If you’re a young man in this brave new world, I know that things can be really confusing. Men have lost their purpose. Men are more wayward than ever, and it’s time to set the record straight on what it means to be a man and to take up the sword that we left in the dirt stepping into the modern world.
First things first, this article is primarily aimed at young men like me. If you are not one, you can still read it but understand the target audience of this message. If you feel lost or do not understand some things, that is fine. I intend to talk to men like me through this piece. Now that the purpose of my words has been made clear. Men, it is time we had a serious discussion about our present condition, our purpose, and our future. Let us begin.
I: The State of Men in the 21st Century
Men have never been in a more precarious position in the world than in the 21st century in terms of having a purpose and meaning to their lives. This sense of lostness can be attributed overall to the decline of the traditional male gender role, but the particulars of this decline are worth exploring in more depth. Let us start at the beginning of life, with the epidemic of fatherless homes.
Fatherlessness has been on the rise in recent years and has destroyed the household from within. According to the U.S. census bureau, 33% of the U.S. population live absent from their biological father.
Think about that number. Thirty-three percent. That is criminally high. Why this has not been highlighted as a non-partisan issue in the current climate is beyond me. The effects of fatherlessness are even worse.
Children that grow up without a father are at 4x a greater risk of poverty, more likely to have behavioral problems, more likely to commit crimes; the list goes on. Not having a father present in a household is extremely damaging to children, and especially men.
When a boy grows up, he needs to have a role model in two genders, not one. On the whole, the mother teaches young boys things like empathy, caring, emotional education, and gentleness through her nurturing and daily actions. Not that these are the only things they learn, but they are the essential ideas that a boy must internalize.
With the father absent, the boy cannot learn from his father the more important ideas for him: ideas and virtues of masculinity. Among these are courage, the value of strength, learning how to be the master of one’s emotions, the male need to sacrifice, and the honor of answering the call of duty.
These things aren’t exclusive to being taught by a father, but they happen as a consequence of growing up around a good father. A father is the first and most accessible male role model a boy has, and he will do as his dad does. The father is the shepherd for a boy, who one day will be the shepherd of his own flock. It’s only natural for a father to raise his son to be a good man. Without this guidance, a boy grows up to be a shell of a man. Often boys naturally try to replace this father figure with other males they see in society. In the best case, they find an uncle or other relative to learn from and grow with and hopefully receive the same education about manhood that he would from his father.
In the worst case, they turn to popular celebrities to fill the void, giving them half-baked and sometimes outright wrong ideas about masculinity, leading to them leading a life of hedonistic, degenerate, and crude self-indulgence at the expense of others. When we raise bad men, we raise murderers and rapists. When they don’t internalize the core concepts of masculinity informed with a healthy dose of objective morality revealed by God, the boy suffers and becomes a drag on society.
Fatherlessness is a great shame for our society that boasts the most bountiful resources ever seen throughout human history. There is no reason that we shouldn’t have every household contain a mother and a father. Any attempt to abandon a family should be met with harsh and swift punishment from the state. When a family is left without a father or mother by their own conscious decisions, people like this are betraying their children and betraying the future of their nation.
We must have fathers present in households. Period. Because we can’t have broken men, especially in our times.
Let us move on to the next issue that I thought worthy of note in explaining the current condition of men: Depression and suicide.
On the whole young people are more depressed than ever. They also kill themselves more than ever. Men, specifically, are disproportionate suicide rates. But one must ask: why?
Men specifically face a type of alienation never before seen in the history of mankind. Their entire basal nature has been demonized by the ever-vague term “toxic masculinity.”
This word is something worth addressing because of how it causes damage to men. First, we must realize that the modern portrayal of masculinity in popular culture is one infected with hedonism, godlessness, and depravity. Celebrity culture has caused damage to men by giving them bad role models and thus, causing some men to behave in depraved and degenerate ways. This behavior is what is referred to as “toxic masculinity.” However, the phrase implies that this behavior is something born from masculinity itself, which it is not. Degenerate or improper ways of being are borne of evil manifesting in people in general, not males’ natural tendencies. To blame masculinity for bad men is not getting to the root of the problem. The problem is evil infecting masculinity, and the manifestation of evil through men is what most reasonable people have a problem with. In that case, it is not that masculinity needs to change, but evil needs to be rooted out at its source in our society.
In short, “toxic masculinity” lumps in good traditionally masculine traits and male manifestations of general immorality under the same term. It holds no weight and should be disregarded in any serious discussion. What really matters is that we do not let this word control what masculinity is or turn us away from the tried and tested ways of the past. Traditional masculinity is good, and it’s worth preserving. Shaming men for acting how they were meant to and putting them under the same umbrella as vagrants is extremely detrimental to men and to the fabric of the family and nation. Men should be men. Plain and simple. And immoral men should be treated as just what they are: immoral men and reprimanded accordingly.
All of this is bad enough but exacerbated when men start to believe they have nothing to live for. Nihilism has gained traction in young people and has had consequences for young men that have been rotting the core of their being.
Nihilism, that most malignant cancer of society that seeks to sap the human experience of all meaning and purpose is ever popular among young people.
Young men don’t turn to nihilism out of ignorance, but because the world they’ve grown up in has exuded in its actions and lifestyle, the foundations for a meaningless, depraved existence. The source of nihilism is not the decay of the mind but the systematic destruction of a spirit.
Men have had their purpose demonized, their avenues to succeed shrink, and their nation sacrificed to the altar of absolute equality of all things regardless of compatibility with nature and reality.
This lack of meaning that many men feel towards life has serious repercussions. Each day becomes an unwilling chore; each paycheck becomes an enabler of decadence; each second of time wasted trying to fill the void of meaning with the trite products of consumer capitalism is a second of time wasted into nothingness.
In the place of nihilism, some men have turned to this vague new-age idea of “spirituality.” This is similar to the fascination that developed with “Zen” by some. Like all new-age ideas about spirituality, they are empty. They attempt to create meaning from nothing. A godless spirituality is not spirituality at all. To acknowledge a spirit within humans is to acknowledge an essence of humanity outside empiricism. To acknowledge this, one must believe in a higher power.
This lack of faith among men had lead to spiritual injury and societal decay. Without God, men are nothing. They have no direction. They walk about the world with injured souls, clipped of their wings. For men to survive this new Babylon that creeps closer, they must find God and uphold the commandments. They do this, and all else will be well.
Duty to God is essential for good men to grow in the west. But it is becoming less and less common for men to accept any authority that threatens their duty-free lifestyle. There are many factors that contribute to this, and some of them I have talked about above. However, one I’d like to talk about more thoroughly is the proliferation of effeminate men.
Testosterone levels have been declining among men at an alarming rate over the years. This can have adverse health effects as well as behavioral ones. Our endocrine systems have been completely destroyed, and its main societal effect is the lack of, to put it simply, manly men. Without manly men, we risk a lot of bad things, such as a passive society, declining birth rates(which are already in motion), and declining interest in marriage and sex. Women don’t want effeminate men, as much as many try to beat around the bush about it. Men want effeminate women just as women want masculine men. It’s in our genes, our very nature, and our blood.
Men being manly should not be something up for debate. It is essential. It is natural. It’s nature’s imperative, and it’s the way that brings our society the most fruits.
It’s only half the battle to have the outward appearance and temperament of a man. But a man is only the sum of his actions. Right now, men need to step up to the occasion. All we need to do to find a blueprint of excellence is look to the past.
II: Who we were and were always meant to be
The history of man is a history of struggle. This is self-evident. Life is struggle, and life in the past had more struggles to keep men occupied and strong in body, mind, and spirit. Our history tells us one thing in common among men: they are defenders. Defenders of the family from predators, defenders of fief from marauders, defenders of the nation for their compatriots.
There’s not one point in history that men have not filled this general role until recently, when it has been in decline due to liberal and equity-focused societal influences. The role of a man is absolutely essential to the survival of society, one we cannot afford to lose.
It always baffles me how unbothered many people seem to be about the radical changing or abolishment of conventions and customs that are literally as old as humanity itself. Have these people perhaps not considered that conventions like traditional masculinity and femininity have existed and been practiced for so long because they worked, and not because of some nebulous ill-defined oppression by the powers that were? Do people on the progressive left seriously believe that the whole of all humanity’s history and achievements were built on nothing but evil oppression? But I digress.
Men’s duty is a very simple one. Men protect what they love from all evil and cultivate strength in body, mind, and spirit to fill this role. Men are the shield against the winds and currents of the world, directing them towards their righteous path.
The odd thing is that most of this behavior comes naturally to men in a lot of ways. It certainly does in the times which our lives are in peril, like in the dawn of our species. Once civilization became more advanced, and by extension, safer because of the sacrifice of great men, did we deviate from that tried and tested ideal. Now, in the modern west, hyper-individualism and decadence have put many men into a trance of consumerism, only living for their next hit of dopamine. Our nature doesn’t always win against nurture in the short run, but it is our duty to preserve those things that are in accordance with our nature in this brief time we occupy on earth, one of those things being traditional masculinity.
So, men, how do we get back to what we were born to do and honor a tradition of conduct as old as history itself? Well, if you grew up in a house anything like mine, you probably have heard it already from your father or people around you: Man up, Take responsibility, There’s no crying in baseball, et cetera. But in those simple sayings lies a deeper way of living for men—the art of living the life of a hero.
To fully manifest your masculinity into something productive, one must have people to look to as models for excellence. For these models, we need only look back at the stories and tales of our most noble forefathers.
III: Be a hero.
Among many other things, heroes are our cultural manifestations of excellence in character, in the classical sense of the word. They represent what we aspire to be in our own lives. For the west, classical heroes include Odysseus, Achilles, Heracles, Atticus Finch, King Leonidas, Joan of Arc, the list goes on.
Most importantly, heroes give us a glimpse at excellence. They show what is possible if men follow righteousness and make their will done with superior competence. They stand to be beholden by the cultures that create them so that one day someone among their own might join the pantheon of heroes like the ones they write about.
We have many modern-day men who have ascended to that pantheon of heroes for The West. Think of Lt. Murphy, Desmond Doss, Captain Sully, our police officers, our grunts in the trenches, the doctors and paramedics saving lives. These are the people that use their strength to give to the world. These are heroes.
What do we do with these heroes of old and new? We certainly don’t simply marvel at them in stupefied awe. We work to become them. We know this as having a role model. True role models are few and far between, and one should never try to be a copy of their role model. Rather, take the lessons of the great pantheon of heroes humanity has assembled and make yourself out of the constituent parts of their character, a new man.
Think of the valiant sacrifice of our soldiers. Think of the mental torture and perseverance of POWs. Think of the martyrs of the church. These men “manned up” when it counted. They showed their strength in pursuit of the good. Be like them. Be the man you were meant to be.
Be a hero, for yourself, and most importantly, for others and your Lord.
 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, “Living Arrangements of Children under 18 Years/1 and Marital Status of Parents by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin/2 and Selected Characteristics of the Child for all Children 2010.” Table C3. Internet Release Date November, 2010.
 National Fatherhood Initiative®, S. (n.d.). Father Absence Statistics. https://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistic.
 Shalender Bhasin, Secular Decline in Male Reproductive Function: Is Manliness Threatened?, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 92, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 44–45, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2006-2438