From the slide:
Question 1. The intent of this question is for participants to discuss the cultural expectations that are put on men, to include aggression, no emotions, bread winner, to always want sex and money, to be the athlete, to love war and violence etc.
Allow participants to share their thoughts and feelings about these expectations. These are often described as the “Man Box”
If I had to make a list of qualities a man should possess to maximize his opportunity of passing his genes to the next generation, this would be it. First, a man must be able to protect his herds from predators, which means having both the strength and courage to stand his ground when fleeing in terror is immediately more appealing. Second, a man must not be conquered, killed or enslaved by other men, which means having those qualities, plus aggression and emotional control, lest his enemies sense weakness and opportunity. As warfare becomes more sophisticated, decisiveness prevents being tactically out-thought. And most important, if a man’s work is not to be squandered, he should remember to do some baby-making when he gets home, and he better damn sure not be a cuckold, which means keeping his women in line and out of the power of other men.
Now, I will be the first to admit that, in our present age, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the traits we need to cultivate for our people to endure and thrive in a competitive world. The kind of personality necessary for, saying sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer screen designing the next generation of weapon systems, or working on an assembly line manufacturing those weapon systems, is probably not the same personality that risks his life to slaughter people at close range. And these , and these or any other qualities can reach the point of diminishing – indeed, net negative – returns. Decisiveness can be rash; courage can be heedless; emotional control can be hard on mental health; jealousy can be hard on relationships; and dominance can eventually provoke resentment and rebellion.
So yes, all things in balance. But absent the imminent threat of invasion and conquest – our society faces these threats for other reasons, as my readers well know – where this balance is struck is mostly determined by where and how women bestow their romantic attention. I will be the first to rejoice when we see fewer cheerleaders at football games and more at math club. But until that happens, the vision of masculinity that prevails in society will be very different than that promulgated by our SAPR overlords.
From Tony Porter’s TED talk:
I can remember speaking to a twelve-year-old boy, a football player. And I asked him, I said, “How would you feel if in front of all the players, the coach told you, you were playing like a girl?” Now, I expected him to say something like, “I’d be sad,” or “I’d be mad,” “I’d be angry,” something like that. No, the boy said to me, “it would destroy me.” And I said to myself, God, if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about him about girls?
Of course, Tony Porter has this exactly backwards. I would submit the following as a universal constant: in every society, everywhere and always, the definition of masculinity among twelve-year-old boys is to not be a girl. That is what makes the coach’s criticism so effective: he isn’t required to explain to his players why being effeminate on the field is bad. They know why its bad, known it in the core of their being since the onset of puberty. Socially, we might have a larger range of facilities in our definition of masculinity than we are presently using; as a lifelong nerd, I fervently hope we do. But to simply assert, as Tony Porter is apparently doing, that we should discard the “man box” in favor of equality is lose forever any credibility with twelve year olds forever. We might keep those twelve-year-olds in line with threats of violence, assuming that the SAPR lords retain the loyalty of men described above. But when those twelve-year-olds become men themselves, they will invent their own version of masculinity free of civilized moderation. And we won’t like it.