• SumoMe

Author Ken Solis pontificates on the ramifications of women no longer needing male providers, and men needing someone to provide for.

I recently read an extremely thought-provoking article by author Ken Solis on The Huffington Post that raised some interesting questions into this modern study of manliness and the current state of men. If you read articles on the subject by William Bennett, you are sure to have some level of depression. Ken Solis questions this depression commonly felt after reading media articles on the subject, and asks whether the depression is founded in anything real, or if the “end of men” is really a hoax.

If you believe what you hear and see in print, online, and on television, the obituary of manhood has already been written. Men have never appeared more lame, helpless, and absolutely unnecessary. It’s as if half the population is on a permanent lunch break.

But the demise of men is a myth, fabricated solely to denigrate men by elevating women. And television perpetrates this myth by portraying men as stupid, vapid, and emotionally brain-dead — essentially useless. After all, women no longer need men to have babies or for financial support, and they’re marrying at the lowest rate in history. As women garner increasing power and success in every professional arena — medicine, law, business, and politics — and their paychecks become essential to the survival of their families, they expect men to treat them as equals. Women’s equality doesn’t depend on the decline of men. If everyone is equal, then no one is less.

This sentiment reiterates a point that I made when discussing Bennett’s articles, that women’s rights and social equality do not necessarily equal a decline in manliness. Manliness is not dominance, and a man is still manly if their partner/wife is equal to them. This is a non-issue, although some commentators like Bennett assert that manly means dominant.

Additionally, I think the point about marriage is accurate as well, although it only shows one half of the equation. Not only are women marrying less because of their increasing independence, but they are marrying less because men in general are not pulling their weight in the partnership. Too many men are living their lives in Skyrim or Modern Warfare III while women are going to school and getting jobs. Nobody wants to marry a child, and while a woman may not need a husband to provide for her, if the man works and brings in money for the family, the combined paycheck is a really great quality to have in a relationship. Marriage is largely a business deal, and if men bring nothing to the negotiating table other than their Xbox skills, we can’t expect women to get excited about marriage.

This name-calling of men, by men, is particularly damaging to guys who’re working to become better men by learning to access and control their feelings. It strikes too close to home to be believable and indicates an inherent insecurity in their manhood. They are still looking for women to move boulders for, instead of following in the footsteps of men who are eager to improve the quality of their manhood.

It also damages women, who’re growing increasingly frustrated with men who continue to espouse this antediluvian attitude. The more contributions women make to society and families, the more they need men who can hold their own on an emotional level. Men who behave like little boys don’t charm women or bring out their maternal qualities, in case some men haven’t noticed. Women want and deserve better. The “girly-man” finger pointing doesn’t wash any more either. Just look where the guy who invented that phrase is now — tossed out of his home and marriage, and struggling to convince his kids and the world he’s okay. Cool and manly? Not really.

But the most important reason that men need to become emotionally conscious is that they’ll become men they can be proud of because they are in total control of their manhood. This will not just make them women’s peers, but will bolster their own self-esteem and earn them the desired esteem of other men. Women and children will benefit too, of course, because they will respect and learn from a guy who tries to be the best man he can be. Women’s support is critical.

The most appropriate way for men to develop this emotional awareness is to work together in men’s groups where they can develop the ability to express how they feel and control their behavior, without feeling pressure from women. When that finally happens on a large scale, the media will stop their harangue about the demise of men, and congratulate men for being more fully alive than they’ve ever been. That day is coming, hopefully soon, and for men who insist on lifting boulders, instead of evolving, good luck with women in the 21st Century.

The existence of men’s groups is critical. Whether this is a barber shop or something more formal, men need to talk to other men about improving their emotional lives. Researchers have already established that teenage boys are in great need of their male peers. The main point of this article is that improving yourself as a man does not mean you have to dominate the other gender. Women are looking for confidence, and becoming a more confident man will show you’re an able partner in life without showing your need to dominate with force as the only means of attracting (fearing into submission) your mates. The rise of women has nothing to do with the decline of men, as men are wholly responsible for their “permanent lunch break.” It’s only by discussing manliness and how to improve yourself as a man with other men that manhood will rise from the inactivity streak and put some skin in the game.

The “end of men” is indeed greatly exaggerated wholly because preventing the end is so simple. However, the lull in manliness is indeed very real.

What do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments below.