The human animal is an exceedingly complex creature, and worthy of extensive study. That study can be made more manageable by studying smaller segments of the whole and how those segments interact with each other, then integrating that knowledge into something of a cohesive whole. The easiest segmentation is along gender lines and consider human males & human females. This is part two of that consideration.
Growing up, I didn't really have very many male role-models. My biological father left when I was around two and I haven't had much interaction with him in the three decades since. My step father had something of a revolving door policy which ended with him leaving permanently a year or so after my baby sister was born. I spent most of my time surrounded by women, so most of the lessons I've learned about being a man have been more theoretical than practical. With the practical lessons being more about what a man is NOT, as opposed to how to actually BE a man. Despite spending less time "with the guys", I was able to gather a great deal of information which allowed me to understand the natural impulses that pushed at me. It was decidedly easier to learn since I was on the inside of the thought processes as well as listening to others and watching what they did.
I watched as they tested their power by physical combat, from kicks and punches to flying tackles. I saw them use that power to test others and themselves, to defend helpless friends, and to attack unwitting enemies. I listened as they covered fear and insecurities with bragging and lies so often that the lies became the truth. I paid attention as they continuously realized their lives had not prepared them to deal with the women they suddenly wanted, endured the consequences of injustices they didn't commit, and paid attention as they learned the power of strength through gentleness.
The first conclusion I came to, upon analyzing the information presented to me, is that men are just as emotionally complex as their female counterparts. But rather than ride out emotional storms, men build walls and compartmentalize themselves. This allows them to deal with the challenges of the world with little to no complications, solving their problems by facing them head on and dealing with any emotional aftermath later, if ever. Those walls bury the emotional complexity of men, and give them the cold distance which society has attributed to them.
Also, as a secondary effect, these walls disconnect men from direct, hands-on experience of their emotions. While men are still subject to the emotions, if these walls are built early enough in a man's life, he will have no knowledge of what these forces are that move him. The irony is most men won't need that knowledge until they start dealing with women. And yes, this behavior is actively encouraged by modern day society as well.
The second conclusion I came to is that men are built to exert force. Men are physically larger, and on average have more muscle mass, and are trained to focus and channel their strength to enhance it. This also reflected in the male psyche as some of the most basic primal imperatives are to overcome or destroy obstacles with strength and power. The bulk of male to male communication comes across in various forms of challenge.
The third conclusion I came to is that men are not subtle creatures. Men are expected to be able to shrug off the stresses human society throws at them. Whether those stresses are physical or psychological, men are supposed to take the hit, absorb whatever damage, and move forward with little lasting effect. These expectations are trained into men from childhood, as such men develop the capacities to handle the excesses of human society. But the acquiring of those capacities does
not allow for the development of subtlety. In learning to deal with massive snowstorms, one doesn't develop the skill to assess variations in individual snowflakes.
The fourth conclusion I came to is that the worst pain and issues a man will ever have to deal with will come not from men but from women. Everything in modern society trains men to utilize their power to deal with all the problems they face. If they stand tough, and aloof, they'll persevere. Then they try interacting with women, and the same society that has trained them to survive by being strong, cold, and direct, tells them that those tactics can't be used in dealing with the women with whom they are biologically driven to interact.
Overall, it has become apparent to me that the domain of the male is the physical world. From an early age, men are trained to compete, to absorb damage, and ignore the frailties engendered in the mind. They learn focus, control, and the advantages of planning ahead. Direct and decisive action become a man's greatest tools, allowing him to cut through obstacles to accomplish the goals. But, the focus on the physical allows for a blind spot, and for all their strengths and power, that blind spot is and always will be the chink in their armor.
In the end, men are simple creatures. With the proper information, they can be easily understood.