The Way of Men is a challenging, straight-forward and intriguing book. It seeks to answer the questions of what the nature of masculinity is, how masculinity is affected by our society and how one can become more masculine.
Masculinity is Amoral
Jack says masculinity as being about what makes a man good at being a man, rather than what makes a man a good man, thus masculinity has nothing to do with morality. Darth Vadar was still masculine despite his immoral nature. It’s like asking what makes a man good at playing baseball vs asking what makes a baseball player a good role-model, they’re important questions, but they’re separate questions, they’re two different conversations. Often when you read about masculinity, you’re actually reading about morality, so this distinction really helps declutter the conversation.
Masculinity aids survival
What makes a man good at being a man, at it’s most primary, primal level, is what makes a man useful in a survival situation, as until security can be maintained, all other functions of a man will likely get him killed. Poets and authors and musicians will die without security, so security is the first order of business. Also, men have evolved to live in solely survival situations in hunter-gatherer tribes, so what made a man good at being a man, until the relatively “recent” change from our hunter-gatherer origins, was always about assisting survival in a very dangerous world. And masculinity is what distinguishes a man from a women, which is about survival, rather than replication.
Specifically, what makes a man good at being a man and hence the traits of a masculine man and an alpha male are:
– Strength, both literally and figuratively, the ability to exert one’s will upon another (Power)
– Courage, the willingness to exercise power when doing so could lead to harm (Risk-tolerant)
– Mastery, the capacity to build power through learning skills and tech that would make you more powerful
– Honour, your concern for your reputation amongst your gang and others (Perception-conscious)
A masculine man is willing and able to have, build and use power to further the interests of himself and his gang.
What is the way of men?
The same way that men behave in survival situations: gang-life. (think, the Walking Dead or the Expendables or the Godfather)
Masculine gang traits
What are the important characteristics of a gang?
– Geographical Proximity
– Group-identity (what makes “us”, “us”)
– Fraternity (like a sense of fraternity between the members)
– No women (because when they are around, men act differently)
– Trust (which can be developed through bonding activities, presumably manly activities)
How do you become more masculine?
– Increase testosterone (diet, exercise, supplements and other methods, natural or otherwise)
– Form a gang with masculine men (you need not shoot up the block or anything though)
– Do manly things (drink cosmopolitans and bitch about celebrities perhaps?)
– Increase physical strength
– Increase power-base
– Master survival skills
– Increase risk-tolerance
If you’re interested in masculinity and/or want to become more sexually attractive as a man (by being more masculine) I’d recommend giving the book a read, it’s thoroughly lacking in bullshit, which seems a rare delight in the genre of masculinity.