I admit to being very skeptical of psychology. The field is colored by a veneer of liberalism, self-righteousness, and general “bleeding heart” proclivities. It is often weaponized against anyone with principles, which roughly translates to those figures who call out corruption or decay in the social state. Many of the historical figures associated with the field are of questionable moral standing, only heightening my general unease with its efficacy.
But that’s not the full story. As I listened to Brene Brown’s TEDTalk on vulnerability, I was struck by an overwhelming theme applicable to myself, and to men in general: we are not fully honest with ourselves. Present male social norms hearken back years, when warfare was closer to home and the worth of boys depended heavily on their usefulness in hunting or fighting. Free displays of sorrow or pain were cast as symbols of weakness, because “that’s what women do.” Remarkably, even as the world changes radically by each minute, men are yet held to the standards of past times, implored to “man up” and not reveal their genuine feelings. So instead we suppress, suck it up, and move on, without addressing the underlying problem.
Consequently, the only true acceptable outlet to burn emotional excess comes in the form of combat sports, or, more often than should be desired, internet rage. Society’s refusal to permit a listen, and demonization of sympathizers, leads many males to clamber aboard the internet steamship, finding explanations for their rage in politics, “the manosphere,” or hedonistic materialism. Every argument or contrast becomes drawn on the basis of scarcity and separation, where one is expected to take a position in order to not be like “those people.” Elect conservatives to get losers off welfare, take the Red Pill and avoid becoming a simp, or build up wealth and leave the drone culture. All well and good, but how are these jaded outlooks working to overcome individual struggle?
Simple, they aren’t. One can attain great wealth or control of others’ emotions (i.e. “Game”), but if the self is wrapped up in ropes of denial originating from childhood suppression of feeling, they will never escape and be at peace. There will always be the lingering insistence of pointing to the world for an ego-sating comparison, or vilifying the opposite sex based on its mere existence. And this practice is never properly exhausted, so the target of disdain must always be raised to a threshold higher in order to please anger’s flow. Hence we need more restrictions on welfare, and men should work to accrue increased wealth, so they can buy sex dolls and replace women. Because separation is not enough; the scapegoat must be hounded eternally to craft a sense of meaning.
For these reasons, I believe our entire conception of masculinity is inherently flawed. A man is not “alpha” or “masculine” because he shakes his fist and makes vicious threats on the internet. True courage and manliness would require him to be open about his personal struggles and, in front of men, show emotion. Such a suggestion seems like an anathema to the casual observer, but the reasoning remains critical. It’s not absolutely necessary to sit down with a professional counselor or psychologist, yet hashing things out as men is the only way that pain can be drawn out and dealt with, as opposed to hidden under piles of sheer fury.