Every now and then we read about someone going on a rampage after snapping. I don’t think we even need to read beyond a headline to see that it’s a man. The male suicide rate is three times that of women. Men are far more likely to be incarcerated than women. Colleges and universities are now around a majority female, sometimes by surprisingly large margins.
What can account for all of this? What is it about modern life and men that just doesn’t work? I have a few theories.
First, let’s look at what evolution has given men. Traditionally men were hunters and providers and protectors. Most guys, at least in some way, have a natural desire to play these roles. Men are essentially wired to be active and competitive.
So, what’s the problem? I think it’s that the millions of years of human evolution haven’t caught up to modern society. The evolved needs of men often contradict the demands and expectations of our life today.
First, let’s look at the formative years of men. The educational system is run by women for the most part. So, a lot of young boys have no male influence at school. And, the whole system is structured to go against a boy’s natural impulses. What makes a good student? As a former teacher I can tell you: sitting still, repeating what they’ve heard, and following the rules. While there is a room for all of this, it definitely goes against the natural instinct of boys to be active and competitive. The solution? Shame, punishment, and medication.
Second, the nature of work has changed, especially in the West. A lot of the manual labor jobs have gone. Men are reduced to either humiliating service jobs or they sit in a cubicle all day staring at a screen. This is a far cry from our original purpose of humans. Working in an office might pay the bills but it doesn’t tug at a man’s natural instincts. And, with most men having sedentary hobbies, lots of guys live frustratingly boring lives.
Finally, many men no longer feel like they can provide or protect for others. With the lack of jobs, especially good ones, large numbers of men feel emasculated and stuck. They can’t advance at work, might be forcibly separated from their children by court systems, and lack the social skills to even be successful with women. And, with the rise in absent fathers and lack of positive male role models, these social skills are never learned.
So modern life and men don’t always work out too well. For every guy that snaps or ends it all there are many more who suffer in silence living boring, unfulfilled lives. Neither option is good.
However, there are other options. What we teach here offers guys the opportunities to start transforming their lives. Above all, what we teach can give a guy control, even if it’s just over his own sense of self-worth and feelings. Check out our posts here as well as our books and media. Man up. It’s not only good for society. It’s really fun too.