Monday, August 25, 2008

Masculinity in America

Interesting, from The Point: Masculinity in America (part 1).

Here is a key passage from what is a very astute post:
The most infuriating thing about men who act from their ego is the shaky self assurance that they are MEN. I have always thought that misogynistic or chauvinistic cultures are actually cultures filled with disempowered men. Because if a man was truly in his own power, why would he have to belittle or be afraid of women? What purpose does it serve except to reinforce the ego? Feeding the desire for domination and power which is essentially unfulfilling and unending in both its destructiveness and its uselessness. I have learned that whenever I see inequality, to look to the leader of the power dynamic, and see the true weakness masquerading in the trappings of power. Because true power is subtle until it is called upon.

As far as I can tell, the ego’s desire for domination comes from insecurity. One thing about true power, is that it bestows upon its wielder a security and a confidence that do not need to show off. I define true power as serving the whole self; physically, mentally, spiritually. There are many ways to convince the ego that it is powerful, to only fuel the ego, and these can be intoxicating, though unfulfilling. If one does not know their true power however, ego-power will seemingly be enough.

“When the ego has become split off or separate from other parts of the personality, we do not experience the world correctly. We become selfish and untrusting, have difficulty in relating to others-and often cannot accept anything except our own viewpoint. The proper balance necessary between the inner and the outer, between logic and intuition, or reason and imagination means that the ego must be brought under control, although it can never be given up altogether.” (P.Ball, 1996)

Another key quote:

After all this preamble, here is my thesis: (white) Men in America have no definition of masculinity, have no image to compare themselves to as men, and so give themselves over to ego power, nihilism, or depression.

Yep. Read the whole post.

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