The world you live in is not conducive to producing men.
Instead it emasculates them.
Your growth from boy to man is dragged out over a long period of time in an unclear way leaving your manliness stunted.
What society ends up with is men who think and act like adolescents.
The good news is that you don't have to let these forces shape you if you become aware of them and choose to override them.
It's incredibly difficult when you live in a world where manliness is discouraged, but it is possible and very exciting.
How Society Causes The Emasculation Of Men
1. Lack Of Clear Rituals
At what point does a boy become a man in modern society?
No one really knows.
It could be any one of a number of things, such as:
- Puberty and physical maturity
- Graduation from high school
- Graduation from college
- Losing his virginity
- Getting married
- Having children
In tribal societies, and even more recently in pre war times, there was a more clear cut transition with certain landmarks and rituals.
Now it is socially acceptable to be a lazy slacker with no career, ambition or family well into the 20s and 30s.
They are physically men but with the mindset of boys.
2. The Length Of Time In Adolesence
I believe that manliness is defined by becoming productive and providing for oneself and others. A boy is dependent, while a man can look after himself and have others depend on him.
Every other animal reaches adulthood when it becomes physically mature, because that is also the stage at which it can fend for itself.
Until very recently men would become productive not long after puberty. Whether that was working on a family farm or going straight into the workforce as a young teenager, boys would start making their own way in the world and that would turn them into men.
But now, while you still mature physically in the early teens, you don't actually become productive until many years later. You spend what should be your early manhood in education, still living at home and completely dependent.
Biologically you want to be an adult, but socially you remain a child. I believe this is one of the key reasons that teenagers are prone to going off the rails. They crave freedom and independence but are restricted and shackled.
3. The Burdens On The Millenial Generation Are High
In addition to remaining a dependent well into early adulthood, the current generation of young men face some crippling challenges.
College debt, government debt, a fragile economy and falling real wages mean when young men finally do enter society in a productive capacity they are at a significant disadvantage.
It's very hard to complete your education, go out and make a decent living and start a family straight away.
Therefore many young men try to avoid growing up and their 20s become a period of being an unproductive kidult. They are so scared of adulthood that they will do anything to delay it.
The problem is that the longer you stay in this transitionary phase the harder it is to mentally move past it. It doesn't help that the stereotype of the lazy partying dude is so prevalent and celebrated in the media, making it an acceptable lifestyle choice for many.
4. Productive Enterprise Is Frowned Upon
Given that my definition of manliness is providing for oneself and others, it follows that to be a man one has to be productive. That means having a job or running a business in some kind of productive enterprise.
The problem is that productive enterprise has become unfashionable among the modern progressive elite. Making money and earning a decent living is seen as selling out.
Those sucked in by the cultural marxist propaganda abstain from making any more than the bare minimum and are happy to barely scrape by either with student loans, by sponging off their parents or by working for pennies for a charity or NGO.
5. Manliness Is Out Of Fashion
The emancipation of women is a wonderful thing. However women's equality does not have to lead to the disdain for the male gender.
However this is exactly what has happened. Those who view the world through the lens of the oppressors and the oppressed have captured the feminist movement.
It's no longer about breaking down barriers for women. It's about seeing women as oppressed and men as the oppressors. Manliness and masculinity is seen as the problem and the thing that holds women back.
There is nothing wrong with men having a feminine side or expressing emotion. Manliness does not mean you have to be super macho.
But manliness is not celebrated because it has become associated with oppression. Boys are raised in an environment, often without good male role models, where they are taught that manliness is a bad thing. No wonder they are so confused.
6. The Sedentary Nature Of Modern Society
One core component of masculinity is physicality. It isn't the only thing, and it alone is not enough, but it is important nonetheless.
In generations past it was more common for men to work in physical jobs, which meant they were fitter, healthier and had more vitality and energy.
While automation and the rise of white collar work is good for the economy, one of the side effects is that the lack of physical work has made people lazy and overweight.
It takes a conscious and concerted effort for men to maintain their physical fitness and work on that aspect of their masculinity. For those who do not have that strength of character, they take the path of least resistance and allow themselves to get out of shape.
How To Stop Being Emasculated
You can't do anything about the cultural influences of society, your upbringing or your choices in the past.
Whether you like it or not you will have been emasculated, like all of us, to some degree.
If you focus on doing what you can do to improve yourself and develop your masculinity then you will go a long way to reversing the feeling of emasculation.
1. Become Self Sufficient As Soon As Possible
Economic realities means you will probably be dependent on your parents far longer than you are comfortable with. However you should do what you can to move out of home and become self sufficient as soon as possible.
Even if you are receiving support from your parents, for example during college, make sure you are grateful and frugal. Put their help to productive use to get you to a point where you can be self sufficient.
Don't carry a sense of entitlement and don't be wasteful of any assistance that you receive. Don't treat your parents as an endless source of funds that are yours by right.
If you do have to stay at home for financial necessity make sure you act like an adult around the home. Contribute to the upkeep of the household and be as productive and self sufficient as you can be. Don't sit around playing video games and expect your mother to do everything for you.
However as soon as you are able to stand on your own two feet and support yourself, move out of home and start taking care of yourself.
2. Learn Basic Domestic Skills
Manliness is about being able to take care of yourself and provide.
A core component of taking care of yourself is mastering the basic domestic chores. Things such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. Many young men move out of home but live in filth because they don't know how to take care of themselves.
Domestic work around the home is not just the domain of women. It is the domain of every fully functioning adult.
It's no surprise that this is also such a core part of basic military training.
3. Take Ownership Of Your Career
For you to be a productive member of society you should be deploying your talents in a useful way. Hopefully you enjoys the work and are remunerated handsomely.
You aren't necessarily going to waltz easily into your dream job but you need to work hard and hustle to put yourself onto the right track.
Don't be a bum and sponge of others and if you can avoid a dead end job with no future just to make ends meet.
Have some ambition and aim for something meaningful. It doesn't have to be your passion or change the world. But it shoud give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
This, by the way, is incredibly sexy to women.
If you have no idea what you want to do then I recommend you read what I consider the greatest career book of all, What Color Is Your Parachute?
My dad made me read it when I graduated college. I was very skeptical that a book could help me, but I was happy to admit I was wrong. The book is awesome and for me it was life changing.
4. Get Your Finances In Order
Once you are a productive man who is generating an income you need to put that money to good use.
Adolescents will often impusively spend any money they get their hands on on unnecessary consumer goods. Kidults are often not that different, hanging out for pay day and then blowing it all on nights on the town.
Once you develop a savings habit and learn to invest you can build up a bit of a buffer. You stop living paycheck to paycheck and can make long term financial committments such as buying a house and having children.
Additionally, if hard times ever hit you are less likely to have to ask for assistance from family or the state.
5. Get Fit
Physical health is one of the cornerstones of masculinity.
It's not just about looking good, it's also about raising your testosterone, increasing your energy and having better physical and mental health.
Serious challenging training is also character building and helps you cultivate important traits like tenacity and resilience and the ability to push through the pain barrier.
There is no excuse for becoming a sedentary overweight couch potato. If you do, you can't blame society for emasculating you, you can only blame yourself.
6. Learn How To Be A Man In A Relationship
One critical area where the suppression of masculinity can wreak havoc is in relationships.
Women are no longer an object of a man's possession, but an equal partner in a relationship. That is how it should be and a cause for celebration.
However in dating and in relationships there are key gender roles that we are supposed to play that men either don't know about or are to scared to do.
Men are supposed to lead, women enjoy being led. This is something that is agreed upon by both pick up artists and top mainstream relationship therapists like John Gottman.
Gottman even argues that the success or failure of a relationship is dependent on a man's leadership. 1
This doesn't mean a man walks all over a women or doesn't take her feelings into consideration. But it means you need to be confident and assertive in your interactions.
Unfortunately most men these days are timid, afraid to express themselves and unable to lead.
7. Read About Men's Issues
One of the key ways to reverse emasculation is to read about men's issues and manliness. There has been an explosion of material on the web in what has been dubbed the "manosphere."
There is a spectrum from the hateful and misogynisitic through to legitimate respectful criticism of cultural marxism and the prevailing mentality that doesn't allow a healthy masculinity to flourish.
While the social justice warriors pretend it's all the same, it's not. Read widely and figure out where you stand for yourself.
One excellent resource I recommend is The Confident Man. This is a program that focuses on shifting your thoughts and attitudes and can help you override emasculating social programming.
It is also very practical and discusses how to be more confident, how to master your emotions and how to improve your skills with women.
Society has gone down a certain path that doesn't make it easy to be a healthy male who is comfortable in his masculinity.
You have been exposed to ideas and a culture that makes you uncomfortable with being a man and expressing your manly energy in a positive way.
Hopefully in future there will be a cultural shift where manliness becomes acceptable and celebrated.
But until then you can take matters into your own hands and make sure that you do everything you can do to become the best man that you can be.
It won't happen automatically, and will take some conscious effort, but you can change your actions, behavior and attitudes to reverse any emasculation you have suffered.
- Gottman, J. et al (2016). The Man's Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the "Love Lab" About What Women Really Want New York: Rodale.