Discipline to do and male identity

In a sincere and objective discussion concerning relations between the sexes, the following axiom cannot but emerge as undeniable (because it conforms to nature): woman is always valued for what she is, man for what he does and what he has. There is no distinction of value between the two, it is not permissible to say that one is better than the other, to the extent that it is not permissible to say that snow is better than rain (or vice versa) or that the production of insulin by the pancreas is better than the production of gastric juices by the stomach (or vice versa). That’s just the way it is. DNA, even before historical experience and cultural evolution, dictate that it is so. What matters is that from that axiom we can develop some relevant reflections with respect to what constitutes female nature and what constitutes male nature. We do not concern ourselves with the former: it would be the duty of women to come up with an autonomous and coherent definition, instead of getting lost in comparative nonsense such as the gender pay gap or other similar ideological nonsense. More interesting for us is to deal with the second.

If a man is valued for what he does (and often what he has derives from what he does), it means that his masculine identity derives largely from the things he is able to do. The more things he can do and the better he can do them, the more his masculine identity becomes more precise and stronger. The non-man, not surprisingly, is that male individual whose potential is reduced to a minimal routine or even nullified. The non-man lays his head on the pillow in the evening and feels sick because he feels he has done nothing useful for himself or others during the day. The non-man is the most harmless and governable being there is. This is probably one of the reasons why modern industrial and post-industrial society places him in the condition of doing as little or as little as possible: repetitive and standardised work followed by substantially inactive leisure time (through television or telematic hypnosis) that intercepts the primary need for a refuge in which man can hide from his natural role as maker: laziness or, more precisely, abulia (mental and physical).

uomo due vie

A man is happy because he does.

Having defined the non-man, what constitutes man? Action and construction, two elements that also exist as the antithesis of abulia. Man exists, in the fullness of a satisfactory condition, if he does and is aware of doing. Not necessarily revolutions capable of changing entire realities. Even small initiatives capable of changing some small corner of some small world, once accomplished, give man that sense of fullness that is typically masculine and that affirms masculinity in all its positivity, whether the action is directed for the benefit of oneself or others or an entire community. The man-man (but the dynamic is by no means foreign to the feminine nature as well) is the one who lays his head on the pillow, in the evening, pervaded by the feeling of having done something during the day, whether it be a small repair, or an exercise that contributes to his well-being, or a generous action that improves the lives of those around him, or any work begun and completed. Not only that: the man-man who is in this condition is more relieved, happy and moved by an urge to replicate the experience over and over again. Action, for man, is like a drug: the more he does, the more he creates, the more he is seized by the desire to do, to realise, to solve. His deepest identity is there and the urge to feed it is as natural as it gets.

The most difficult point remains: how to trigger the transition from systemically imposed abulia to a full and proper masculine state? It must be said that doing has the negative counterpart of fatigue, of commitment, of an often tortuous path to reach the completion of the action undertaken, whatever it may be. These characteristics are all the more repulsive to the impoverished, albeit often consciously depressed, non-man, who generally contrasts a lack of motivation to action. One is fine as one is, sprawled out on a sofa watching sport on TV, there is no motivation to switch off and take action oneself, after a draining day’s work just like any other. The key is to realise that motivation is inversely proportional to discipline: the former is a fire that explodes immediately, only to go out miserably after a short time, while the latter is a small flame that laboriously makes its way, if properly nurtured, and then bursts into flames along a path of commitment to action that is only initially burdensome, but then dense with endorphins and serotonin, the same ones that a large mass of non-men take on artificially. Nurturing a doing-oriented discipline is one of the qualifying elements of being a man. And therefore one of the main solutions for those who find themselves in the atrocious condition of being non-men aware of being non-men. Take a test with your abulic male children, hypnotised in front of video games or social media: you will experience seeing life reborn in the eyes of a young man, happy because, finally, he does.

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