Manhood. That is a concept that has been haunting me for a long time. As a “male”, I’ve often asked myself what it means to be a man, in a world where a man can be as simple as saying you are, to as complex and esoteric as to consciously choose not to wash your hands when you exit the bathroom at Red Lobster (I saw that, Greg). So, what is a man?
Masculinity can potentially be anything, so I am going to stick to the “traditional” state of masculinity in the West, in which it is defined as a superiority over a woman. As Sadie Plant put it in Ones and Zeroes, the technological prowess throughout the past few centuries, has lead to the uprooting of the social gender system, by giving women more power over their production, and thus giving them more say in events. From being the universal seamstress of clothes, to the seamstress of code, factories, and politics, the woman has undergone – and is still undergoing – a process of liberation brought about from the material conditions of the world after the industrial revolution, instead of any simple benefactor from the male gender. Of course, there have always been people who have advocated for better conditions for women in prevalent Western societies, but the cause of modernity’s liberation of women, is more to do with the material conditions that lead women to gaining more of a say in governance and organization, than any benefactor or renegade.
In Ones and Zeroes, the book likens the woman to the computer – a sort of seamstress of code and processes that only exist to serve the administrator of the server or the husband. And how women – and potentially machine – have reached a bigger level of prominence and “freedom”, due to being the MoP of things that are so valuable, as in, liberation through being of significant value, of having women no longer be a slave to the machine, because they are the machine. The woman is no longer able to be under control by the masculine, because womanhood itself is no longer defined based on subservience, but instead, defined on the act of being a woman, a being of value. It’s unfortunate really, that we reached a better state for women under the pretense of their material value and not for their personhood, but alas, that is how our timeline has gone so far.
While women have become more than just a gender based on the subservience to a man, the man has been left in the dust, still basing its identity on the act of dominance over a woman. Masculinity can be seen as strong and brave and ferocious and protective, and this in itself is not a bad thing, but in the traditional sense, being a man is about the dominance over the feminine. Remind you, that being subservient to a man does not necessarily make you a female in your own right, as we have seen how society has made certain men “effeminate” in their own right, and how these certain men are seen as “weak” or “subservient” to the stronger “masculine man”. Femininity and masculinity has always been a yin-yang situation, a pair of identities that relied on each other’s exclusivity in order to sustain their own identities. For instance, in order for their to be light, there must be dark, and without one of the two, the other one will fall. Masculinity being the one that stands on top, and femininity being the one that stands on the bottom, this hierarchical superstructure of culture and sociology and psychology has been a near-constant in contemporary Western history, but only relatively recently, was the woman able to become more than an identity based on subservience, and an identity based on something that does NOT depend on a hierarchical dependence on something else. This is a good thing, for now, that women no longer need a man in order to BE a woman, this has led them to not only gain more power in environments dominated by men, but has also given them to be able to thrive and build their own environments without the masculine, without the hierarchy, and without the binary. Women have been released from the cutting-edge duality of the gender binary, and are now women within themselves, relying on their own being and not the being of subservience and seamstressing.
However, not all genders can be as lucky. The male, for instance, has been castrated, and can’t recover. The West, having based its masculinity on the dominance of the woman, has lead to the masculine being little more than a parasite on the hip of Gaia, a parasite that – without the usual host of the feminine – has begun starving. Since women are no longer defined as subservient to men, this has led the masculine to become a baseless gender. As in, now that the masculine has no yin to its yang, it collapses in on itself.
Nyx Land mentions a lot of this in her G/acc blackpaper, and one particular mentioning of a “neo-masculine” updraft in society has caught my eye. The neo-masculine, in her eyes, is a sort of “retvrn to tradition” kind-of perspective on gender, in which men try to sustain their identity and their being, by basing it off of a continued (and often forceful) dominance of the feminine. The Incel ideology, for instance, is an example of a neo-masculine or a virulent and mutated version of NM, in which the Incel has become so castrated and so weak of a masculine entity, that they go through force in order to sustain their identity.
And as a “male”, I am not going to simply state “hee-har men are dying” and leave it at that. The issue with masculinity – other than being a needless and useless hierarchy – is that it hurts men as much as it hurts women. It does this by raising, good, kind, and impressionable boys, into hateful and spiteful machines that can only feel like valid men, by being violent. The sharp rise in pornography that bases itself on misogyny, along with the sharp rise in neo-masculine ideology, can be linked to the fact that men when left with no ground to base their validity off of, can become violent towards others, and themselves. The suicides of gay men is often due to the fact that their father rejects them for not being “their son”. Why? Because more often than not, the male is not seen as a male if he does not base his identity on the dominance of a woman.
Masculinity hurts men. A gender that no longer has an identity, due to the fact that the process in which that identity is made is no longer valid, can not continue to exist. The solution? Masculinity should either be abolished, reformed, mutated, rejected, or substituted. I am not going to propose which of these you should do, for I find the nature of gender to be something that every society should decide on – however I do insist that in order to maintain a balance to society, as well as help the many hurting men in our world – and the women they abuse – we need to get rid of the old masculinity of dominance, and replace it with a masculinity that does not rely on the dominance of woman, and instead, a masculinity that is masculine because it is masculine. A self-withstanding and self-reliant Yang to a currently non-existent (or increasingly scarce) Yin.
So… masculinity is weak because it relies on something that no longer supports it, and in order to save both men and women, we need to propose and adopt alternatives that no longer lead men to seek dominance in order to justify themselves, and instead seek them towards goals that are healthy to them, the woman, and the masculine gender.
Next up: Gender Darwinism(????)