This article is a realization. A personal thought. An article I have written for a blog. I am posting it here and elsewhere because I hope it will help men get in touch with themselves.
Men, most men, I am not making a general statement, I really mean it, most men, if not all men, never grow up. They never mature. Most men never mature because they never get in touch with their inner selves. They never get in touch with their inner selves because their fathers and mothers do not teach them what it means to be a male or more specifically they do not teach them how to distinguish between masculinity and being a male. Their parents cannot teach them because their parents never taught them. Ad infinitum.
Most parents do not teach their male offspring that being a male is something they are and not something they need to become. I think men are not taught how to perceive and therefore cannot begin to distinguish between BEING A MALE and FEELING THE NEED TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE A MALE. And it is because the realization that they are two different things does exist within their mind that they continue to feel the need to prove and preserve their masculinity.
Men do not understand that being a male and masculinity are two different things because they have not been taught that masculinity cannot be reduced or removed. Men are not taught and then assured that being a male is a state that cannot be altered. Instead, men are encouraged to continue to reaffirm their masculinity.
The need to continue to perpetuate MASCULINITY becomes a source of conflict because it requires men to dedicate significant amounts of time and resources to the task. Thus their dedication to preserving their masculinity means they can dedicate less time to other relationships with themselves, other men, the world, and women of course. This very process, the need to reaffirm masculinity, creates a series of conflicts. Naturally, conflicts between men and other men, conflicts between men and women, and conflicts between men and the world.
I think that men’s failure to realize that masculinity cannot be removed is one of the main reasons why men want power, control, money, weapons, toys, drugs, and multiple women. This is a sweeping generalization. Men’s desires are influenced by many different things. Men, like women, are complicated. I understand that. However, I still think that men’s complete unawareness of the difference between being a male and masculinity and the position of the ego in relation to the other two is the perpetual and defining feature or perhaps source of their male drives. The male drives that create the male character.
Men have to prove their masculinity in every little thing. When they get home it has to be acknowledged that the man is home, when they are camping they have to drink and fire up the barbeque, when they are with their children they cannot let go and make a fool of themselves or cry or really and truly level with their children, when they in a group, when they are driving, they have to be in charge of every situation. The problem is that men cannot realize that their desire to be in charge of every situation simply because it feels natural to be in charge, because they misunderstand their drive, cannot be used to justify the desire to be in charge. This creates conflicts because men fail to realize that no situation really and truly requires a male approach.
A set of circumstances, no matter how complex or how simple, cannot dictate the gender of the individual that needs to deal with that set of circumstances. The belief that a masculine approach is required is an imaginary concept. No tree in the world can demand to be cut by a male. No car can demand to be repaired by a male. Men have been performing those actions because of our primitive understanding of ourselves. An understanding that has to change.
The ego and the need to reinforce masculinity kick in and prevent men from being true human beings they are. And this affects our relationships with women. We cannot be ourselves. We have to be masculine. Many men cannot talk or kiss or make love, or experience true emotions. They have to be in control, they have to be in charge, they have to be on top. They believe they always have to do something to somebody because they have not been assured, during the critical stages of their lives, that not doing something to somebody and just experiencing the feelings of the situation would not reduce their masculinity. Thus, they, we, cannot truly let go. Or it is very hard for men to allow themselves to be loved and to be vulnerable.
It is because men are so focused on the need to preserve the masculine dimension of their character that their relationships with women are so difficult to maintain. Furthermore, women expect this kind of behaviour because it has been taking place for thousands of years. As a result women have to fight for attention and for love and it is why they believe that they need to be the main thing in their man’s life. Unless women know they are the main thing they know the man is going to go on and do his male stuff. Priorities.
He is going to do whatever he can, without thinking about it, to maintain his masculinity. Work on a car, cut trees, whatever. The problem is that they are learned behaviours. They are habitual behaviours. They are habits. But they can be changed. They are not natural. But they seem natural. They are not necessary but they seem necessary, because men have no assurance that their maleness will not vanish without a trace if they stop doing them.
Women are right when they demand men’s full attention because most men do behave that way.
To complicate things further, women have to talk and women love to talk. They have to talk and they love to talk because they feel more. They feel more because their feelings are closer to the surface. Their feelings are closer to the surface because they are more in touch with their inner selves. They more in touch with their inner self because of their physiological and psychological design. Childbearing requirements and so on.
It is because women are so in touch with themselves that for women sexuality is beyond physical. In other words women want to constant communication, ongoing feelings of care, sharing and consideration. Stimulation of a wide range of feelings and areas of the body and the mind. It is what is meant by psychologists and sexologists who suggests that women need as much as a day or two of foreplay. It is not foreplay. It is perceived that way by men. Especially by the male psychologists of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Women need an ongoing flow of the sensual feelings. It is why women never stop asking questions and never stop feeling the need to grow closer and closer and closer. But when it does not happen women have to fight for it and ask for it, which is most of the time. It is most of the time because men are not in touch with themselves (most of the time)and need to keep affirming their masculinity. In other words men are not taught how to share their feelings, how to care, how to explore their emotions and imagination, and how to share their findings with other men, women and the world, because it would jeopardize their ability to reinforce their masculinity. Something that women do by default.
Therefore, women have to keep asking for attention (meaning care, communication, dedication) and men keep refusing to give it because they fear they will have less time to do their male stuff, less time to reinforce their masculinity. Thus this kind of relationship helps perpetuate the male female conflict. It is important to note that a significant number of the above mentioned processes are perceived as habitual behaviours, instincts, normal desires and are therefore subconscious and internalized.
A significant new problem has occurred because of the above mentioned misunderstandings. Men misunderstand the term feminism. Women do not want to be more like men. What an incredible misunderstanding. A typical male reaction designed to reinforce masculinity, because it places no demands on men to question the need to reinforce masculinity. Continue along, like nothing is happening.
Women want men to show more respect for their femininity by acknowledging that it is important, furthermore, and more importantly, women want men to realize that acknowledging that femininity is important is not going to affect their masculinity and is not an attempt to sabotage their masculinity. Women want men to recognize that femininity is as important as masculinity and that discussing it and accepting it and allowing it to influence men’s priorities would not reduce their masculinity. And we need to accept this, because, after all, nothing can reduce our masculinity.