, and then the growth hormones put into our foods. Sure, used to be the :man: ate red meat and thumped his chest, you weren’t a “real ” man unless you ate meat! And then the factory farms started adding different drugs to those animals that provided that meat, which in turn entered those “real” men , which in turn upset our hormone levels. My opinion but remember, you are what you eat.
Thanks. I hadn’t thought about it much but dietary and medical changes could possibly explain some of the drop in testosterone levels.
If all goes as planned, the fourth episode of this series will be entirely about testosterone — what it is, how it effects both men and women, what’s happened to it and its chief bearers in the last few decades, and what (if anything) is being done to investigate and solve the problem.
On those last two points, I won’t have anything definitive to say. Because nobody knows the cause or causes. But you hit on some of the major suspects. Others (related) are plastics used in contact with food and water, increased consumption of soy (which has estrogen-mimicking effects), and various other environmental/lifestyle factors. There are even a couple potential causes that might be pretty surprising.
So far, you’re treading on ground already paved by, among others, Robert Anson Heinlein – but that’s not a bad thing.
Indeed, it is a good and necessary thing, because RAH has long been dismissed as a fascist, authoritarian, by those who managed to ignore all of the strong women and non-white characters in his stories.
Please keep formulating and posting your thoughts. They are welcome, especially in this dreadful year, and the likely dreadful next year as well.
Anonymous started well, but quickly went off course. I’d postulate that early roles were determined by a more primal and biological reason. To be as polite as possible, every month females bear the curse (blessing?) of Eve, during which time, without today’s sanitary advances, they were more likely prey than huntress. She was also the only one who could provide and provide food for offspring. Being that men were not so afflicted, and needing food and safety every day, the role of provider of both food and protection became defined as a male function.
When determining the value of service provided, a certain power came with being able to provide security. And I doubt it took long for males to begin searching for the limits of their newfound power. This is where the whole conversation about protective vs controlling comes in, and Claire is right, it is very individual. People are malleable, and a caveman in youth can grow into a respectful adult male just as a wild child female can become a dedicated mom. So I question if who we are is written in stone, and how much of who we are is an adotion of the traits and characteristics our partners and associates find attracting?
And Anonymous must be some kind of Adonis if he really thinks for a moment that its not really the men who need to go the extra mile to attract the women.
Affirmative Action Act, the Civil Rights Act, Roe vs Wade
One of the biggest offenders was the War on Poverty, where mothers get more benefits if they ditch their husbands.
a wild child female can become a dedicated mom
Just Waiting, where did you meet my younger daughter? 😉
A concept perhaps worth exploring: Rather than “toxic masculinity,” which both conceptually and semanticlly lends itself to a peculiar form of intellectual laziness whereby all masculinity becomes descriptable as “toxic,” let us explore instead “septic masculinity” or “gangrenous masculinity.” A healthy arm is useful, a gangrenous one will kill you: even though it begins as a healthy arm, some pathogen introduced from outside (whether bacteria, fungus, or 8chan incel Wolcottery) is now turning it into poisonous sludge.
Anon’s ideas above and by message certainly fit that bill. So does an awful lot of the dreck (some of it performative) and violence spewing from groups like the Black Bloc and Proud Boys, who appear to be persuing psychological and emotional gangrene with the zeal of a deranged masochist.
What are the psychic pathogens which create such a psychic infection? Two of them have already been mentioned, but I’d reckon on there being a LOT more out there, some natural and some custom-built by hostile actors.
E. Garrett Perry: I demand that you immediately define (and source, if you will) the word Wolcottery, because my search drew a complete blank. It sounds like a word I must have in my arsenal. 😉
Wolcottery: Derived from the name Frances Wolcott, a character from “Deadood.” Wolcott is a mineral geologist employed by mining tycoon (and series Big Bad) George Hearst. Erudite, charming, well-dressed and well-connected, he is driven by his entitlement and psycho-sexual dysfunction, which results in an inconvenient (and as he himself notes, extremely expensive) habit of murdering prostitutes. Gangrenous Masculine types like Incels, Pickup Artists, Proud Boys, Trad Lads, etc are all “Wolcotts” in my mind ever since I saw the series. Most of them seem to share his ultraviolent drives (even if they usually lack the sand to act), and a substantial percentage make themselves even more disgusting by declaring that any human female capable of menstruation (their word is “Femoid”) is Fair Game for sex, however obtained. Garrett Dilahunt’s portrayal of Wolcott was the perfect slop-chute cocktail of derangement, entitlement, and a brain full of scorpions, a Wild West version of Elliot Rodger. I consciously use the name for the same reason I call those ISIS bastards “Daesh.” It infuriates them by it’s accuracy, is extremely insulting, and denotes a specific subtype of raging asshat.
Ah. Thanks for that. I’m familiar with the character. (Perfectly played, I agree.) BTW, that’s “Deadwood.” 😉