Asking what a man is, is a bit like asking what jazz is. If you have to ask you’ll never fucking know. All that I can say is that being a man is a spiritual thing. And before you start rolling your eyes and getting uncomfortable, hold your horses. All I mean by that is that masculinity is an essentially mystic force.
An ex-girlfriend of mine was very uncomfortable with me talking about gender differences and asserting that there were independent concepts that existed named “masculinity” and “femininity.” Feminism has really fucked things up here. On the one hand we are meant to understand the unique experience of the woman. On the other hand, there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t do. This is a fucking contradiction, I’m sorry. You are affirming one but nullifying the other when you assert this crap. And I have to say, it really annoys me.
My answer to this challenge is that man and woman are like the tide of an ocean. The woman pulls back, the man crashes forward onto the sands. They are two aspects of the one physical dynamic. End of story. We are different but we are the same. It can’t be any clearer than that.
The importance of this for us men is this: that what defines us as men, is a quality experienced and manifested in the moment. I call it spirit, but you could equally call it “balls.” Poets have called it courage, bravery, and some feminists have called it dangerous. And it is dangerous. But it is also sublime.
The main thing is that it comes from nowhere. It is an untraceable energy. It is a mysterious power. It is like, and I mean this literally, the big bang. The first instant of creation was a masculine moment. It sprung from nothing, for no reason, than simply the unaccountable desire to express itself. The defining quality of being a man, is simply that of being a man, for being a man’s sake. Thus, it is time to stop justifying yourself, your existence and your sexuality.
Like I already said, it is the shame and fear that exists around this mysterious masculine power, which creates the abusiveness and violence associated with masculine culture. Shame creates a conflict, and conflict creates violence.
Instead of being scared of the unknown, instead of feeling ashamed of this indefinable quality within us, we ought to explore it, express it and seek to understand it. We must test it. Talk about it. Write a fucking poem about it. Otherwise we will always be stuck in this cycle of shame, this Judeo-Christian clusterfuck of emotions that repress and repress until the energy boils over into dysfunction.
The masculine is that which comes out of nowhere. It is what made Ali beat Foreman. Seriously. It is what made the Scots beat the English at Bannockburn. It is that energy which only appears in the moment, which seemingly violates the laws of nature, but which in reality is the truest expression of them.