Man* Stuff

One of the sessions at Horn and Honey was a discussion on masculinity and how it is portrayed in today’s world. Theresenter put forth that males are designed to do three things: have a quest, physically fight, and spread his seed. I kind of want to discuss my thoughts on each of these separately.

I think there is a lot of truth to a man’s need for a quest, a journey, something bigger then himself. This can come in the form of a job when the man is pursuing what he is passionate about but I think that is dangerous in many cases. one of the things I hated about DC was being asked what I do for a living, I think that is because this phrasing confuses two things: what I do to pay the bills and what I do to be alive. I do data management to pay the bills but it is not my passion, it is not my quest. Many times we are encouraged to forgo our hobbies or passions until after we retire, work comes before living.

Somewhat related to the desire for a quest is a need for physical competition. Violence against innocent people is wrong but we are taught that violent competition among consenting peers is also often wrong. With the increased popularity of things like MMA this is changing. I think video games also play a factor in this. When people don’t have healthy outlets for their natural inclinations they find unhealthy ones. I hypothesize** that the increased availability of video games (both violent and quest based) is part of why we have seen a reduction in violent crime in the last few decades.

The desire to spread your seed is pretty strong every man yet we see an increase in “failure to launch” style men, unwed and not really pursuing a long term monogamous relationship. I blame porn, but I don’t think that is really a bad thing. With easy access to sexual variety online men and female friendship more acceptable men have less need to get married.

These current trends in dealing with being a man are not necessarily a bad thing in my eyes. In many ways the market is providing what is desired. It may not be a perfect solution but video games, martial arts, and pornography do provide an outlet for male desires that does not harm others and brings some satisfaction to the man.

* I’m speaking in generalities and not doing a good job of using modern terminology for gender, sex, etc. I hope you all know what I mean though.

** Hypothesize, not theorize. A theory is something with significant research and evidence to back it up, a hypothesis is an educated guess.

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