There is nothing wrong with being male - and it should not be controversial to say that.
In praise of men. This copy of The Matt Walsh Report--Daily Wire--provides a complementary perspective on your subject Tara.
Why Women Will Never Know What It’s Like To Be A Man
Anyone who has seen “What is a Woman?” — and millions of people have now — knows that at the end we do provide an answer to the elusive question. My wife makes an appearance in the very last scene (spoiler) and delivers the correct biologically-sound definition: a woman is an adult human female. That answer is simple and accurate and obviously necessary to establish. But once it has been established, there is plenty more to say about the subject. “What is a Woman?,” both the question and the film that revolves around it, are meant to be the beginning of a discussion, not the end. A woman is an adult human female — every woman is that, and must be that — but there is so much more to womanhood than its basic biological definition. Just as a man is an adult human male — every man is that, and must be that.
This is a point made, rather accidentally, by a viral Twitter clip featuring a female who, some time ago, changed her name to “James” and attempted to transition into a man. James now calls herself “the trans coach” and offers life advice and motivational tips for other trans people. Yet in a recent video James revealed that she still has a lot to learn about the male identity she is attempting to assume.
What you’re about to watch is truly one of the saddest things you’ve likely seen in a while, but also quite profound in a few different ways. I’ll explain, but first watch:
Now, there’s a lot in that two-minute monologue that’s simply wrong — starting with her calling herself a man, of course — but even the wrong parts reveal something essential, if accidentally, about manhood, about trans ideology, and about our culture.
Here’s what we’re witnessing in this video. A woman was driven, by her own self-loathing and confusion, to reject her womanhood and attempt to become a man. She did not succeed in this pursuit, and never will, but through the help of drugs and surgery, she has managed to create a semi-convincing costume of a man. It is convincing enough, apparently, that most people she encounters reflexively accept and see her as a man. She had imagined that being seen as a man would be a great relief for her, a source of peace and freedom, but instead she has found that manhood is not the utopian fantasyland she imagined it would be. Men in the modern world are, as she has discovered, often deeply isolated, alienated, and alone. It is lonely to be a man, she says. And she’s right.
She did not know this before she set out on the fool’s errand of transitioning, but she has now discovered that men carry a heavy burden — a cross that is invisible to many women. Now she finds herself shouldering just a portion of it, and it has broken her. She wanted to be a man, but was not prepared for what that meant. How could she be? She wasn’t a man and therefore could not have possibly known what it was like to be one.
She still doesn’t know.
She says that women are deeper and more emotionally mature, which is why it is much less lonely to be a woman. But that isn’t true. Women aren’t deeper or more mature. They are just different. They are women. They are more relational by nature, more empathetic, more affectionate, more emotional, softer in many ways. Women are more fragile — it is easier to hurt them physically and emotionally.
This all can be a source of frustration for us as men, but it’s also what we love about women. We love women because women are women. They are not us. They are different. They have a different way of being, of existing in the universe. They bring another dimension into our lives, and we sense that we need that dimension to be truly whole.
A healthy man doesn’t want to be a woman — he doesn’t want to adopt her ways and her manner of thinking, much less her body — but he does want to be with a woman. He wants not to become her, but to be united with her.
I can say this about the inner life of a man because I am one. “James” misses all of this because she isn’t. Instead she surmises that we are simply shallow and emotionally immature. Which is exactly the kind of patronizing, contemptuous anti-male cliche that contributes to the isolation and loneliness that she’s complaining about. It may be true of some men on an individual basis, but generally speaking it is not a lack of depth that causes men to be quieter, more stoic, more reserved, or more distant. It is not even the intentional alienation and marginalization of an aggressively anti-male, masculinity-hating culture, though that is part of the story.
Some of what “James” is tapping into, or at least for the first time noticing, has been an immutable aspect of manhood for as long as the human species has existed. There is indeed more to being a man than simply having male reproductive organs and chromosomes. There is also the actual experience of being a man — the inner life of a man — which runs much deeper than “James” understands, even now. A man tends to be more in tune with the harshest aspects of reality. He is uniquely called to confront the darkness in the world, and uniquely equipped for this calling. It’s not that we don’t feel anything. We do feel, and feel with great depth, but we carry those feelings differently, and often we carry them in silence, alone. This is how we are wired, and the world needs us to be wired this way. Women are also more oriented towards community. They build and depend upon relationships. Men are more solitary by nature. Again, these differences are hardwired.
When we say that men shouldn’t cry, it is not just a joke. There’s an important truth here. The world needs men to pick up their burdens, shoulder them quietly, and get on with business. The more that men become emotional and soft, the more that society ceases to function as it should. We need emotion and softness. That’s why we have women. We also need toughness and hardness. That’s why we’re supposed to have men. The men who fulfill this duty are accused of being unfeeling, of lacking depth, but the truth is that they have a depth that people like “James” can’t even begin to comprehend. And she probably never will. She has accessed only the surface level of the male experience, and she’s already fleeing for the hills. If she ever got the entire thing — I mean if she was actually able to fully inhabit the mind, the inner life, of a man — it would be torture for her. As it would be for any woman. That’s because women are not meant to carry the burden of manhood, any more than men are meant to carry the burden of womanhood. We are where we belong. Which is the identity we were born with. We cannot comprehend what it’s really like to have any other identity.
As for “James,” she will not allow herself to comprehend anything. She gets close to partially understanding, but then she makes a left turn and runs away. That’s why at the end she makes sure to clarify that women and allegedly marginalized minorities are still totally justified in treating “cisgender” white males like dirt. She was nearly on the verge of discovering that we are human beings, that we have feelings, that we suffer, but her ideology won’t allow her to finish connecting the dots.
It’s all futile. Just like her transition. It amounts to nothing in the end.
Gosh Tara, you're a bright light in a bleak landscape.
Could you say a bit more about which artists you listened to?
A brilliant piece, Tara - thank you! As a mother of sons, a grandmother of men and daughter of a thoroughly decent man, all I can say in defence of male humans, is that women who blame males are those who need to resolve their perception of being female without dividing humanity into gender slices to justify their blaming. . .
As a man, who often feels an implicit pressure to invalidate my fellows of the male sex, this means a lot, Tara. Certainly, men need to both offer a positive form of masculinity - that isn't the emasculated one Emba mentions - and reject the toxic version. But it means a lot to have women encourage this of us as well. Thanks, Tara.
Current messed up myandrist feminist cultural chaos misses the point that men are not women... the tendencies of men to be disagreeable, direct, independent and risk-taking is a good thing with respect the overall sustainability of societies... and that victim worship, although it might serve the feminist movement well, is a road to societal destruction.
Resonating. Most of my friends have boys, and I have 3 nephews of varying cultural background. To attribute to them original sin for simply being born male has always seemed abhorrent. No boy ever became the best version of himself--or learned for respect women--by being shamed for existing. That is anathema to the role I see for myself as an elder family member, or in contributing to their education. And yeah let's be honest: at least in my circles, many hetero women are still attracted to qualities that are traditionally considered more 'masculine.' Contributing financially to the family, doing some of the heavy lifting jobs around the house, providing protective energy when it is necessary. Even if the women also do those things. I appreciate your honesty and clarity. I would guess that you speak for the silent majority on this. And possibly for some of the vocal minority that just haven't bothered to look too closely at their own inconsistencies.
As a dude I say thanks Tara :)
The only thing toxic about me are my burps and farts.
I grew up with a wonderful dad - he was military. He treated his mother, my mother and sister and I with love and grace. I married a man who treated his mother with love and care and me and our daughters the same. Our son has followed suit but has been 'bitten' by a few women who took advantage of his gentle nature. Women can also be toxic.
Society has stepped over a dangerous line with the idea that "Male = toxic". This is one of the more shameful and dangerous lies society tells.
Thank you Tara for this article.
'But such a view only makes sense if you live out your entire life in a certain kind of sterile, sanitized environment.'
Yes. This is our First World. An anomaly in history. In our world, a man's characteristics of aggression, force, strength of purpose and willfullness are not valued because they're not needed. As soon as shit slides sideways, women want a strong man.
What a beautiful, thoughtful and affirming article! Now in the later years of evolving as a man at 77 I see that my some of my own confusion and failings along the way arose in part from reacting to a previous version of being a man that had elements of harshness, violence and authoritarian leanings combined with years of a closer relationship with my mother who incorporated me as her confidant, all in a post war era. Finding a middle way has been my developmental chore. Today I see around me, including in my own family, men whose versions of being a man achieve this more naturally than I was able to do. Thanks again for a fine and clearly heartfelt article.
Your article today reminds me of a book I read about 20 years ago ,when I was raising my three sons , called The Wonder of Boys . I wanted to bring them up in a way that celebrated their maleness . Thank you for your words .
Would love if you interviewed Gad Saad on the evolutionary principles behind a lot what you're written about in this article. Or at least can talk about his new book on happiness.
Thanks for speaking up for the men in our lives. We need them and they need cherishing equally!
Tara, I think you would enjoy spending time in the US Southeast.
A favourite author of mine, Nancy Pearcey, has written a book, recently released, on this topic. The Toxic War On Masculinity is not one I have read yet but I have heard her speak on the topic in interviews and she has wetted my appetite for it.
A great piece, Tara, thanks. Seems to me the more education one has, the more likely one is to look down on men, the more likely one is to embrace woke thinking which encourages a purely neurotic approach to life's challenges. Too much sitting around and talking weakens young men in particular.