Bullying is just another part of life, men need to be challenged in order to grow.
Female Nature, is to nurture : The feminine creates, maintains, and repairs social bonds by verbalizing emotions, and through nurturing connections.
Male Nature, is to challenge : The masculine creates, maintains, and repairs social bonds through challenge, body language, journeying, and truth delivered best with humour.
There is of course a shadow side to both these natural things: Females can become over-bearing, and Males can become bullies.
Bullying, is the best challenge a man can get
Something I have noticed more and more in the world at large, on social media, and in therapeutic circles especially, is the idea that bullying needs to be stopped. I disagree completely. I believe a bully is the perfect situation against which a male can learn the art of survival and growth. He will learn to fight his own battles, learn to overcome adversity, and learn one of the most valuable lessons in life for a man, how to handle defeat.
This is of course an extremely simplistic over-view, and whether it applies to women also, I do not feel qualified to say since I am a male not a female.
Men need to be knocked down sometimes
What irks me, and what prompted me to write this post, is seeing women starting to barge into male-only arenas and force their nurturing methods onto the masculine. I recently went out of my way to face-palm a female therapist who tried to do exactly this. She jumped into a dynamic that was escalating between a group of males on social media, and announced she felt it unhealthy to “gang up and bully”.
In theory she was right, except what she completely missed was that the male who was being “ganged-up” on, already had a number of incidents of violence targeted at him in the real world. What the other males had observed, through discussion of some scenarios that he openly shared, was that his own behaviour was in-fact clearly inviting the violence. He felt extremely defensive of his position, of course he would. And so the challenge was on.
It became pretty heated, in as much as it could on social media. What happened next was that some of the males started to rib him mercilessly, while applying liberal doses of humour, in order to let the truth beneath be acknowledged by him. (A woman might see this as bullying, but generally would fail to understand the nuance and mate-ship, the sense of camaraderie, in which it is being done and why men need it banged into them sometimes. This very same dynamic goes on in school yards the world over, every day. It is actually healthy for boys to engage in it, and we need to leave it to work itself through. This is how we learn to claim our own power, and learn our position in ape world.)
Intention makes the difference
The intention is what defines the dividing line between bullying and supporting a male to break down his defenses. Men sometimes need to be broken and when it happens, it is invariably done the hard way. That is because male growth comes from facing challenges, and not from nurturing. Men who learn to face these challenges, know this. Men who don’t, are at risk of becoming emasculated males, still deeply attached to feminine nurturing, which in short means attached to mother. It really is that simple.
The “bullying” in the case I share here was done with humour, with deliberate antagonistic intention certainly, but also with a brutal honesty and a certain amount of bro-care in the way only men can deliver. Why? Because we are men too. We get the journey. Women do not. We have had our fights, our losses, we have all been arrogant dicks at one time or another and had someone, or something, smash our ego so that we could grow out of our behavioural patterns. Men know when another guy is being a dick, even if he does not. We also know what is going on in this dynamic and process, which women only ever likely see as bullying because they cannot grasp the finer nuance and intention behind it, but then why would they, they are nurturers!
Men also know how to laugh at it, in fact laughing is the barometer to gauge where a man is at. Yes, laughing can be an avoidance, but it can also be a sign that a male has grasped his situation properly, and let go of his ego enough to hear what his mates are telling him by ribbing the hell out of his assumed position. Men communicate this, not through verbal emotionalisation as the feminine would, but through body language, physical ruff & tumble, and humorous ribbing. The clue that a man is finding his feet is because he will start showing signs of taking himself a little less seriously.
The Female Therapist Issue
Women, therapist types especially, generally fail to understand the essential aspect of male growth that stems from facing challenges, because it is not in their nature. There is nothing more damaging than a female stepping into a male dynamic, curtailing that masculine lesson being delivered, and by doing so, getting it all very wrong. Nurture then becomes neuter and creates the bed for mummy issues to grow in.
As a result, and with an increase in females taking therapeutic roles in our society, the old-school method of teaching males through challenge, is something that is rapidly disappearing from our male lexicon. Feminine beliefs and solutions are now being enforced upon males instead (Take the recent Gillette Ad as a perfect example of that). And there will be a huge price to pay for this loss of challenge at some point down the road if we fail to understand it now, and reign in the Female Therapists that are driving these solutions.
Let me share an example of this issue. I had a friend in Victoria, Australia who was eventually found dead on a beach after becoming homeless and who failed to find help for his inner masculine plight. His all-female therapist sessions over the past year had ended in him being branded “beyond help” by each and every one of them. He had asked consistently for male help, not female, which made sense especially since his issues stemmed from abuse at the hands of a feminist mother. There seem to be very few male therapists available in Victoria, and clearly none of the female therapists know how to deal with the masculine journey. They got it wrong. In this case, it even indirectly lead to the death of a young man. His death was not even mentioned in the papers, and many people only found out about it months later. That is one example of the male journey and challenges we face. Women involving themselves in this, are failing men, because they do not know what men need and they get it wrong.
Simply put, if you remove bullying rather than face up to the challenge, you remove the opportunity for boys to grow into men. If you apply feminine methods to the male journey, you will create a problem. The male journey is not supposed to be a nurtured and pleasant one, it is supposed to be a bloody challenge! but it needs the right kind of support and only men can provide that to other men. I do not know of another way to become a man. It is a tough journey for a good reason.
Women do not know what men need
Contrary to popular misconception, actually women do not understand what men need. They know nothing about how to approach dealing with masculinity, setting boundaries for males, or challenging them properly. Worse, they now seem to feel entitled to engage in applying their version of manhood to men, and that essentially means applying feminine methods in an attempt to create docile males. This is being disguised as an attempt to try to stop so-called Toxic Masculinity.
What women have failed to grasp, is that they still need Toxic Masculinity. It is what has made the world a safer place for them, much more than it has been for the past few millennia. There is also growing evidence that single-parent families (specifically moms) lead to more issues with young males. Further proof that women do not have the tools to provide a pathway of learning for males. This is OK, its not their fault, it is because boys need the masculine journey delivered by men who understand it. So long as women can accept that and seek the right pathways to get their male wards met, then all will be well. A woman’s challenge in this respect, may be in letting go.
The application of feminine processes onto the male journey, is a dangerous precedent to set. It will lead to the emasculation of males as they fail to meet the challenges that life throws at them, if they fail to be allowed to learn how to deal with those challenges by themselves, early on. This, some say, is a good thing, but that is naive outlook and failure to grasp just how important Alpha male’s are to the survival of the species, even in our relatively safe and sanitized modernity, to assume the world is safe from trouble, is to forget who currently guards the walls.
The Feminine really needs to start to see something here. Women have absolutely no idea how men deal with male competitiveness in the world at large, because she does not have to experience that, so how can she know? Men MUST be allowed to fight our own fights in order to grow from the experiences, in order to become worthy, adult males. Bullying is a perfect example. We have to learn how to cope with being knocked down.
Women do not grow from these kind of challenges, they grow from nurturing and emotional verbalization of their experiences. Men do not do this naturally, we grow from challenge, and it is mostly challenges that we do not want or like, but have to face. Today, many women seem wholly unable to grasp this point. This is becoming a problem.
Ridding the world of Toxic Masculinity will not create a Female Utopia
We need each other. Men need the nurturing support of the feminine, and women need the protection of the healthy, developed masculine.
The assumption that many modern women make, erroneously, is that what works for the feminine, will surely make a better world for the masculine too. This increasingly popular outlook is a big mistake. What works for the feminine will neuter the masculine, remove his ability to fend for himself, and then you risk making him reliant on others. What kind of male protector is that? These are actually the basic building blocks of mummy issues.
But try telling that to a woman intent on addressing so-called Toxic Masculinity in a group of males that are challenging each other. Men challenge each other often in a healthy way, though women very rarely grasp this. Why? Because it is not the way of women.
You are just a typical, macho, patriarchal dickhead !
If you think this is me being macho, or even about male bravado, you have misunderstood my point. If you think I am endorsing bullying you have also misunderstood my point. If you think I am endorsing shaming, you have misunderstood my point. If you think I do not value women in my life and their nurturing ability you have completely misunderstood my point. I understand why you might misunderstand my point, but I recommend you peel those rather obvious layers back, and look again. This knowledge is learned from experience, not theory. Men need challenges to grow, and boys learn by addressing bullying and not by being protected from it.
The purpose of my point here is to help a boy on his journey towards manhood. Being challenged will help him understand the basic Laws of the Universe. How they will challenge him mercilessly on his journey, and those challenges will teach him how to cope when no one will be there to hold his hand. In fact he will be expected to be the one to protect others, and not the other way around.
The value of bullying, the potential use of it, is to equip a male with the skills he needs to address the spiritual questions, to face up to his fears, and to make his choices in life, alone. Ultimately all of us face supreme defeat at the hands of death, no amount of female nurturing will help us avoid that. Death is our greatest challenger, and that is why death is often the best challenge to face in life too, for men. I am sure mum’s would disagree, in fact I expect it of them, because it is not the female journey. But whether they like it or not, this doesn’t change the facts.
As Maximus said in the film Gladiator, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”
Ultimately a male’s purpose here is to protect, to build, to learn, and to further the species, but most of all it will be to sacrifice himself for his tribe and his people in a variety of ways and then eventually die having hopefully passed on some of his wisdom. Most especially, his journey will be to learn about himself. As Socrates said, Know Thyself. To do that, he needs to be challenged enough that he becomes capable of standing on his own two feet and knowing how to deal with anything. Then he will be a man.
This article is really just discussing the beginning of that journey for boys and also for men too, and it highlights the importance of women staying well out of some aspects of the male education. I discuss the more extreme end of this scale, which often results in imprisonable violence, in another thread about shame and why we should approach it as a teacher, and not something to avoid. [The Anatomy of Violence – Part 1]
It is not a woman’s job to turn boys into men
Women need to understand that it is not their job to teach boys how to become men, and it never will be. I don’t expect them to agree with this statement one bit, but that is irrelevant because they will have to accept it regardless, if boys are to become men. This is because women do not know what men need, and that is because nurturing is not what men need to grow and learn, men need to be challenged. Women need to learnt to surrender, let go.
I am not saying women should not step in to break-up fights if they feel they should. I am saying don’t be surprised if you get knocked over when you do. Having said that, I have seen many situations where women diffuse male violence much better than any male could. This is not in question, the power of the matriarch is a wonderful thing but she needs to know where her power helps, and where it hinders.
Mark’s main pastimes are Meditation and Tantra and the study of human behaviour in relating. He is co-facilitator at The Temple Space. He is also a travel writer, published author, and music producer. His other books and music publications are available through his website www.MarkDKBerry.com