Chivalry Not Feminism

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I am a man who likes man things: sports, women, beer… You get it. Naturally, Google knows this. Today in my google news feed I was greeted with this article about masculinity: This Father’s Day, men are experiencing a crisis of masculinity. The solution? More feminism. I disagree.

I agree with the premise. There is a problem with masculinity. Men make up three-quarters of all suicides, and the rate is rising. Similarly, men are not going to college or graduating from college at the same rate as women. Clearly, men are struggling. I disagree with the writer’s solution and his logic.

The author makes several points in the article but there’s one in particular I want to address.

Men are the victims of three-quarters of suicides in the United States. This isn’t because feminists have successfully carried out a campaign to keep men from having sex. Rather, male suicide rates are tragically high because of traditional, stereotypical standards of manliness.

If tradition stereotypical standards of manliness are to blame for the suicide rate, then why is the rate rising as these standards have been eroding? The suicide rate should have been significantly higher fifty years ago when “men were men.” And should be decreasing as these institutions have fallen. If anything his reasoning points to the opposite of his conclusion. The erosion of traditional stereotypical standards has increased the suicide rate.

His lack of basic pattern recognition aside, my main disagreement is his conclusion.

…men need more feminism in their lives, more gender equality and a relaxation of rigid and counterproductive gender norms. In other words, feminism isn’t killing men — toxic masculinity is. And it will continue to do so until both women and men are fully equal, and fully free.

I have no qualms with the beginning of this paragraph. Feminism and gender equality are good things I support. I take issue with the “relaxation of rigid and counterproductive gender norms,” and that men should be “fully free.”  Men should not be fully free. Men are monsters when they are fully free. Toxic Masculinity occurs when men are free.

The article mentions the high suicide rate, the high incarceration, and the high murder rate of men. It reads like Lord of the Flies. Lawlessly, men are lost in the woods. Uncertain and violent. They have no guide. They have no goal. They have no civility.

Men are full of testosterone and it makes them more aggressive. Testosterone is a hell of a drug. Evolutionarily this makes sense. In tribal societies, men do the hunting and during a hunt, it pays to be aggressive. Human males have evolved to work in teams to kill prey. This is why men are hierarchical(i.e competitive) and why they are aggressive. And in today’s society, the competitive and aggressive nature of men has no prey.

Men’s competitive and aggressive nature needs a channel. An example of this is the military. Two of the major features of the military is hierarchy and aggression. There is a reason men feel called to join. Yes, it’s patriotic, but it also fulfills a primal urge.

My solution to the crisis is not more freedom, but less. A renaissance of chivalry. Men need a creed. A mission to guide their spirit. If men do not have a duty, they will wander in the wilderness like savages.

Chivalry was a code of conduct that was developed during the medieval age. It was a set of standards that guided how men ought to behave. The three areas of chivalry were a duty to countrymen, duty to God, and duty to women. A duty to these three things would reduce the incarceration and murder rate(duty to countrymen) and would reduce the rate of suicide(duty to God). I haven’t even spoken about how women are treated, but we know it’s not good. A duty to women would fix that. But as we know chivalry is dead. It shouldn’t be surprising then that men are acting unchivalrous.

Frankly, society would be better with these “rigid and counterproductive gender norms.”

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