Sunday, December 12, 2010


In my ruminations on the masculine, I have found myself in tune with some others, even anthropologists!, who discerned a universal triad of roles that formed the man. They were created during our very long and fundamentally determinative period as hunter-gatherers: creating progeny, protecting them from threats animal and human, and providing for them, especially hunting for protein in the form of fish or fauna.

Most of us have long left behind the ancient hunter-gatherer societies*, of course, and so the form of these roles has changed many times, but the imperatives remain imprinted in the species.

As I was wandering distractedly through my gym routine the other day, I decided that the role of father contained and required all three and that therefore the primary archetype in the constellation of manhood is fatherhood.

*When men of more developed worlds encounter societies like these, the results are usually disastrous for the hunter-gatherers. But you often find a kind of hungry nostalgia for this more primitive life, too. I wonder if this is the psychological basis for the romantic narrative of the Noble Savage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder, can an androphile consistently both enthuse for Western civilization and deem pre-civilized men the real men? ... I somehow think that Machiavelli and Nietzsche try'd to inspire civilization with manliness.

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