Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ed Kaitz - The Testosterone Crisis

American Thinker posted this article by Ed Kaitz - The Testosterone Crisis - last week. Kaitz feels that the Obama victory signals a national trend toward more effeminate men, the end of John Wayne style masculinity. He sees this as a bad thing. Some thoughts below.

The Testosterone Crisis

By Ed Kaitz

The sweeping Democratic electoral victory has left many conservative Americans concerned about their children's future. With the federal government, educational establishment, entertainment industry and media thoroughly in the hands of the left, disturbing questions surface concerning the kinds of values our children will begin to accept as "mainstream." Matters get worse when one considers what might become forced indoctrination in "community service" organizations as a prerequisite for college admission.

These concerns were on my mind during a recent outing with my young children to a local playground. While I watched my kids try to scale walls, climb ropes, and navigate through other challenging structures various male voices I had obviously missed on previous visits to the park suddenly resonated. "Try it on your own" or "you don't need any help with this one" the gaggle of fathers would say as their sons and daughters sized up various obstacles. And while many of the moms cringed on the benches the young ones tripped, fell, clawed, and cried at times but they usually ended up victorious.

The ancient Chinese thinkers would have called my local park a microcosm of nature -- a dynamic reciprocity between the forces of feminine yin and masculine yang. It is as natural for the moms to be overly concerned about the bumps and bruises as it is for the fathers to be encouraging independence and self-reliance. Yin and yang represent two complementary energies in nature, the balance of which determines the health and harmony of a marriage, a family, a village, and even a nation. These same Chinese philosophers warned however that unhealthy families, like unhealthy nations, are usually the victims of an overabundance of either the feminine yin or the masculine yang.

Chinese emperors for example attempted to head off this underlying and menacing threat of imbalance by castrating their ministers. Why? Too much yang testosterone in the palace would lead to dangerous factions and competition. More eunuchs around the court meant the palace would be a better reflection of the harmony in nature. Imperial concubines would also be sheltered from potential male rivals of the potentate, but this was entirely incidental to the theory.)

While an excess of yang energy was considered explosive and dangerous, what happens in a country like contemporary America when there seems to be a dangerous oversupply of feminine yin?

In his book The Suicide of Reason Lee Harris argues that our present state of liberal democracy has led to "eliminating the alpha males from our midst, and at a dizzyingly accelerating rate." Instead of supporting and valuing testosterone's virtues we're "drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin." In addition, one could view Barack Obama's election as the triumph of yin over yang. Obama's policies promise to cast the father out of America's parks and replace him with the more "caring" and yin oriented federal government.
You can read the rest of the article if you like, but I'm calling bullshit.

Kaitz laments the yin society that Obama might be symbolic of, and also laments the loss of alpha males. He's caught in a false model of masculine development, which might be seen as follows:

egoic - violent and possessive
authoritarian - law and order, rigid
expressive - rational self-interest, exploring
post-modern - egalitarian and sensitive, softer
integral - balanced and secure, individuation

Kaitz seems to think that Obama represents the unhealthy aspect of the expressive / post-modern mode, i.e., the sensitive New Age guy, or SNAG. I tend to think that he represents a healthy version of the expressive transforming into the post-modern.

Yes, he brings more yin than any past president, more compassion, but he still is an alpha male in the traditional sense. Whatever Kaitz sees on his little playground, it has nothing to do with Obama and a lot to do with egoic / authoritarian men having created this culture over the past 3,000 years, as it needed to be created. Now it's time to address a rebalancing of masculinity, which means it will look "soft" to old school, stiff-upper-lip style men.

As far as I can tell, Obama is actually a good masculine model, not the "effeminate" one Kaitz thinks he is.


Anonymous said...

Oh, the Bush/masculine model was working so gosh-darn well! What a goof.

MissMysterics said...

Whilst I don't think Obama has anything to do with this, I do think society is looking down on 'masculine' traits too much now.

Not any traits imparticular, but people look down too much on men they deem 'masculine' nowdays, accusing them of being agressive and generally telling them that their personality is 'wrong' This is bulllying!