The Gentleman Adventurer On Men – Pt 1

Posted on March 29, 2010 by

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Yes, the Gentleman Adventurer has been relatively silent lately. That’s due in a large part to a number of things – mostly the pressing needs of romance, family, and employment. But it’s also because I’ve been carefully thinking and researching for my next series of blog posts.

It all began when someone, as a gift for my college graduation, gave me a book by a sociologist and Reagan administration member George Gilder, entitled Men and Marriage. It’s a good book and if you’ve got the time and the intellectual wherefore, I recommend reading it. It awoke in me some thoughts and questions I have long had about why we men are the way we are, and why we succeed or fail in the ways that we do.

It was to answer these questions that I first began writing this essay, a little over a month ago now. I’ve worked on it nights and evenings and weekends and pretty much anywhere else that I had a spare moment. My hope is that it will serve to give young men a better understanding of the pitfalls they should avoid, and give those around them a better perspective as to where they are coming from.

It’s a long essay, so I’m going to divide it up into parts for brevity’s sake. This will also give readers a chance to comment on individual sections before moving on to the next.

Some disclaimers: While this is all written from a Christian world view, and thus relies heavily on it for premise, much of what I will say here is my own conjecture based on observation and personal experience. I am not an expert. I do have a Bachelor’s degree in history and psychology, but anybody can go to college and that doesn’t mean much of anything. So take any value you can from what I have to say, but remember that free advice is usually worth what you paid for it.

That behind us, I’ll start with the introduction today, and then we’ll begin to delve into the real meat and potatoes tomorrow.

Let me start out by saying that I greatly enjoy being a man. Maleness comes with many accompanying joys and delights – the enjoyment of a finely crafted piece of steel; the thrill of large motors; the oneness with the untamed wilderness that only a man can feel. And there is the strange allure of a beautiful woman, that male songwriters and authors and screenwriters have been trying to explain since time immemorial, and yet none of us really understand. Then too, there is the joy of handing down traditions and skills to the next generation; of perpetuating something that your father taught you, that you know will outlast yourself. This last, while not specific to men alone, is a predominately masculine idea. So I love being a man.

But men and their needs and wants and desires are tragically misunderstood by modern society. The culture of the 21st Century is one that caters to all the worst impulses of a man and, by attempting to “liberate” womanhood, destroys the natural path to healthy male socialization and fulfillment – that of the family unit. Inside the family unit itself, fathers and mothers who do not appropriately understand their roles in relation to the male youth. They mollycoddle him, or let him go entirely his own way, and in the end he passes through adolescence indecisive and incontinent. Developing masculinity is a fragile thing, and it needs to be handled with care and understanding.

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Posted in: food for thought