Inside: trigger warning for talk of sexual assault and violence; Kavanaugh hearing; It’s too long. I’m trying to pare it down a bit.; Wait. How is it 300 words longer now?
I’ve been working intermittently on a blog entry titled “In Defense of Men” for a while.
It is a little #notallmen, to be honest, but #notallnotallmen. (I’m going to generalize, but it’s for the sake of efficient writing. Hopefully, that’s obvious so we can have a good-faith discussion or argument.)
Every time I’m on the verge of making a cogent, even-handed comment about manhood, I read the news and am shocked/not-shocked at how men are garbage. I mean, damn, y’all. Come on.
How do we have a discussion about a group and acknowledge the humanity of individuals? That’s what I’m trying to do here and I fail miserably with every revision.
I think many men are struggling for a sense of purpose and meaningful connection in a world of shallow, quasi-social interactions and relationships. Too often we’re lonely, isolated, lacking community, and, frankly, we lack coping skills. The online world exacerbates our problems by serving as a crucible for radicalizing alienation.
It’s soul crushing to not have the fundamental building blocks of human experience and actualization, and then be told that that makes you weak — less of a man. Less valid as a person.
None of this is the sole domain of men, of course, but statistics on suicide bear this out, in my “and who are you and why should we care what you think” opinion.
And yet, men have a firm hold on power and positions of leadership. Running the world (into the ground) and living like ancient Roman emperors. I mean, I don’t. 99% of us don’t, give or take. Not a lot of men, proportionally speaking, but it’s a man’s world. For now, at least.
The problem is that, regardless of social position, masculine pain is directed squarely at women in the worst ways possible, from mundane to evil.
When we’re entitled, we’re a threat. When we’re in pain, we’re deadly.
Despite the fact that I called myself and other men garbage above, I really don’t want to demonize men, masculinity, and male sexuality. I am manfolk, after all.
Still, we do have to address the fact that the dark side of masculinity and male sexuality is akin to an iceberg’s undercarriage — the proverbial 90% beneath the surface that you don’t see that is in tenuous equilibrium with the 10% that you do see.
Until it’s not.