Men

“A whole gender? That doesn’t seem trivial at all!” Hey, arbitrary person. First of all, thanks for reading this. Really means a lot. Second of all, prepare to be amazed. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I think I’m ready to try to dehumanize half of the world’s population. If you feel like an insentient styrofoam peanut after reading this, good because I will too. Let’s be friends.

DISCLAIMER: Many male trivialities are also applicable to non-males. Be fair.

ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: This post contains partially hurtful gender stereotypes. Be fair, still.

Let’s say I live 80 years, from 1989 to 2069 (hehe). There were about 3 billion men on the planet when I was born, and about 65 million born each year until the year I die, for a grand total of 8.25 billion bros that will exist during my lifetime. You meet 100,000 people during the course of your life (sounds high, but it works out to around 3 people per day). I will never meet 99.999% of the men that will walk this Earth while I’m alive, I won’t understand how they will impact me, and I’ll rarely give them any thought. Extend that further and think about the possibility of life on other planets, or in other universes. I’m a 20-something social media fan, so I’m about 1000% saturated with ignorance, self-righteousness, and delusion, but even *I* can’t fathom how unimportant everything I do will ever be in the midst of all that vastness. Sorry, guys named Braden, it doesn’t matter if you leave the sticker on your #swag hat.

Okay, okay, maybe that’s unfair. After all, I can’t use “Well, the universe is huge” as an excuse for not wearing a tie to an interview. The importance of what we do is relative to the size of the context (that #swag hat might get you laid in high school, but in no way affects the outcome of our planet, etc.). But still, think about it. Think about how important you are, how important you want to be, how important you think you are to others, and how important your life has been so far. THEN THINK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE ACTUALLY A SPECK OF DUST.

But why that? Doesn’t the feeling of being microscopic apply to female humans, too? Sure, ya jackwagon, but which gender values power and reputation more? Every great general led specks of dust into battle against different specks of dust. Every great scientist discovered something that made life as a common speck of dust a little easier. Every great architect designed a speck of dust slightly bigger than himself. Every great musician gave specks of dust something to talk about while they sipped on specks of dust at the Speck of Dust Cafe. Every great painter made a speck of dust out of different colored specks of dust. Every great prophet was charismatic enough to make other specks of dust follow him. Every great humanitarian made sure that each speck of dust was treated the same. To us, those are real people accomplishing extraordinary things, but when you combine ALL of that, over the course of our ENTIRE human history, you get a large speck of dust.

TL;DR version: We’re important to those we know, we’re barely important on earth, and earth is barely important. http://htwins.net/scale2/

But wait! It’s certainly possible to find some triviality here on earth. After all, I’m not writing this from Alpha Centauri. Naturally, many men will live their lives without doing much aside from using one life’s worth of resources. Some will accomplish wonderful things. But whatever they do, it’s almost entirely driven by social stigma. Even today, where equality is stressed (and sometimes forced to uncomfortable levels), we still have gender roles, as we always have. To some extent, men have assumed the role of provider (hunter) as women assume the role of caretaker (gatherer).

Somewhere along the line, the hunters were attached an insensitive label, and the gatherers a sensitive label. Probably because you need to be stone-hearted to kill and provide, and kind-hearted to care for a family. What gets lost (much like the point of this post, probably), is that HUMANS need to be BOTH stone/kind-hearted to manage a successful life. But the stigma suppresses much of the kind-hearted instincts and deeper sentiments of men. And as soon as they break the stigma, they get corrected (getting called a faggot in middle school is a good way to keep feelings from surfacing again). Emotional suppression and failure to live up to another’s standards are a recipe for depression, and that’s made evident by the fact that men are 3 times more likely to end their own life. It doesn’t happen when men go crazy, it happens when men feel trivial.

So how do we keep that from happening? Like I said before, we’re mired in a culture of forced equality, and that idea exists outside of gender equality, too. Our educational system and labor forces are all regimented like the military. Everyone would work, learn, and play differently if we let them, but we don’t. Ironically, having a higher governing power dictate your progression through life is a great way to feel lost. If we could individualize more aspects of education and work, and do our best to remove gender stigmas at a young age, it might take some of the triviality out of living the lives we’re told to live.

Thus, the pursuit of trivia continues.

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116 comments on “Men

  1. stephenis says:

    Yes!

    Before I go ahead and humbly offer you a thought, I just want to say a few things first.

    I am a man.

    I love being alive, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank my good fortunes that I am a man.

    I promise you, from my perspective, there is no better way to be – than to be a man.

    If you need a hand realising this, and you are willing to read a little, go pick up the O.G. Man’s mans’ book, uncle Schopenhauer [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Schopenhauer ]

    You may also get a few of those other questions above answered too.

    Basically, according to this dude, the best part of being a man is that you get to pick your own mission in life. – yea I said – ANYTHING YOU WANT!

    Unfortunately for most women, they are born with a mission. To get that baby born baby! Then right on to tea parties or whatever.

    No I just kid Gals, you do contribute to society, sort of, maybe.

    If you wanna hear my actual thoughts, I’ve almost finished my article on the sexes called “Hey boy, hey girl” on stephenis.com and I’ll gladly give you the password to preview it, before I go live.

    Cheers

    • hummeljt says:

      Back in the day, a lot of these sentiments were pretty true! Maybe things are shifting these days, as women do encompass a larger portion of the work force, etc., but there are indeed gender roles. Like you point out, childbirth tends to be a female activity. Thanks for commenting and keep loving being alive!

  2. jodeybear says:

    I once read that the thing we crave most is the thing we are best at giving. This can’t be any more true when I say that women want a caring/giving man. Sure, we grew up here, so there is also a part of us that wants that asshole, cocky, over confident guy who is going to go out there and hunt better than the rest, just for us. As with anything in life, I apply this statement: everything in moderation. I’m going to be an independent, “I pay my own way” feminist, but on the other hand, I really do want a man who is going to take care of me. I’m sure for men you can apply the same concept. I’d be eager to hear your thoughts on how all of this relates to relationships…which, of course, is my favorite topic. Good read, however. Love hearing intelligent voices from my generation (seems like a rarity these days, doesn’t it?).

  3. Mike says:

    A well-written article and valid observations.The role of men has been changing dramatically since the end of the last world war and babyboomers have been confused about their role throughout their lives. In the new era of peace followed by the Flower Movement, men were expected to become SNAGs (oh how I hate that acronym) only to find that their wives weren’t too turned on to the type of guy who did the vacuuming. We were told to change, change, change until we felt like leopards with stripes and being a striped leopard doesn’t do much for your sense of individuality or self-worth. Mixed signals abound – do I open the car door for her or not? Can I tell her she looks nice in that dress? Should I shake hands or not? Hey, my boss is a woman whatamigonnado? He’s still expected to provide the lion’s share domestically, to be sensitive, to behave contrary to his nature in certain situations, to be politically correct and to do all these things meekly. That’s cool; easy; we just don the mask and bear it quietly but yes, it does become overwhelming for some and they snap and the consequences are very sad.

    Women’s Liberation only got it half right – men weren’t the enemy, we were just enslaved in a different way.

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