Monday, March 26, 2012


Jack Donovan, author of Androphilia, and, with Nathan Miller, Blood-Brotherhood, has a new book out today, The Way of Men, which I have started reading through on Kindle. Never hesitant to provoke, this is the cover he chose:


He situates the distinctly masculine virtues within the gang as the male identity-creating and martial social unit. Although he does not use the Jungian language, he is a naturally archetypal thinker, trying to get down to biological basics, species blueprints and the first principles underlying culture and morality. Any work on "re-defined" masculinity that caters to feminist sensibilities --aka, hatred of the masculine in males-- is dismissed for the delusional claptrap it usually is.

In his preface, he says that he offers the book "without ego." This means that it is not about his own manliness or that of any of his affiliations. A good point. The anxiety that the subject provokes usually leads to ad hominems and cheap psychologizing from the myriad egalitarian followers of Lewis Carroll's Dodobird. Donovan offers a point of view that should stand or fall on its own powers of description and explanation.

To the original three elements of manhood --strength, courage and mastery-- he adds honor and unfolds each virtue in what he imagines is its original form, virtue coming from the Latin virtus, from the Latin vir, man. In his social approach, what makes honor crucial is that manhood is constituted by how a male is assessed by other men in the honor group hierarchy. Men are made and recognized to be so by and with (and against) one another, and only resultantly in the eyes of women. Women value men whom other men value.

An important and highly useful distinction he makes, elegantly and clarifyingly, is the difference between being a good man and being good at being a man. It is the second phrase which is actually primary and it is this that describes manliness, prior to the complexities of culture and ethics.

So far, very good. And written in a forthright style that well fits his message.


Anonymous said...

Yes, devaluing manliness is devaluational, but I wonder ...

In re unpickwickian stuff: seems to me men consider voluntary pregnancy in women astonishingly brave -- and before modern medicine and anaesthetics pregnancy may have been about as dangerous as going off to war. (Pickwickianly: war prosecuted by a non-ego or war occurring outside the ego isn't a war involving risk of death -- isn't real war.)

Again unpickwickianly, I think we can draw from "game" or "player" argumentations and methods (to some extent against the wishes of the arguers and methodologists) a distinction between a man found attractive by women with a view to his esteem among men or in general his esteem within prestige institutions, and a man found attractive by women because of his direct sex appeal.

Obviously these two charismata may occur in one man, but they do not intrinsically co-exist.

And then in men who have direct sex appeal for women, there is the brute, if I may put it so, who has a certain charm for some women in odd moods, and the sophisticated "smooth operator," and then the boyish handsome (but definitely not "GQ" -- all womengirls are averse to this type, and will marry him only for other considerations) e.g. Brad Pitt in "Thelma and Louise" (pickwickianly thelema and L.S.).

Speaking of what seems to me the preferences of womengirls in my own population group, the greatest preference is for a Brad Pitt with great accomplishment in some area of civilization. They are willing to leave to daydreams in odd moments any transient appetite for vigorous (virago-us?) treatment by a brute or getting play'd by a heartless sophisticate. (Romance novels always transubstantiate such characters into a civilizationaly accomplish'd Brad Pitt by the middle of the book.)

But the man's man as Donovan seemingly celebrates in this book is not directly appealing to womengirls -- as he says only indirectly by the esteem a man's man has in the eyes of men. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne are not for the leading role in a romantic movie. Womengirls don't fall asleep at night in reveries about General Patton, however rationally appreciative they may be that Patton didn't direct his soldiers to rape the women and girls of conquer'd populations, as did the officers of the Wehrmacht and the International Social Justice Red Army. A military conqueror whom womengirls will desire must have an erotic personal charisma, and my guess is usually this is added in by poets and movie-makers when a real conqueror is involved, and usually this type is 100% fiction. Machiavelli suggests that the rise up through the ranks of military achievement and respect from men is an ascetic climb and not compatible with being a ladies' man at the same time.

Anonymous said...

But what does Mr Donovan show us in the pickwickian cover photo, which is perhaps meant as a mirror? (Ex Cathedra mentions the author of "Through the LookingLass") ...

Mary Daly of Boston College proposes that man is intrinsically necrophilic, that is to say Life loves death. Women are biophilic, that is to say they are Death that loves the Life that seeks death. (As the song says "Woman draws her life from man, and give IT back again.") Women in the ascetic ideal are wise, that is they know that mere bios is no good and must be transcended e.g. by the death they bring.

So we have deaths-head woman Shem Japheth Ham reflecting at us, Canaan Mankind, man the son of the old man Father Noah, the vine planter and fementer in us.

Nietzsche remarks on the morbidezza of Frauen under the ascetic ideal (Genealogy, third chapter ¶1 third example [priests are the fifth]).

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