I don’t know if it’s just my experience, but it seems that some of the most masculine guys I’ve met were stay-at-home dads.
My father-in-law and one uncle in particular come to mind. Both are physically strong, and not just strong, but imposing (well over 6 feet tall). Both have their own ideas, but neither are annoyingly “outspoken.” Both would be impossible to intimidate, morally or physically. Both are talented carpenters and handymen, not particularly interested in weapons but competent with and knowledgeable about them anyways. At a more basic level, both have the sorts of faces and physiques you would expect from normal, if not slightly above average, levels of testosterone.
And both let their wives go to work while they stayed home with the kids.
I’m sure that there are plenty of soy-faced nu male stay-at-home dads, but it always seemed particularly strange and interesting to me that the most masculine — the strongest, most courageous, most competent men, who still cared about honor — are now often rejecting traditionally male roles. They aren’t signing up for the military. Some males still are, but fewer of the more masculine men are taking the oath. The ones who enlist are often just going for the benefits, not following some sense of patriotic duty to one’s country. Masculine men aren’t going to college in nearly the numbers they used to, and are dropping out at higher rates while women take their place. They aren’t getting into politics, and if they try, they are very likely to be severely punished for it.
And sometimes, they aren’t even working any more.
I think that the most masculine men are the “tip of the spear” in dropping out of these things because intuitively, they get that they are no longer living in a masculine society, and have instead found themselves in a feminine one.
I finished Jack Donovan’s most recent book A More Complete Beast, his latest book on masculinity, and an addendum to The Way of Men and Becoming a Barbarian. I suppose much of what I’ve been describing fits into Becoming a Barbarian, but Donovan really lays out the situation we find ourselves in A More Complete Beast:
…while it is always better to be prepared than it is to be unprepared, most men who do nothing will be fine. Nothing is going to happen to them. The statistics favor the lazy. Men today are free to be weak and afraid and inept in all of the ways that their ancestors were not.
Those who say that masculinity is no longer necessary are correct.
Those who say that circumstances no longer require the average man to be stronger than the average woman are correct.
Those who say that average men don’t need to be any more courageous than average women are correct.
There is no particular set of skills that average men need to acquire more than average women in order to survive.
Honor, the fourth tactical virtue, is dead in any broad cultural sense, so maintaining a commitment to some antiquated honor code that most people don’t recognize or value — let alone adhere to — is perceived as being quaintly eccentric, if not “problematic” or threatening in some abstract way.
To say that masculinity is unnecessary is not to say that it is undesirable, and Donovan makes a strong case that if you are a man, it is simply better to be manly. Yet if you are a masculine man, being manly means running head-on against the values and preferences of the feminine society we live in.
If we observe the behavior of the most masculine men, it becomes clear that we live in a woman’s world. If you’re willing to read between the lines a little, the behavior of effeminate men parroting feminist talking points also supports this view.
If you are a masculine man, married to a competent and capable woman, with the skills and interest necessary to succeed in a society and working world designed around her interests and preferences, why would you go and work if you didn’t have to? Why not let her succeed and thrive in a society designed for her preferences and needs?
There are plenty of reasons and ways to stay occupied — spending time with kids; taking care of the house, or increasing its value; productive and/or lucrative hobbies; all of these are open possibilities and ways that men can be useful to people who matter to them, without having to bend the knee to people who hate what they are. Bureaucrats, middle-managers, and Karen from HR, all hate masculine men, and will make their lives miserable. Better to sit out and do your own thing.
Much of A More Complete Beast is about cultivating this creative mindset, and not becoming resentful over the nature of the society we’ve inherited.
It had sometimes seemed oddly unmanly to me, watching masculine men forego the masculine role of traditional employment. But in the context of a world which punishes manliness, maybe it makes sense. Maybe the reason that masculine men aren’t working as much, aren’t going to school as much, aren’t serving in the military or government as much, is because these environments no longer want or reward masculinity. Sometimes, masculinity is even hated. Maybe there’s nothing particularly masculine about doing one’s duty to a nation that hates you and punishes you for being what you are.
Maybe it’s even servile, unmanly.
And if you are a man, it is simply better to be manly.