The Pinnacle of Manliness

I originally was going to write this as a sort of palate cleanser before returning to the usual topic of Russia’s wacky adventures in fantasy land, but to be honest I’m thinking I’d rather be writing stuff like this than covering Russia and Ukraine. I’ll address why in a later post, rest assured, but for now let’s just say that it is repetitive, boring,and depressing. So with that in mind, here’s something completely different.

As we are constantly told by the media and totally well-adjusted adult Youtube personalities, there’s a “masculinity crisis” in America, or the West in general. The alt-right, “Men’s Rights” movement, and the general “anti-feminist” community we see on the internet all seem to think so. PUAs (Pick Up Artists), Red Pillers (dumb fucks), MGTOW (You don’t even want to know)- all of these masses of mostly millennial males are struggling with this crisis of masculinity. Some in rather bizarre ways, such as the so-called “Proud Boys” which have a rule against masturbation. Hilariously, or perhaps tragically, all these defenders of traditional masculinity seek to end that “crisis” by demanding more of the same thing that caused it in the first place, but that’s a subject for a very long post if not a book.

Recently I heard a rather hilarious reading of a conservative’s column about this subject courtesy of the Chapo Trap House, and it made me recall a similar article I’d riffed on years before I even started blogging. It also brought back some memories of other things I’d read and I began to notice a curious, if not ridiculous theme in this genre of writing. If I could put this theme into words, I’d call it “bullshit masculinity,” and I would define it as people lamenting the “loss of traditional masculinity” and then presenting personal examples that set the bar ridiculously low.

To demonstrate what I mean I’ll start with the example of that article I riffed on years ago. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my original note and don’t remember the author’s name, but it was about why soccer is somehow destroying America. In case anyone is already wondering, yes, he basically steals jokes from that episode of King of the Hill about American football versus soccer. The only difference is that the TV show was being somewhat ironic and the jokes were actually funny. But conservatives do seem to have trouble mixing up fiction and real life, after all.

So the author’s gist is how soccer is all about not playing to win, participation trophies, standard millennial hate before it was mainstream. He’s obviously going to compare it to a more wholesome, American sport, and for added surprise, it just happens to be one that he played in high school!

If you’re guessing he played American football you’d be wrong. Boxing? Not even close. Basketball? Nope.

Baseball. He played baseball.

Yes, that sport where players spend long periods of time just standing around or sitting in a dugout.

In a pathetic attempt to make his readers think baseball is hardcore, he talks about how the opposing teams infielders would be screaming “Ey batter batter!” like…get ready for this awesome metaphor…”Buddhist monks on steroids.” And he warns you that if you weren’t careful, the pitcher might just brush you with a fastball to remind you that you’re not playing a kids game. This is a game of true men. A game of sweat glistening off the iron biceps of men who can admire that in a totally heterosexual way, whether on the field or in the locker room, away from prying eyes of those ever-nagging women.

Moving on to the article read by the Chapo crew, this particular author laments that based on one study, male grip strength is significantly weaker among millennial males. By extension we’re supposed to believe that millennial males are weaker than previous generations, including those generations’ females.

So now you’re ready to here his personal anecdotes about all the manly things he did back in his proper childhood, right? Well get ready for a letdown. Apparently his examples consisted of helping his dad change the oil on their car and carrying firewood around. And I was really hoping for tales about underground vale tudo matches in the favelas of Rio.

Aggiunta olio motore


Are you starting to see a pattern here? Guy makes a career off of complaining about the decline of traditional masculinity, and then tries to make the rather mundane tasks he did seem like the equivalent of storming the beach at Normandy or being an MMA fighter. Sure there are people who pull this shtick who have done some objectively hardcore shit in their lives. Chris Sajnog shoehorns laments about gender and masculinity into a book he wrote about how to shoot better, but in Chris’ defense, he’s an actual retired Navy SEAL. He’s not some guy writing, “Man these so-called young men today are all a bunch of pussies! If only they knew the kind of shit I saw when I worked the grill at McDonald’s during the lunch rush!”

I’ve even seen this kind of thing pop up when reading articles by expats extolling the virtue of Russian or Ukrainian women. According to them, these women appreciate traditional masculinity, and make you feel like a real man! And how do they do this, you ask? By letting you buy them stuff for no reason. Yes, you’re supposed to feel like a real man by holding the doors for a woman you know nothing about, and then paying for her dinner, movie ticket, or whatever. That’s what passes for “chivalry” these days. You know back in the day you had to hold your vanquished enemies for ransom, among many other duties, to be considered chivalrous. Nowadays guys who can’t even ride a damned horse say they have chivalry because they bought some woman named Olga an overpriced meal. If only Godfrey of Bouillon could have a word with them.

The last breed of these morons consists of those who exalt things like the military and combat experience yet never served. I remember one piece by one of these “manosphere” dorks that was all about how the lack of major wars is somehow leading to a decline in masculinity. I just had to skim a few paragraphs before I had the guy pegged. I sent him an email telling him I was a journalist who’d worked in a warzone and I was interested in his experiences of combat. He replied quite promptly- never served in the military. I guess he doesn’t need all that character building; he’s already a real man because he writes about it.

Look, defenders of “traditional masculinity,” I ask you kindly- if you want to write an article lamenting the supposed decline of manliness, don’t try to pass off your mundane sports, household chores, or automotive maintenance skills as hardcore pillars of the masculine ideal. If you’re ashamed because you never boxed or worked as a lumberjack or whatever you see as being more objectively masculine, feel free to express your regrets about that. Or maybe just shut the fuck up and join a gym or better yet, join the military so you can see how glorious war really is. When you pull this bait-and-switch nonsense, inflating common tasks as though they were rites of passage for Viking warriors, you’re just screwing with your readers and wasting their time. Not to mention the fact that I haven’t done any Brazilian jiu-jitsu training (or any other martial arts training) since 2014 and yet I’m confident I could easily choke out almost each and every one of these Youtube stars who make hours upon hours of pedantic ranting videos blathering about how weak and “beta” males are these days.

So in conclusion let me just say this in short, staccato sentences to make things perfectly clear. Concepts about what is masculine have varied throughout time and by culture. Traditional masculinity is rooted in patriarchy. Patriarchy privileges males but at a high cost. Many of these whiners want those privileges without the responsibilities and negatives. Moreover, the generation before you had it tougher. Their parents had it even worse. No matter what sports you play or what you’ve done, take a look at how Roman soldiers or Mongol warriors lived sometime. Nothing you do will ever make you more “hardcore” than that. Rejoice that you live in a world where you don’t have to live that way.


22 thoughts on “The Pinnacle of Manliness

  1. AndyT

    Double-posting… again?

    I’ll may end up getting used to it – and turn into a stalker, I’m afraid 😀

    Jokes aside, I think that:

    1 – Those guys know nothing about soccer – I’ve never heard that “everyone’s a winner” bs;

    2 – A somewhat weaker grip strength in younger males is just a result of the shift from blue-collar to white-collar jobs (as those “manly men” themselves surely know, you don’t have to be Mr. Olympia to use a PC).

    3 – Bashing younger generations is probably the oldest, most worn-out topic ever – Plato seconded you by millennia, guys!

    4 – Whatever crisis I might be facing, it has nothing to do with my “masculinity” (or supposed lack thereof).

    5 – Personally speaking, particular conditions aside (i.e. gender disphoria), if you happen to be born in a male body and feel comfortable with it, you already are a “real” man – no need to prove anything.

    6 – [MORBID INTEREST ALERT] If all of those “real men” despise “modern women”, if “good traditional women” live abroad, and even “doing it by themselves” (ahem!) isn’t an option anymore… how do they deal with their “masculine” need? – Cold showers? Cilice? Fasting and Praying? “Helping” one another?

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      On the grip strength thing, I was thinking- the alt-right are mostly millennials. If so, they may be skewing the average due to their preference of waifu pillows and fleshlights over more traditional methods.

    2. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Also I find their hysteria over gender stuff hilarious. Me I except science. I don’t fully understand this whole gender spectrum and to be sure, neither do scientists at the moment, but it really doesn’t affect me and I don’t feel threatened by it.

      Also about the soccer thing- I don’t know how true it is, but supposedly in America kids soccer leagues were responsible for things like participation trophies or something. I’m not sure how true or widespread that was. One thing is for sure- soccer is way more physically demanding than baseball. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that other kids sports might have engaged in the same practices with those dreaded “participation trophies.”

      Plus we’re now finding out that even kids football (apart from flag football) is giving players concussion and brain damage. When you look at some of the stuff we’re learning about concussions and American football, I think a lot of things about the USA start making a lot of sense.

      1. AndyT

        Well, I can tell you the kids’ soccer environment is so competitive that quite a few referees are routinely physically assaulted by enraged parents (i.e. “How dare you expel my child?” or “Don’t even try giving the other team one more point, or else!”).

        That’s why I’ve never entered a soccer field.

        Never heard of this “participation trophies” hysteria (school-sponsored competitions often involve them, though – I got my “fair” share in 5th, 6th grade LOL).

      2. gbd_crwx

        To quote the late Bill Shankly “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”

        And if you look at the view of womens football in Europe, it has been very controversial, and probably is the reason why the Canadian and USA womens team are so good compared to the men’s team, they haven’t been held back the same way as many teams from countries where football (Soccer) is more established.

  2. gunlord500

    Haha, great post. As I always say, it’s laughable to see these guys try to teach anyone else about “masculinity” when they so rarely exemplify it themselves.

  3. gbd_crwx

    I’m surprised that you as a self-confessed Marxist haven’t thought that the rise of feminism is caused by materialistic reason, i.e. Scientific advances in medicine (especially reproductive) and other advances the same way as the womens weaker position before probably came with agriculture.

    MGTOW -that is a bit of sour grapes isn’t it?

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      On the contrary, that’s a big part of it. This is the thing I didn’t want to go into because it would boost the word count way past 3,000 or so.

      A lot of these males are angry, quite justifiably, because their parents and grandparents told them this American dream bullshit and they bought it. They didn’t understand the historical context (for example America’s post-war boom), and they don’t know about the huge downsides to that era.

      Now some of them have worked their asses off in hopes of getting married and being a provider, and yet they’re struggling and often failing. They feel less masculine because they decided to use a definition of masculinity from a different era.

      As for MGTOW I’ll just say- beware. It’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      1. gbd_crwx

        Well it has been an extremely quick change, I guess and I doubt it will slow down. Unfortunately with the internet echo chambers I wonder if anyone will fins a common ground orif the abyss between the two camps will widen.

  4. What do I know

    Although the entire debate is rather absurd since mainly represent the frustrations of some people who find difficult to confront their expectations with real life and prefer to recreate some alternate narrative that magically turns them into some kind of heroic outcast fighting for some kind of legendary grail.

    But anyway, what i can say is simply that you americans have never understood football (what you call soccer). No offense meant.

      1. What do I know

        That I did’t know, but my point was not about terminology.

        I was trying to point about those apparent prejudices about not being a competitive sport and so on an so on. Even if it’s not the main point of your post, I can say the person who write that probably don’t know even what is an offside.

        I can say people in most of Europe (and even more so in central and south america) go awfully mental about football (I’m sorry i keep talking bout football, word “soccer” doesn’t come naturally to me).

        PS. Just to make it clear I don’t regard as a negative trait to not know about football and I don’t think is anyhow worse than knowing about football. It’s just a neutral comment.

      2. AndyT

        @ What do I know

        Yep – in the U.S., it’s not uncommon to see people proudly showing their national flag in their courtyard.

        In Italy, only our football team’s exploits justify such a display of “patriotism”.

    1. What do I know

      @ AndyT

      Personally I don’t think that waving a piece of colourful fabric it is an amazing thing, no matter how beautiful the colours can be. As banal as it may be to attach your “patriotism” to any sport (as they do often in mediterranean countries) at least you are linking that feeling to some sportif values that imply a certain respect for other’s nations and so on, better that than about racial issues.

  5. Asehpe

    A funny thing to me is that MRA’s even have legitimate points to make (custody / parental rights, false rape allegations,etc.). Yet rather than discussing ways in which men may or may not be actually disfavored, they prefer to talk about fantasies of a lost manly past in which men were men and women were women and everybody behaved accordingly.

    I wonder if they have any idea that the average amount of exhausting physical work done by a woman in “those days” was way above these guys’ modern comfort levels…

    I wonder if they have any idea what a tiny percentage of the total population their idealized “real men” actually were.

    I wonder if they have any idea what the actual stats of physical fitness (including this “grip” thing) really were in centuries past (factoring in all the malnutrition).

    I wonder if they have any idea how “gay” ancient sport looked — the Greek olympics, for instance, but also the Romans.

    I wonder if they have any idea what actual war heroes are like, what actual war is like, and what kinds of feelings are really left in the heart of those who went through real combat in real wars.

    People should someday would actually discuss what “manliness” and “womanliness” are really like in the real world — rather than some idealized, idolized version of them that is considered to be ‘the truth’ just because it makes MRA’s sigh. Oh god, if only these people actually cared about the truth!… But no, they have to want to make their own neuroses and shortcomings obvious for everyone to see. Very manly behavior indeed!

  6. blabla

    I am quite dismayed at what the MRA movement became (all that Alpha/Beta/PUA crap).

    I still hold the opinion that lots of MRA issues that were brought up by Farrel, Vilar and so on are still valid. Unfortunately, that movement got completely hijacked by these alpha-loons.


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