Wednesday 10 May 2023


I've noticed among the present generation of young men, those just at the beginning of adulthood, there is a lot of talk about masculinity and how to express that in today's world. I fully understand this. We live in a highly feminised world in which the male is increasingly disenfranchised and almost all expressions of masculinity regarded with disfavour. Any young man must find a way to deal with this. Either he succumbs to it or else he resists it. He can go along with it outwardly but plough his own course anyway or  he can stand out against it and, as it were, assert his rights as a man. The latter reaction is the right one and the healthiest for society as long as it is channelled correctly and does not tip over into aggression, violence, excessive dominance and so on. All the things we know so well because these extremes of corrupted masculinity, always condemned by any civilised man, have been depicted as masculinity, tout court, by the reigning feminist ideology.

From what I gather, current interpretations of masculinity among the younger generation seem to involve various factors ranging from the good, courage, independence  and personal responsibility, to the neutral, earning lots of money, to the slightly suspect, spending long hours at the gym in order to build the perfect body. You must know how to fight and also how to lead so there is a physical side but there is also a mental and moral side which has to do with authority and command. In the marital sphere they certainly don't want to be led by the nose by a woman but nor do they want to dominate their woman excessively though they do see themselves as necessarily head of their household. All that seems reasonable to me. We know this is the natural way of being and feminism/equality can only exist in a denatured world in which a lot of civilizational fat has been built up which can support this indulgence.

The problem as I see it is that there is no or very little mention of God. For there is a worldly masculinity but there is also a spiritual one. In fact, there might be said to be two spiritual ones. The first is that of the general man who lives in the world. He supports his family and is the head of his household but he does this under God. The laws and rules he upholds are those of religion not his own. This is the normal, traditional way. 

But then there is the masculinity of those who do not live in the world, not in their minds and hearts anyway. The primary task of these people is to stand for the truth, to assert it at all times and to live it. I am not saying women cannot do this but it is not their primary responsibility and since women tend to conform to whatever is around them it is much less likely they will stand for truth in an era which denies it. Masculinity for the spiritually focussed man is not about success and dominance, at least not success and dominance in the world. It is about spiritual values and this may mean turning the other cheek rather than striking the hardest blow. It may mean sacrifice rather than conquest and accepting a lesser role rather than ruling. It is not that masculinity is turned on its head but it is expressed spiritually rather than in a worldly fashion. A blade can be used to kill or to heal but it is the same blade.

I applaud the rediscovery of masculinity. Men should be able to seek and use power responsibly. That is their role but there are different sorts of power and there are different ways to use it. Ultimately, everything must be in the service of God and truth, and the most masculine person is the one who goes from self-assertion to self-dominance to self-abnegation to self-transcendence. But he must travel through all these stages to reach the last.

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