The Masculine

This is about what I believe the Masculine needs - that part of human nature that we see most strongly in men, but that is also present in women as well. It is not uncommon for women to be strongly guided by their masculine side and I am not talking about "butch" or physically "manly" women. The masculine is within all of us; it really is an aspect of being human.

1. The masculine needs to have Purpose. Without it, men flounder. They turn to alcohol, drugs, infidelity, violence, abuse, juvenile behaviour or slovenliness - and then sink into mediocrity or worse. The most accessible Purpose for a man in society is work, and without work many men suffer emotional collapse, which frequently leads to relationship-damaging behaviour. But work alone may not be enough - if the work itself is demeaning, or inadequate for that particular man, then the same set of behaviours will follow.

2. The Masculine needs a Role. This is intimately connected to a sense of Purpose, and the adequate fulfillment of a Role may well substitute for Purpose. For most men, these are the roles of Protector, Provider and Procreator/Father. A happy, satisfied man feels he fulfills these roles to his satisfaction. What is not important is the physical strength, nor the size of their income, nor their actual ability as a lover - it is how the man *feels* about what he has. Inadequacy is always a matter of context, and of perception, which obviously includes the feedback from those around him, as well as his own expectations.

3. The Masculine needs to take responsibility, and together with this have a sense of ability and potency. This is often confused with need to control and a need to dominate, by men, women and society, but these are perversions of the healthy, true needs. The combination of responsibility and ability is important. Someone with responsibility but no ability is driven to a state of nervous anxiety. With ability and without responsibility, there is only a deep sense of unfulfillment.

4. The masculine needs you to build a bridge to it. That masculine side in all of us, where our deepest courage and stoicism comes from is not naturally  communicative nor engaging, it does not seek to understand. Instead it seeks to withstand, forbear and to act, alone and independently. Because this part of us is not inclined to reach out, if you wish to communicate with the masculine (or men), you must reach in and learn to use the language and ideas that the masculine aspect can understand. Unless that communication is expressed in a way that the masculine can engage with, otherwise valid concerns and needs come across as nagging, whining, bitching and harping. When that happens, the natural reflex is for the masculine to withdraw even deeper within itself and close out the source of the nagging.

5. Finally, the masculine needs to integrate with the feminine - two aspects of self working in harmony. As HeartLove mentioned, men need more than love - but they still do need love. Often though, the masculine expression, understanding and receiving of love is different from the way that feminine equivalent. And understanding, and learning how to work with these differences is crucial - without it, the best intentions and the deepest love can fall on deaf ears.

Understanding masculinity is not easy, but men and women who gain a deeper knowledge of these things (and learn to ignore the nonsense that mainstream culture churns out around the subject) will be infinitely better off for it.
TheTardyDodo TheTardyDodo
31-35, M
15 Responses Jul 11, 2007

Do you have any literature you can recommend revolving around these ideas? I Like what you wrote, and wonder who inspired you with these ideas.

You sound young.

wow there's a lot of great insight here.

very insightful. oh yes.

Very good DoDo. Thanks

I certainly agree with the bit about a mans "role" and how work is a pseudo form of having a role. Too many people these days think their job is their identity and their role. This is affirmed when people commonly ask you "what do you do?" And you answer with your job title. Why can't people answer saying "I aspire to find out my true purpose in life!" Or even "I am going to find myself and get in touch with whats masculine in me that society and industrialisation has denied me!"

Excellent perception of the male personality and speaking as a male I wish more women could relate to and understand us.

A very insightful and though-provoking piece. Well done.

I thought what you wrote was eloquent. I think what was missed by some of the comments I read was that you emphasised that both men and women have masculine AND feminine attributes - yin and yang which we strive to keep in balance both within ourselves and with our relationships with others. <br />
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Yang is purpose driven and is dynamic and Yin is reflective and nurturing but we must embody both to be in harmony. Both aspects have to be transcended or else too much of one or the other renders you out of balance.<br />
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I think that at our core both men and women are on journeys of self discovery, but our methods differ (one is not simpler than the other).

Really interesting thought-provoking stuff here, TD - thanks for your efforts.<br />
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I was, like Remy, left with questions I don't think I can answer for myself by this: <br />
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"...it seeks to withstand, forbear and to act, alone and independently. Because this part of us is not inclined to reach out, if you wish to communicate with the masculine (or men), you must reach in and learn to use the language and ideas that the masculine aspect can understand."<br />
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Any extra light you feel like shedding on this would be much appreciated. True, I feel like it would help me understand my own 'animus' a bit better, but even more so it would help me with my brother who I dearly love but who I struggle to connect with.

"Unless that communication is expressed in a way that the masculine can engage with, otherwise valid concerns and needs come across as nagging, whining, bitching and harping. "<br />
well, unless the masculine elaborates on what he can "engage with", the feminine's perfectly valid communication may just be lost on him. <br />
I'm not a slow learner, I just need a good teacher.

And yeah, Do do...this was a great piece.

The Feminine: To not take for granted, to waste less, if at all, to balance roles-including the neutral ones-to involve, to recieve less than they ultimately give, invention not capitalization, persuasion not force.

Great read, a few 'uh-huh!' moments here, very thought provoking.

That was an AWESOME piece! And even better, cause well... I didn't know you had that in you! lol. So straight-faced and straight-laced! But, you think the masculine need is complex... clue us in on the feminine! ;P ( GOOD LUCK ON THAT!)