As men, it is incumbent upon us to be strong, stoic, capable leaders and protectors for the other humans in our life and tribe.
It isn’t always easy to be a man.
In many ways, our modern culture makes it even harder.
Lately, I’ve been listening to some of the sound bites from various men’s rights activists.
I’ve also been listening to some feminist influencers who have a ‘treat men fair’ sort of slant to their messages.
And while I appreciate all of this ‘guy love’ going around, it also raises a concern for me at a certain level.
Here’s one example of a video that really stuck out to me, in the sense that it was almost giving men ‘sympathy’ or ‘pity’ for the things they go through as men.
Now, shout out to Chloe Roma. She does a lot of good in trying to raise awareness for the difficulties men face.
But here’s what I’m afraid of.
I’m afraid that videos like this may start to get men feeling like ‘feeling sorry for themselves’ will do them a favor or two… when in reality, this really only leads to the victim mindset, which is a dangerous, deadly cycle for men to fall into.
I also keep hearing the same things said over and over about dating advice, relationship advice, etc.
Why does it have to be gendered?
This is a question I keep hearing people ask.
Why can’t men and women be treated exactly the same, and shown the same kind of care, compassion, and kindness?
From a more overarching point of view, and from a general moral and ethical standpoint, I don’t inherently disagree with some of these sentiments.
I think that men should be shown kindness and respect, absolutely.
But it’s also true that men and women have many inherent differences.
And those differences matter.
We are not the same.
Yes, we are more alike than we are different.
Our basic physiology is the same.
Our core bodily systems pretty much handle everything in the same manner.
But let’s not forget that there are fundamental biological differences between men and women.
And those differences matter in terms of instinct and behavior. They come into play culturally, in respect to the roles the two genders play in the grand scheme of the human mating dance, and they influence nearly every facet of a human’s life.
And to a point, this is neither avoidable nor a detriment.
How Do You Manage Strong Feelings As A Man?
To manage strong feelings as a man, it’s important to understand the context of the discussion.
Men and women have different sexual goals.
Are Women More Valuable Than Men?
Well, the most fundamental difference between men and women is that women can conceive and carry children, and men cannot.
Since women are born with such a vital reproductive resource already stored within their bodies, they are also then burdened with the task of ensuring that it doesn’t go to waste.
They’re also burdened with the task of making sure that they don’t squander this valuable reproductive resource on men who aren’t worthy of it.
And so then, on the other side of the coin, men have adapted to these behavior patterns by building mating strategies that probably started out as a response to the survival instincts of the woman, which were based on the competition mindset.
This is discussed a little bit in the book The Evolution of Desire, by David M. Buss.
Men are nature’s competitors, and women are the selectors.
All throughout history, men have strived to compete against rival men for sexual access to the most fertile women.
Well, it all really comes down to survival, and to the successful proliferation of the human species.
Men are driven to continue their genetic bloodline.
Women are driven to do this as well, but they go about it from a markedly different perspective.
While men are striving to compete with other men to gain sexual access to as many beautiful women as possible, women are tasked with the extra burden of raising any children produced to adulthood.
She also has nine months of vulnerability to deal with, as pregnancy will exact a powerful metabolic toll on her body as the child grows inside of her.
In case you didn’t notice, the human species isn’t necessarily a species where the father always sticks around to help raise his young.
And so, women have had to adapt to avoid a pretty significant danger that goes hand in hand with this.
If they don’t choose the right man to have children with, there’s a very real chance that they’ll be left alone to be conquered, enslaved, to starve to death, or even to die from exposure. And so, choosing the highest-value man possible is something that women have adapted to do.
And they’ve adapted to do it out of a pure survival instinct.
This may all sound very bleak. And it may be difficult to pinpoint how it affects us in modern society today. But it’s actually not that complicated.
We adapted this way over millennia to solve problems that challenged our survival.
And even though we may not have to directly deal with some of those problems today, we are still programmed with all of those basic instincts.
Now, where does handling strong feelings as a man come into this?
Well, as men, we are tasked with being the leaders, the protectors, the providers, and the guardians of the tribe.
Being an effective man communicates high value, because effective men are more likely to succeed in helping the tribe to survive than ineffective men.
And so, men are tasked with broadcasting high value if they wish to have mating opportunities with fertile, beautiful women.
Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily a conscious decision on the part of women, to only select ‘effective men.’
How Do Men Create Value For Themselves?
Women want to mate with ‘attractive men.’
But what creates attraction?
The exact same traits that broadcast a man’s effectiveness, and his ability to create value and resources for the tribe.
For men, this means building:
- Tribal connections
- Leadership abilities
- An athletic body
This also means that men have a different set of priorities than women do.
Whereas, it’s in a woman’s best interest to try to sort through her feelings, and to determine whether or not a particular man makes her feel safe, secure, and happy before she makes a mate selection choice and gives a man sexual access to her child-bearing faculties, a man is not necessarily afforded the luxury of weighing feelings before being effective or creating value.
A man is tasked with effectiveness.
And unless he is solving a problem or providing resources for the tribe, he doesn’t have a lot of inherent value to offer the rest of the community.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t value to be found in things like being kind, offering encouragement, etc.
But fundamentally speaking, women automatically come into the world carrying a certain amount of inherent sexual value in the sense that they carry with them the vital equipment necessary to give birth to the next generation.
Men, on the other hand, are born with the ability to create sperm.
But in the competitive human dating marketplace, sperm and semen are easy for women to obtain. They’re also low-risk for men to provide.
And thus, their inherent value is greatly diminished.
The real challenge for women is obtaining the sperm and semen of a truly high-value man who will also commit to sharing his resources with the woman (and to an even greater extent, the tribe), to give their offspring the best chances of survival.
The males of our species also tend to be larger, more muscular, and more physically powerful than the females.
This makes sense.
Men would have a vested interest in protecting their resources, their mate, and their offspring, and their larger physical strength and size would give them the ability to do so.
That may be why evolution has selected traits in men that favor larger males.
Because those were the men, all throughout human evolutionary history, who were more successful in raising their children to the age where they were given the chance to continue the bloodline.
Female Emotions Have A Default Evolutionary Place – A Place For Male Emotions? That’s More Complicated When It Factors Into Attraction
With all that being said, this demonstrates the reason for why it’s more valuable for women to consult their feelings when making crucial survival decisions than it is for men to do the same.
If women stop to consult their feelings before allowing men access to their reproductive resources, it actually helps their chances for survival.
But if men stop to consult their feelings before working hard to build value in the world, they’ll fail to produce value, and fail to find plentiful high-quality mating opportunities.
Sure, men with strong feelings can find sympathy in the loving arms of their friends and family members. But the women of the tribe, who are looking for strong, effective men as mates, will instinctually turn their nose up at a man who allows his emotions to get in the way of his effectiveness as a man.
Now, men can consult their feelings before deciding to channel their resources to any particular woman. This is justified, but in this case, it has to come after the act of generating the resources to begin with.
And so, we see that men who have worked hard to generate value have earned the right to consult their feelings in the context of the dating marketplace, while men who haven’t worked to generate value are looked at as weak, pathetic, lazy, and feminine if they allow their strong feelings to pervade their actions.
For men, dealing with feelings isn’t so simple.
Men can have big feelings, love deeply, feel great affection, feel hurt, and feel intense emotion, very near the same levels that women can experience these things.
The difference is that men carry a burden of performance that women don’t carry.
And when you take into account that their natural roles are that of leaders, guardians, protectors, and providers, you can see how big feelings could be considered a liability if they’re not justified first with great value to be offered by the man.
Because they may get in the way of the man’s actual evolutionary mandate.
This makes men very different from women, whose ‘big feelings and emotions’ are automatically justified by the presence of a womb and eggs. Plus, this ‘consulting of strong emotions’ may actually serve women in securing better odds for their survival.
This is why there is, and has always been, a stigma about men being vulnerable with their feelings.
A man who puts too much attention on his feelings in a context where he isn’t already producing enough value to justify them, could be said to be doing so at the expense of the things that are actually his responsibility:
Being a strong, capable, stoic leader, guardian, and provider.
Context Does Matter
Now, this isn’t always true, of course.
Context is everything.
If a man chooses to confide in another human about some of his feelings, late at night, in private, during a peaceful conversation, shared over a campfire—that’s one thing.
That isn’t a man ‘making a victim of himself’ in front of the women of the tribe. Thus, his masuline frame won’t be damaged, and his reputation as a strong man can remain intact.
But if a man chooses not to show up to a hunt, makes an emotional scene in front of the tribe that isn’t pre-justified by value, or fails to show up to protect his tribe from an enemy because of his feelings because he is either too afraid, or because he doesn’t feel included, or because his feelings have been hurt by someone, etc.
That’s an entirely different situation.
Evolutionarily speaking, men who allowed their feelings to get too much in the way of doing what needed to be done to create value for the tribe were seen as being lower value, because they were seen as being less dependable… and ultimately, as less effective.
Because the fickle nature of their emotions played a bigger role in their decisions than their evolutionary responsibilities, or the desire to create value.
And thus, those types of men would have been much less useful in helping women survive.
And thus, those men would have been chosen less-often as mates.
And thus, over time, women would have adapted to see that trait (placing feelings over the need to create value) as not being a sexually attractive trait in men.
See, it always goes back to survival.
Telling Men That Being Emotional Is Fine Is Only Part-True. It’s Also Part Damaging
So in our modern culture, when we try to tell men that they have just as much of a right to have strong feelings as women do—well, that’s only partly true.
Yes, men can (and do) have strong feelings.
Yes, men can be vulnerable about their strong feelings, to a certain degree, and in certain contexts.
In fact, men should be open and vulnerable about their feelings. But it cannot come at the expense of creating value.
Read To Be A Man: A Guide To True Masculine Power by Robert Augustus Masters, for a more thorough deep-dive on what this means.
But once again, the context is everything.
And if you tell men that they should be allowed to cater to their feelings, to the same level that women should be allowed to cater to their feelings, you’re actually reinforcing something that while partly true, is going to be detrimental to that man’s attempts to be seen as high value in the eyes of the women who would like to mate with.
What It Means To Be A Man
To bring this conversation to a conclusion, I’ll say this.
This is what we should be telling men in regard to having strong feelings.
Of course you have strong feelings.
You’re a human, and you’re a man.
It’s only natural for that to be the case.
You’re going to love deeply and feel deeply, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
And yes, you should be vulnerable about your feelings, when and where the context is appropriate for such vulnerability.
You should not stifle your feelings. You should not repress them.
But it’s also important for you to master your emotions, to become a strong, stoic, capable, high value man who has the ability to protect and provide for his tribe.
If you are truly effective, and your strong feelings are not stopping you from being affective, you will be far less likely to send low-value markers when being vulnerable about those feelings.
This only further demonstrates the vital need for men to seek higher value, and to continually level up to become greater, stronger, more successful men.
This is the duty of man.
Because men who master this balance are much more likely to have more pleasurable, satisfying, fulfilling mating opportunities with beautiful women, and are much more likely to succeed at fathering children of their own.
They’re also much more likely to be seen as high value in the eyes of their social circles.
And all of these things are important to your life, success, and legacy as a man.
And while it may not seem fair, the fact remains that fair isn’t nature’s goal.
Nature conducts itself with a delicate balancing act between complete and total chaos and natural balance and harmony.
And the same is true when discussing the delicate relationship between men and women.
Alright. That’s all I’ve got for this one.
Go with grace, my friends. And never give up your power.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus