Our society has a horrible view of male relationships and the seemingly unemotional nature of them. Men are largely viewed as repressed and broken women that need to be fixed by being more emotionally open and having relationships like women have. However, when you pause to think of the men you know who are emotionally open and who have relationships more like women … they are unable to attain the goals and desires most men desire. Not only this, but in most men this emotional worldview just doesn’t fit with innate male life strategies.
Women hold innate value in the minds of men and women. The core of your value is represented in your womb and the fact that you are born is a validation of your worth. So many forms of media reflect this back to women that they are valuable no matter what, but this is not merely true in our culture. Few men have any illusion that they hold value in mere existence. Men are tools and must produce value in order to validate their existence in the mind of others. MRAs often use this fact as proof of male oppression, but I disagree and think it is a fine reality that we are built for.
I find that this narrative is often countered by women who believe they are progressive or enlightened. However, their actions so often counter their perceived narrative. I’m in a performing arts group with a guy who I believe is gay. He is a nice guy and I enjoy chatting with him. However, he wears a lot of emotions on his sleeve and breaks the traditional male stoic personality archetype. I am finding that the women in the group are extremely quick to offer their support and pity to him at any moment. You can see on their faces the joy they have in supporting the unthreatening guy who is vulnerable. The problem for most guys is … we don’t want your pity and support. We want your admiration, devotion and pussy. And let’s be honest women, you are happy to offer your pity and support for vulnerable gay men … but you have no inclination in offering that guy admiration, devotion and sex. To make this infinitely worse … once a guy who isn’t gay and makes clear for his desire for admiration, devotion and sex shows vulnerability and emotional openness … women want to offer him nothing because he is no longer unthreatening.
A large way women bond with one another is through sharing their emotions, vulnerabilities and hard times. A women who needs help and support is not a drain on others outside of the extremes. In fact, most men and women get great joy in supporting and helping women in need. It gives ourselves a sense of justice and like we are supporting something with innate value with more value. This does not and can not translate to men. Any attempt to do so will usually make a man less valuable to everyone.
Men are stoic, however, we are not unemotional repressive robots. Our emotions are at the core of our inspiration … love for our family and pursuit to make the lives of ourselves and the people we love better. Without emotions, we have no inspiration for anything. However, when the basis of a relationship isn’t first and foremost in offering pragmatic value to others … you will not be valued as a man. You will only be offered value as a target of someone’s pity or offered value to someone who wants to value you akin to a woman (gay guy?).
When a man goes through an emotionally hard time, most men get it and we feel horrible for him. However, that doesn’t change the nature of the relationship we have. If I hear another man crying in the distance, I want to give him space and allow him to keep the nature of our relationship unchanged if he desires. In extreme times, I am happy to offer more intimate support (hugs and such) as long as the nature of our relationship is going to move back to where it was. The value I offer to other men isn’t someone to cry to and give hugs and the value they offer me isn’t emotional support. The value men offer me is camaraderie, and trading of resources and values.
When I accomplish a task with another guy, I feel closer to him. When I can talk about things that interest me and joke around with a guy who shares similar sensibilities, I feel closer to him. When I can rely on a guy to help me in a rare tight spot, I feel closer to him. When a guy wants to tearfully open up to me about his intimate emotions … I feel uncomfortable.
As men, we use our wives (and other women) for emotional support in many ways. However, when this isn’t done within a context of a man offering great value of resources and overall leadership … women will look at men as pitiful.
I believe many women in our society today would read this post and say “that is incredibly sad that men have this perception of their relationships”. For some guys, it is very sad that the nature of male relationships work this way … but the reason it is sad is usually because they were raised to not understand the innate value they offer to others. However, for most guys, they will read this and say, “Yeah! I’m not broken. These are the values I have in myself and other men. I don’t want pity, I want admiration. I don’t want ’emotionally supportive’ male relationships, I want a more pragmatic camaraderie with other men.”
The reason this will seem sad to girls is because … they are girls. The reason this will ring true for men is because … they are men.