Without challenge, who are we as men? Without dragons to slay, what is left — hiding in the cave? This goes back to our origins. It goes back to a time when men hunted mammoths, out on the range, no maps, no GPS, no way but their wit and knowledge to find their path back home with food for the whole village. Now all our meat is killed for us. But men still hunt today. Some women do too. Do we have to hunt? No, of course not. From a women’s perspective, the food is in the store, why should anyone hunt? Hunting should be abolished. But men would say that if they can’t kill their own food, or are unwilling to kill their own food, then they shouldn’t just let someone else do it for them. We like to do things for ourselves. If that is problematical, we at least like to think we could if necessary. Supermarkets with everything done for you, internet ordering, food delivered to the door, all by computer request, these all feminize men as well.
Never have we had such automation where so much is done for us. Most would call it progress, but what’s gained is lost, what progress is made costs in independence. How can you find your own path, when all the paths are electronically programmed in advance? How can you know the accomplishment of finding, hunting, and bringing home your own game, if all the stores have it neatly packed, or ready to deliver with a short text or call on the smart phone? Why do you think food animals are called “game?” Because it is a challenge, a game, if you will. This technologically advanced society is really a tragedy. We need to un-automate, and give certain technology a rest. Men, need to find ways to be men again, and women need to appreciate that, understand that, revel in that, and revel in who we are, instead of trying to make men more like women. This is why there are rapidly decreasing numbers of men who know the joy and independence of being men without the technology security blanket. Also there are rapidly increasing numbers of women who have no experience with strong and independent men, which I think is a cause of the man shortage, and that is a crisis for everyone. Maybe the cause of the real man shortage is not to be found by looking at the problem from a woman’s perspective of what women want, but rather in what men are and can be.
Does strength and independence come from shunning all technology? No. But there is a time to use it when essential for survival, for productivity, for convenience, and for other reasons. But there is also a time to turn it off and look inward, to keep and increase the skills, talents and instincts developed over the millennia, celebrating what we can do for ourselves, and not what can be done for us.
Why is it that my father’s generation had a compass riding on the car dashboard for use on those long, family drives? The freeways are marked north, south, east, and west, so why do you need a compass? Because it’s fun to be on some great adventure, where you are the navigator. Maybe these men were sailors, or aviators, in a time before GPS, and they like a compass sitting out front using the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate across the country. They also used maps. I still do. But maps are best when held in the direction indicated by your compass. Men just know this. We also can judge distance, terrain, approximate arrival time based on our average speed, all in our head and all from a compass, a map, and a watch. Now that’s navigating, and it is a completely lost skill. This brings about the second problem. Men are losing basic navigation skills developed over centuries of travel and adventure. There isn’t that much difference today between a man, his compass, his map, his watch, the angle of the sun, and navigation from the ships of old. The only thing missing from the sailing ship era is the sextant. If you don’t know what that is, or how to use it, that again is another problem. If you don’t know the difference between True North and Magnetic North, how to find longitude by the difference between Greenwich Mean Time and Local Time, how to shoot the angle of the sun and read latitude from a chart, then you are missing a critical link in man travel. If you have all these skills in your quiver, who needs GPS, or directions? So you millennial men, how about developing yourselves, instead of your technology purchases?
One of my greatest, freest, most wonderful sense of accomplishment periods, is the time between my first solo in a Cessna 150, and getting my Private Pilot Certificate. I soloed a week after my 16th birthday. I began flying around New England by myself shortly thereafter. I flew all over New England, for hours at a time. The years were 1976 and ’77. In these times student pilots were not taught about radio navigation. There was no radar “flight following” with air traffic control on the ground. We didn’t have a transponder that showed our position on radar. And I wasn’t taught about that stuff even if it was on the airplane. We didn’t talk to anyone on the ground from just after take off, until just before landing. Pilots, even student pilots today, would be horrified at how I went into the wild blue, without any of the modern electronic baby sitters. In those days we drew a pencil line on a chart (map), we measured the magnetic course, we marked some checkpoints, we timed how long the trip should take, we guessed at the wind from forecasts (usually wrong), and we took off. Yes, we filed a flight plan. But a flight plan is nothing more than a notice of your intentions, your aircraft information to make it easier to find you, and when to start looking for you if something goes really wrong. It is no guarantee of safety; that is up to the pilot. To me at the time, it was perfectly normal to be alone in a Cessna 150, at some 5,000’, with weather forecasts a few hours old, making my way, following a pencil line on a chart in a bouncing airplane, hoping to identify checkpoints which looked like nothing on the chart, checking them against my watch, and not talking to anyone. I was absolutely, completely, alone, and loved it. Although it never occurred to me at the time, probably because I was so busy flying and navigating, but that was probably the most independent and self reliant I have ever been as a man, and I was still a teenager. That feeling has always been with me, despite a world and many people in it desperate to make me as dependent as they are, and as helpless as they are, and as jealous as they are of those who are truly free. In those days, up in the air, I was completely alone, and God really was my co-pilot. Those days are gone, never to return. Government and FAA regulations preclude it. But I have that feeling in me, and always will, even though it can never happen again. I wish the same for all people who seek true freedom. For me freedom is challenge and accomplishment, all by myself. For me freedom is what being a man is all about.
There are many women who fly and know this feeling as well. It isn’t limited to men, but the vast majority of pilots are still men. Flying tests you as nothing else I know. And for anyone who wants to be tested, this is a great way. International sailing with ancient instruments is another. Oh sure you might have the GPS, weather station, radar, long range radios and more, and those are great in an emergency. But it is better to read the weather from the clouds, to use the sextant and clock for position, to use the nautical chart, and calculate your distance and speed by charts and tables. That is where the fun is. The problem is that sailing, which would be relatively easy to teach for schools near water, isn’t part of any regular program I know. And so another possible outlet for men to use and develop their inherent instincts and talents is lost, as they Uber around, letting someone else do the driving. Manhood, independence, accomplishment, self reliance, these are the qualities being lost to technology.
Cars are a whole separate category of man destruction all by themselves. In an effort to bring about absolute safety, cars have become totally boring. This is government required technology, and it is also feminizing men. What are the cars that men love? The ones made before 1972. Muscle cars, fast cars, sports cars, really open convertibles — these were cars. Why? Because they were made mostly by men, mostly for men, and not government regulated to the point where all style, beauty, speed, and adventure were taken out. Now cars all look the same, you are surrounded by airbags, they are efficient, quiet, predictable, of no distinguishable color, they are environmentally correct, with a GPS, and will take you anywhere you want to go. In other words, perfectly suited to women who just want to get where they are going with no problems. And that is perfectly fine. However, these cars are deadly to men. They kill our spirit. One day cars won’t even require a driver; the ultimate destruction of manhood. I dread that day. Now I’m not saying everything was better in “the old days.” People drank more, smoked more, died earlier, were killed by lax technology in certain easy to fix areas, the roads were worse, the cars were less reliable, and they didn’t last as long as they do today. So not all technology or regulation is bad. The question becomes how to include the maximum requirements for input from the driver when drives want that, and how to have style, beauty, and speed, and yet not be subject to injury and death for no reason.
One of the worst things to happen to cars was the automatic transmission. Women love it because it makes driving easier. Men, real men, despise automatic transmissions, because a manual stick shift gives you more control, more options, more capability, and most important, it is the driver not the car who decides when to change gears, and that is the essence of independent manhood. Muscle cars are like a work out in a car, what with all that power. Women, and feminist men, argue that muscle cars are an extension of, or making up for, something in the anatomy department. Real guys just laugh at that. This argument shows more about those who are afraid of men, of men exercising freedom, and men who are afraid of their own manhood, or lack thereof. And so they project their fears, or envies, for activities they would never do themselves, onto real men’s body parts. Men don’t ride Harley’s for example because they feel inadequate, they ride them because they are fast, loud, and potentially very dangerous. And Harley’s require a certain amount of work to keep running. Again the blend of talent and technology to bring out the best in men. Something that wouldn’t happen if motorcycles, fast cars, and other machines of freedom were legislated out of existence. The real problem is those who feel they have a right to curb the freedoms of men, just because what those men do isn’t something they would do. Most women and environmentalists have this problem. They have no concept of the freedom of going fast, with a powerful engine, and how that freedom is critical to manhood. All they see is a big, loud engine guzzling gas, hurting the environment they think, and so it is not necessary, and so it should not exist, and so they have the right to deny it to anyone else. That attitude is so prevalent in our society. And that is why every generation of men has fewer real men in it. Just because it isn’t necessary, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Some of the best things in life are completely unnecessary. I see a muscle car as a fine piece of machinery, where the union of driver and machine is as close to perfection as it gets. It is what makes us, us. Not seeing that is how men get feminized, in this case by the absence of technology that could set men free.
My essential theory is that women feel free when they are secure, and men feel secure when they are free. That fundamental difference is at the root of all relationship problems, and in our case here, the root of how technology, or the lack of it sometimes, feminizes men.
There was a time before computerized cars where men knew how to change spark plugs, change the oil, set the timing, change a flat, and do most of the basic maintenance without the help of a mechanic or road service. That independence and capability is also critical for manhood. Now cars are so complex it takes a computer to diagnose the problem, computer parts to fix the problem, and a degree in computer science to work on a car. Modern technology answers some questions, but what is lost is the ability to work on one’s own car. Men, instead of maintaining our own machines, are now dependent on mechanics, who are themselves dependent on computers.
Cameras have also feminized men. Photography used to be an art. Now for most it is just a push button activity, all because of the auto setting. The goal becomes merely the accumulation of pictures. The glory of photography used to be in the choosing of settings, of the F stop and shutter speed, and not knowing the finished product until you either got the photos back from the processor, or set up a dark room yourself. Who are the great photographers today? No one knows really. There will never be an Ansel Adams again, trudging through Yosemite winters, with a big box film camera, holding a light meter, setting the focus, aperture, and shutter speed, all based on experience, and coming out with the most amazing photos. Not only for the beauty of the picture, but for the work and expertise to get the job done. And that’s what is lost in modern technology, the work it takes to get a great finished product. Why do boys buy models of ships and planes with hundreds of parts, when they can get finished ones that look great? Because the glory is in the painting, gluing, and putting it all together. The same fortunately can be said for cameras. In this one technology, the fun stuff hasn’t been mandated out. You can still get great cameras with all the manual adjustments. Any man seeking to regain that independent spirit which modern technology and social pressure is breeding out, will learn to use the manual settings. Why do you think it’s called “manual” and not “womanual?” Okay, manual comes from the Latin manus, meaning, the hand. But I like my version better. To save men and the qualities that are the best in us, we need more technology like cameras, which have all the benefits of automation, but still retain the joy of purely manual settings, where everything is the responsibility of the photographer. Another thing that manual settings give you is mistakes. Some of the greatest pictures were discovered from or by mistakes in the settings. Once everything is automated, the ability to make glorious mistakes is also gone. This is yet another casualty to automatic technology.
Nothing is valued which is easily acquired. Technology makes things easy, and that is the problem. We need technology that can also make things challenging and difficult. Why play chess against a computer? It’s always going to win. If you have to ask at this point, start the article again.
Considering how much young men have been channeled out of their manhood by technology, society, and a feminized education system, it is most gratifying to see the rise of extreme sports. Usually with simple technology, boys and men are jumping bicycles, riding treacherous trails, going snowboarding and jumping them off ramps, and doing a whole bunch of ridiculously dangerous activities. More power to them. This technology will save their spirits, but will occasionally be hard on their bodies.
Let’s take on the big topic last. Guns. Women, until they’ve shot them, hate guns. All they see are the dangers, the deaths, and the macho attitude they hate. Women who shoot predominantly do it for the self defense aspect. Men, do it more for the art. Now, there have been some absolutely horrible things happening with guns. And those are crimes, so I’m not speaking of the criminal use of guns. Rather, I’m talking about the legal use. I want to step away from the crimes for just a bit, and deal with the technology, and the attraction to guns, by men, who value freedom, and don’t want to be feminized by technology. Ladies if you really want to get close to a man, then ask to learn how to shoot, or if you already know, then head for the range. So what is the attraction? You’ve got a really loud device that fires a projectile at a paper target, or plastic bottles, or steel plates, or gongs, or all kinds of stuff that breaks or rings. What could be fun in that? Well… everything! I realized one day everything I liked was loud: rock guitars, airplanes, and guns. I’ll spare you guitars, but I could do a lot on that topic. Back to the gun. This is old technology. It’s mostly manual. Your typical sport shooter is engaged with shotguns, long range rifles, semi-auto rifles, revolvers, and pistols. You have to work bolts, cock hammers, pull back slides, work levers, and pull triggers. Most important you have to aim. And that is where the skill comes in.
Guns go back hundreds of years. The technology is simple. There isn’t a lot to be added unless you get into computerized gunsights, highly advanced scopes, or other advanced technology out of the price range of your average guy at the shooting range. So the attraction is to put a bullet in the tiny center of a target sometimes hundreds of yards away. That is an art. Long time shooters will figure temperature, ammo type, distance, wind, humidity, and any other factor available. It is like telling the weather from clouds, or guessing shutter speeds, because all of these skills require developing talents, skills and instincts, in other words, man stuff. There is another thing men have lost to technology — fussing. Guns can require an amazing amount of fussing. You can take them apart, and put them together. You can clean, polish, work the action, practice, and do an infinite amount of fussing with the guns themselves. You can mount scopes, and all manner of other attachments. If you compete in pistol or rifle there are an infinite amount of modifications and parts that can be added and interchanged. If you load your own ammunition, a whole new category of fussing emerges. You match your ammo to your gun, you test loads, you chronograph loads, you try different bullets and powders — the list again is endless. Most of this fussing takes place in a man cave; another essential of real men. This is one of the areas of technological manhood that should remain in the manual mode, because guns don’t really lend themselves well to automation. That’s a good thing. Manual operation makes them fascinating. The fact that guns are also dangerous only adds to the fascination. Being able to control that force and power, and responsibility, is a huge thrill. Which in a way explains the complete opposition to guns by women and feminist men who don’t want that kind of responsibility. They just can’t understand the attraction because they just aren’t oriented that way, and because they can’t understand guns, or fast cars, or manual cameras, or sextants and ancient navigation, or maps and compasses, or airplanes without a radar baby sitter, or just the simple pleasure of getting lost, all of these have to be done away with, shamed, blocked, condemned, demonized, removed, made obsolete by technology, or confiscated by government regulation. And that ladies and gentlemen is one huge reason why we have a man crisis.
Men have been feminized by technology, and with it, society has become feminized as well.