I haven’t yet read Jack Donovan’s new book The Way of Men, though I plan to do so. However, having read Jack’s intriguing reply to Jef Costello, I find myself compelled to raise an issue related to the contemporary masculinist movement, of which I know Jack to be an enthusiastic advocate.
The point I wish to make is one that, surprisingly enough, I haven’t seen anyone in the so-called “manosphere” address adequately, unless I have missed it.
First of all, let us grant that the “gamers” have it right, in asserting that women in fact do tend to be attracted to men who are confident, “take charge” bad-ass alpha-dog go-getters; or in ghetto argot, “pimps,” “hustlers,” and “playas.”
In that case, then, aren’t men who actively try to be “alphas” when they aren’t naturally inclined to be this way in fact degrading themselves, by rejecting the integrity of authenticity in order to court female acceptance and get laid more often?
And if the idea that Jack is trying to sell is one of male liberation, then shouldn’t the aim be for a man to pull away from enslavement to his sex drive, with its attendant demands that he do whatever it takes to get himself laid . . . and instead insist on being himself, regardless of what the ladies may want him to be?
Isn’t making such a choice, in truth, the “manly” thing to do?
In his Counter-Currents article, Jack relates contemporary men’s issues to the movie Cry Baby, directed by Jon Waters and starring Johnny Depp. Really, he could have cited any number of movies or novels which feature much the same storyline, minus the Water-y campiness.
Time and again, in film after film and book after book, we see an identical scenario repeated: a woman is drawn to a “scoundrel” or a “bad boy” over a more sweet, earnest, and well-behaved rival. The series that comes most readily to my mind is, of course, the original Star Wars trilogy. There, Princess Leia Organa finds herself turned on by the roguish mercenary Han Solo, and left cold by the “nice guy” Jedi-Knight-in-training Luke Skywalker (who turns out to be her brother anyway– so no harm done, I guess . . .) Using Jack Donovan’s terms, Han is a “drape,” and Luke is a “square.” The “drape,” of course, ultimately gets the girl. (Then again, the “square” learns the Force!)
From an early age, I’ve always had a clear conception of myself as a “square.” I’ve always been Luke, not Han. But unlike most other “Lukes” of the world, I didn’t reproach myself for this; I never WISHED to be Han. If the Princess Leias of the world didn’t like me, so what? The notion of cultivating a rougher-around-the-edges persona to make girls find me more appealing or sexy just struck me as pathetic.
Mind you, it wasn’t that I wanted not to be liked by girls. I simply felt repulsed by the idea of falling over myself to be “remade,” as if I were broken and needed repair, all for the purpose of enhancing my overall attractiveness to the opposite sex.
After all, even if such a ploy were to succeed, and girls came to like me because I appeared to be more of a hard-charging, ball-busting “badass” now, what credit was that to me? If I bagged babes by not being myself, didn’t that ultimately mean that my real self remained unattractive? Therefore, how could my ego feel legitimately stroked? What was flattering about seeming to be attractive by pretending to be somebody I wasn’t?
No . . . far better, I decided, to embrace my unattractiveness, to wear it with defiant integrity, and not to try too hard — or at all, for that matter — to be what I clearly wasn’t. This has been my approach ever since. (Somehow I wound up happily married, and a father of two children. How and why this happened, I’ll never know, but I’m pretty sure that these results are not typical.)
Granted, my case is the exception which proves the rule. The vast majority of Luke Skywalker-type men aren’t satisfied with their lot in life; they want to learn to be Han Solos. Many of my beta brethren eagerly shell out hard earned money to attend “pick up” seminars or otherwise consult so-called seduction “experts” to find out how to enhance their attractiveness quotient. They do this partly because, being testosterone-afflicted, they want sex, and lots of it. But I don’t think that such men have purely physical inclinations; they are also driven by sheer jealousy of natural-born alphas, and a sense of inferiority to them. They are seized with the conviction that there is something wrong with them, since they aren’t scoring and “winning” like James Bond or George Clooney.
It seems to me that a legitimate masculinist movement needs to emphasize that such endeavors are a waste of time, are in fact even worse than simply being a waste of time; they are grotesquely, repugnantly degrading. Seeking to become “a pick up artist,” whether out of deference to one’s sexual urges, or because one is ashamed of being a “loser” and wants to begin “winning,” amounts to a betrayal of one’s self. If you’re a quiet, shy, nice guy, then why not go on being quiet, nice, and shy? If you’re a nerd, then nerd out; if you’re a geek, then geek boldly. If chicks don’t dig you, fine; let the chicks not dig you. Cultivate a contented sense of stoicism, and go on being who you are. Luke Skywalker ultimately didn’t need Leia’s affection; he ended up doing pretty well on his own. So can you.
“Be ye innocent as doves, but shrewd as serpents,” Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke. One needn’t be naive in order to remain pure. In the same sense, a modern male branded a “loser” because he’s not a swaggering ladies’ man can stand up for his dignity by not participating in any activities designed to “rehabilitate” him and artificially render him a “success.”
What say you, Jack Donovan? Is there room in the new men’s movement for such fiercely unrepentant, determinedly unreconstructed “Squares” as those for whom I speak here?