In the modern world, issues pertaining to manhood and toxic masculinity are brought up more and more. Many individuals choose to support notions such as ‘overthrowing the patriarchy’ due to current narratives that have been set. Studies related to manhood have actually been done for many decades and philosophers worldwide have observed this phenomenon as generations progress. The journey into manhood is a rite of passage to leave boy psychology and this ‘ritual’ has altered due to the social standards that have been set today.
The journey into manhood is one that is stunted early on and a growing trend was noticed in the 20th century where many men and women remain psychologically stunted well into their adult years. This growing incline due to boy psychology has led to the term Puer Aeternus to be used and the term can be defined as the ‘eternal child’. This term was used originally in mythology as a child-god who is forever young. The Puer Aeternus represents the adult man who has an emotional life that reflects one of an adolescent.
The Puer Aeternus may be likened to the Peter Pan syndrome but the later refers to one’s inability to believe that they are of an older age or to engage in behavior usually associated with adulthood. The Puer Aeternus represents the emotional growth that is void and the inability to keep up with the journey through manhood and this theme is commonly represented in works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as Peter Pan. In many scripts the biological male does not in any way represent manhood as the word manhood was something that had to be earned and in most cases it was earned through the rite of passage.
Boy psychology is when actual men express immature archetypes which are (source: King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore & Douglas Gillette):
- The Divine Child
- The Precocious Child
- The Oedipal Child
- The Hero
Boy psychology promotes the idea of boys winning against powerful odds. The reason boy psychology exists based on the author is due to the disappearance of ritual processes that initiates boys into manhood. It is believed that real men are made rather than born due to psychological progression. Boy psychology exists due to the prolonged state of dependence on the mother and the inability to explore the ideals of manhood within the maternal clutches.
Separation from the mother allows for individualization that is built on autonomy and while for a female the idea of femininity is tied to the mother, masculinity is attained from the father. A boy who is yet to experience manhood struggles during the search for self identity and the inability to form a sense of isolation causes the boy to experience hollowness during the later years in life due to the inexistence of the social role of the ‘mother figure’ that the boy has become so accustomed to.
Throughout evolutionary history the mother and the father have assumed different societal roles and there is an innate difference in biology for both genders. Mothers have always interacted with their children more and have provided the nurturing aspect while the father does not create the same bond of dependency with the child. The father figure helps break free of the dependency and allow the child to emerge into the world as a functional and independent human being.
The modern day stigmas surrounding manhood have been cultivated by feminist movements that push the agenda of toxic masculinity. Boy psychology continues to prevail as more boys mindlessly fall into in an inorganic societal norm that demonizes the idea of masculinity altogether, be that mature or infantile.
Many young men grow up with the false ideas of manhood due to the inexistence of the father figure. Western civilization has villainized the roles of father figures with mainstream media even adopting the concept that fathers are unnecessary. Modern civilization has made male figures obsolete and choose to present the paternal role as little to abysmal. Politically correct activists have pushed for fathers day to be renamed special persons day as a way to be inclusive for children who grow up without a dad.
In many modern households, the female takes over the role of the father as well and this came as a push following the growing hatred towards men due to male privilege. Manhood cannot be cultivated from a completely feminine environment but issues surrounding toxic masculinity has led to more people believing a fatherless child to be more suited for the current sociopolitical environment. Many today argue that manhood is an unnecessary trait and boys would be better growing up without a prominent masculine trait at all.
The gender neutral push has caused many to assume gender/sex to be non-binary. The approach in regards to the unimportance of masculinity/manhood tends to fail due to evolutionary biology. Boys who grow up deprived of masculinity end up adopting a false sense of manhood that ends up becoming far more destructive in the long run. 55% of mothers and 53% of fathers say dads are replaceable by single moms doing both roles.
The nuclear family is under constant threat with more feminist movements that push the agenda in regards to the unimportance or dangers of men in society. Manhood is under constant fire due to the false representation that is shown on social media. Toxic masculinity and male privilege are said to be the root of all problems and this has caused many young boys/ men to cower from the idea of manhood due to the misrepresentation surrounding it.
The false ideals of manhood has led to men having the desire to be admired by women. This goes back to the inability to completely disengage from the maternal side of an individuals upbringing. The inability to break the psychological womb causes men to adopt the lifestyle of Peer Gynt which is known to be “the myth of males in the 20th century.” The incestuous marriage to the mother has been the breeding grounds for boy psychology as one remains psychologically attached to the mother by fleeing the world that denies understanding.
The man has the need to be taken care of by the same woman. The feeling of being challenged by other men for the same girl is an attack on what can only be considered ‘fragile’ manhood. The machismo behavior that is displayed is all in the service of pleasing the woman. However, the unfortunate reality is that the man pleases the woman only to be pleased but both desires end up being contradictory. The woman forever holds power and the final judgement over ‘him’. He is in reality a slave serving the queen regardless of the grandiose he puts on and his self esteem or self image depend upon her smile, her approval. -Rollo May (The Cry For Myth)
Breaking free from the false ideals of manhood may just be one of the hardest challenges faced by men. Most men would rather live a flawed narrative rather than break free from the spirit of regression by a heroic attitude. The modern male population struggle academically, spiritually and physically as they are scared to test the waters of independence. Internet pornography and online sites such as OnlyFans has managed to create the sensation of momentary satisfaction that is built on the ideals of hedonism.
The mythical Germanic tale of Tannhäuser and Venus represents the story of a man who manages to break free from the false pretenses of manhood. This myth tells the story of a knight who is promised endless satisfaction by the Goddess Venus who in Roman myth is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She also promises endless servants, the Naiads and Sirens who will please him in every way possible on the mountain Venusberg.
Tannhäuser accepts and lives in this paradise for a year before facing a moral dilemma. He questions the nobility in staying in a paradisal feminine world where all his desires are satisfied in contrast to living a free and independent life where he can once again embrace meaningful struggles in the real world. He finally decides to leave but many men in that circumstance would choose not to due to level comfort that can be had on mount Venusberg. The only way to leave the ideals of false manhood is by recognizing the futile attempts of gaining autonomy.
Only the man who recognizes the pleasure principle will be able to break free and lead an altruistic life built on the basis of nobility. Cultures around the world have conceived manhood in different forms but each one comprises of a test that challenges the limiting confines of boy psychology. The idea of toxic masculinity is misguided as well as dangerous for future generations as manhood was never meant to be a tool for oppression and if more people choose to believe male privilege, young boys around the world will end up feeling more confined than ever due to false social constructs.
Toxic masculinity is defined as a set of attitudes of stereotypical behaviors associated with or expected of men. These behaviors are said to have a negative impact not only on men but also society. Progressives push the idea that more men should be emotionally available and remove the façade of masculinity in vulnerable situations. Men should cry and express feelings to others rather than suppress or control them. Toxic masculinity is said to breed men who embrace toughness and power, men who are willing to work towards obtaining wealth and status to gain the respect of others.
This idea of not wanting to show vulnerability as a show of strength often times boils back to the idea of protecting others. Mature masculinity applauds men who are able to control his emotions in the presence of others in the hopes to comfort those who are hurting. Manhood inherently places biological traits that drive men to seek autonomy and freedom by relinquishing help from others and only seeking solace with a select few. The idea that expressing emotions solves the problem is also false and this is particular to every individual but that point has unfortunately been invalidated by those who choose to condemn the concept of manhood.
It is not inherently a virtue to cry but the act of choosing to be more controlling of emotions has been labeled toxic masculinity. Telling boys to cry for the sake of breaking down manhood and decomposing ‘antifemininity’ is harmful and unprogressive. Men who aspire for power and status are merely ambitious individuals who choose to be in a position in which they are able to provide for their family and ensure the wellbeing of loved ones. These inherent biological traits to protect and provide are the genetic makeup of a male much like for a woman it would be to nurture and care. However these biological male traits are currently seen as dangerous or toxic.
This fight against inherent masculine traits and the need to break free of manhood has caused millions of young men to be left confused and empty as they fight against the nature of their biology. It should be understood that toxic behaviors are not gender exclusive and both genders may be guilty of projecting harmful traits in society. Villainizing an entire gender has caused many to question the virtues of said gender as young men do not want to feel like they are the root cause of many global issues as portrayed by the media.
Concepts such as ‘manspreading’ or ‘mansplaining’ truly affect young men who just want to live their lives. It seems cynical that society would label masculinity as toxic but if the tables were turned and if terms like ‘toxic femininity’ were to be used the individuals using them would be considered sexist. Mature masculinity should be defined rather than eradicated altogether. It is hypocritical that the demonization of feminine traits would not be tolerated in modern society yet the hatred that is fueled against manhood is somehow viewed as a progressive way of life.
It may be time to cultivate true manhood rather than feminizing young men in the hopes of achieving a delusional utopia of equality and peace. Ideas like competition is bad and everyone deserves a trophy creates weak men who are no longer driven towards a greater goal. Devaluing masculinity and innate masculine traits only breed confused boys whose internal identities are conflicted due to the current social setting. The distortion of manhood causes the dissolution of society at the hands of internal and external threats.
Natural male tendencies should be moderated to allow for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Relinquishing masculine traits isn’t the solution to a better society as generations have thrived on mature masculine men. Traits that are deemed as negative can be found in both sexes thus the only issue we face is toxic humanity. Inherent male characteristics have benefited society in numerous ways and has allowed for the progression of civilization. The need for success has allowed for exponential societal development, the urge to protect has allowed for increased safety in a household.
Putting a negative spin on inherently good characteristics doesn’t solve any problems. Is masculinity really the root cause of sexism and homophobia? If so the feminine narrative that is pushed should solve the problem but it has been observed and studied that a loss in masculinity only leads to the growth of false manhood. Allowing for a mature approach to masculinity is much smarter rather than villainizing an entire gender based on personal characteristics. There is nothing inherently wrong about biological male traits rather the only issue is men who are unable to exercise their manhood in a composed and reasonable manner.
Embracing core aspects of manhood and deviating from an all feminine narrative will ultimately allow for a better livelihood as natural traits are not suppressed rather celebrated in appropriate fashion. More mature masculine men are needed in society and the stigmas surrounding manhood should be reevaluated. Young boys need the support of their fathers in order to gain a sense of autonomy and separation so boy psychology can be eradicated altogether. Young men around the world shouldn’t feel ashamed of their masculinity instead they should learn to outgrow boy psychology and truly embrace the journey into manhood.
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