Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What are men for? continued

Continued from 5 Feb 07. I assume that the evolutionary theory is correct and that the hunter-gatherer society is the primal human organization. “Reading” the male physically and socially, I am hypothesizing that the male gender is meant for three fundamental purposes: procreating, protecting the group from animal and human predators, and providing protein for them by hunting and fishing. Father/mate, warrior, hunter. As I've said, men are made for sex and violence.

I’ve reworked procreation, protection and protein --others say progenitor, protector and provider--into a more vivid, if less, polite alliterative triad: men are made for fucking, fighting and feeding.

We no longer live in hunter-gatherer societies but in vastly complex communities. Men’s purposes remain rooted, I maintain, in these three functions, but how they are enacted has changed.

It’s all written in the male body: the size, muscle and phallus, the specialization indicated in the male brain, and the attitudes and tendencies of the testosterone-endowed. I would expand the triad of fucking, fighting and feeding into power, courage and skill, flowing from the male body, the male heart, and the male brain. No one will accord manhood status to a male who is typically weak, fearful or inept.

Especially in complex societies, a man can compensate for deficits in the triad by specialization. A man with valued skill need not be especially strong or brave. A man with “heart” will be forgiven physical impairment or lack of skill. And a powerful man need not prove his courage or aptitude. But even now, a “man’s man” will show abundance of all three qualities.

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