Monday, August 2, 2010

Thoughts On... Humanity Pt 2 - Men

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.


  1. First off, hello Rodman, how are you doing, LOL? Now, I read both parts of this topic and I have to say, I'm a little concerned with the way you use the word MEN when you should be using males. As you mention in your blogs, you, most of the time, were in the company of women, so were not able to get a real grasp of males growing up. I will tell you that THEY don't overcome anything, IMO, which is why I call them males. In my opinion, overcoming an obstacle doesn't mean you LOOK LIKE you overcame it, which is what males do, it means you actually learned what to do and will be able to succeed at that obstacle all the time. Unfortunately, males seem to do the EXACT SAME mistakes over and over which is why they aren't overcoming shit. It's like that hurtle racing thing, I don't know the exact name for it, but it's like running around a hurtle when people aren't looking just to seem like you overcame it. A MAN will overcome an obstacle and never have trouble with it again because he actually learned how to overcome it. I have also noticed that you mention that WOMEN are both genders reasons for pain and headaches. I agree, LOL. I'm just kidding. That's not fair, even though you may have an enormous amount of proof to that, it goes back to my comment about males to men. A female may be a headache to both genders, but a Woman, not unlike a MAN, is the reason to push forward. When you are a MAN or a WOMAN you understand the difference between males, females, men, and women. There's nothing simple about us. Just because we make it look easy, doesn't mean it is. It's all that training from getting over the obstacles correctly that help us make the world and our lives a better place. Now, I'll give you that there aren't many MEN and WOMEN outthere, but we're outthere.

  2. Of all people, I didn't think I would have to explain this to you, Alan.

    Men, Women, males, females, they are all the same animal. As such this template applies to all. There are going to be certain subsets that are more successful than others, but again, that goes without saying. This was an examination of the male side of humanity as a whole in the simplest forms possible. In other words, this is nothing more than a template, a blueprint upon which one can build an accurate assessment of any individual.

    And for the women are the source of pain for both genders, you fail to account for THE REASON WHY. Societal pressures train men to think, and behave one way, and women to behave another. Those behaviors are diametrically opposed, which causes a never-ending series of issues when men have to deal with women. When men deal with each other, the rules are established and relatively easy to follow.

    Women generally aren't trained to be competitive with each other. They can handle men fine, but interacting with each other causes them serious issues.

    One final note.. Simple IS NOT EQUIVALENT easy. 2+2=4 is simple. To prove it mathematically took over 300 pages of intense, and deep mathematical calculations. Men AND women are simple. Easy is another thing entirely.