View Full Version : 'Toxic masculinity' and the powerful dichotomy of being a man

01-19-2019, 08:24 AM
Its nothing new to most of us but it can be good to have various sources saying the same things to support the same message. Plus its easy to pass on and propagate to people.


Ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink: 'Toxic masculinity' and the powerful dichotomy of being a man

Boys and men shouldn’t follow the advice of a recent report by the American Psychological Association called “Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Men and Boys.” These guidelines imply that “traditional masculinity” – such as stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression – are harmful.

These guidelines are wrong.

Stoically controlling your emotions is necessary. Competitive spirit drives success. Dominance – and the mental and physical strength required to dominate – is far superior to a lack of strength, which results in being dominated by someone else.

And aggression is a means to an end. Without aggressive action, you will likely be on the receiving end, bowing to someone else’s aggression.

Of course, it would be nice to conjure up a world where those “traditionally masculine” traits are outmoded and unnecessary. Perhaps in that fantasy world everyone could just let their emotions spill out.

Instead of competition, in that imagined world everyone would win. Rather than looking to dominate, in this imaginary realm everyone would collaborate and live as equals. And finally, in this fictional domain, aggression would not stand and people would simply hug each other and get along.

But that world doesn’t exist. Would it be nice if it did? Sure. But it doesn’t.

The world is a hard place. Life is tough. Human beings are not always benevolent and kind. You cannot count on charity, tolerance and compassion.

If you show your emotions, you might get taken advantage of. If you make emotional decisions, they will likely lead you in the wrong direction.

If you lack competitive spirit, you will probably lose on many fronts: in being hired, promoted, negotiating a salary, and even in finding a romantic companion for your life.

Finally, if you are not aggressive, you will not be able to capitalize on opportunities. Good things in life don’t just appear on your doorstep – you have to be aggressive and make them happen. Failure to do so will result in missed opportunities. Instead of you being in control of your life, life will be in control of you.

So: Be stoic, be competitive, be dominant and be aggressive.

But it isn’t that simple, and this is where things become difficult. It’s important to not go too far with any of those traits.

Just as I wrote about in the recent book “The Dichotomy of Leadership,” which I co-authored with my SEAL teammate Leif Babin, a leader must strive for balance and a man must do the same.

If you turn your emotions off completely and become overly stoic, you will not be able to connect with anyone. You will not be able to lead because people don’t follow leaders who show no emotion.

Furthermore, if you shut off your emotions, you will not feel the joy and happiness that drive you toward success. You will lack the positive emotions that make life worth living.

If you are too competitive, you can be driven to the point where you cannot enjoy anything. You will obsess over winning and drive yourself crazy. A loss will crush you.

You will be tempted to commit immoral or illegal acts in order to win in the short term. Those infractions will come back to haunt you. In the long run, you will fall apart.

The will to dominate must also be tempered. If you focus on dominating in all situations, it will not work out well for you. If your goal is to dominate you won’t listen to other people and will thereby miss out on other ideas and thoughts that might be superior to your own.

Over time, you will wear out your welcome, damage relationships and expend all your leadership capital. No one likes to be around people who require everything to be done their way.

Lastly, if you are hyper-aggressive you will burn yourself out. You will take too many risks, burn too many bridges and use up all your ammunition.

As a leader and as a man, you have to be able to recognize when it is time to back off – when it is time to retreat, reorganize, and reload so you can come back to fight another day.

This list of dichotomies continues on endlessly: as a leader and as a man, you have to have balance. You must be courageous but not foolhardy, decisive but not dictatorial, open-minded but principled, disciplined but not rigid.

So don’t listen to the media telling you to suppress your “masculine traits.” Don’t listen to commercials conveying that acting as a “traditional man” is bad.

But at the same time, don’t let those traits, or any other, drift to the extremes. You will fail as a leader, as a man and as a person. Instead, balance the dichotomies that pull you toward one extreme or another.

And pass that balance on to your sons – and your daughters as well. These so-called “masculine traits” aren’t just for men.

01-19-2019, 09:52 AM
Imagine that these allegedly negative traits and habits are demonstrated by a female.

She would be lauded and affirmed, and rightly so, and labelled "fiercely independent" and "feisty" and gender-affirming and whatever buzzwords the Left could devise.

I like people who display these traits. And dislike those who do not.

Great find. Thanks for posting this.

01-19-2019, 10:17 AM
Imagine that these allegedly negative traits and habits are demonstrated by a female.

She would be lauded and affirmed, and rightly so, and labelled "fiercely independent" and "feisty" and gender-affirming and whatever buzzwords the Left could devise.

I like people who display these traits. And dislike those who do not.

Great find. Thanks for posting this.Not to immediately derail this discussion, but I cannot completey agree with your statement... Yes, the Left would applaud any woman who showed these traits while also furthering their agenda, but it's not that simple for most women in every day life... Especially in the workplace.
Any woman who shows firm leadership and a backbone runs the risk of being labeled a "ball-buster", a "cast iron bitch", etc...
The reality of today's society is that nearly anyone who stands up for traditional morals and principles is risking harassment, censorship, and discipline.
Which is all the more reason to draw the line and take a stand.

01-19-2019, 10:24 AM
Excellent article, thank you for posting.

chad newton
01-19-2019, 11:25 AM
I’m not even sure that the “global” campaign on masculinity is the problem. I really think the problem with younger people in general is there is no hardship or suffering they have had to endure. Everything has been handed to them and it’s maken people soft. We have had a very stable run in the US and it is showing. People from all cultures and all ages have all been down this road, look through history. I am who I am, I don’t dress a certain way to keep up with mainstream duchebagery. I don’t act any different. If someone dosnt like me? Well, then fuck them. I don’t care, I think even talking about it is giving people with weak minds to second guess themselves. We are who we are followers, leaders.... It’s never been any different....

Marco Innocenti
01-19-2019, 11:58 AM
I see a more nefarious goal in these lefty government-funded “research centers/think-tanks” coming out with these research conclusions on the harmfulness of traditional masculinity. (As supported by left media and academia...)

If they are successful in demonizing and destroying the very foundational pillars of traditional masculinity and thus the building blocks of independent, liberty-minded warriors; you essentially immunize the “warrior culture” out of existence in a generation or two.

Their goal is to completely eliminate the entire culture and ethos that would be most resistive to their agenda of changing America/Western Civilization.