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Most young men today have grown up without fathers.

The father may have been in the home. But there was no masculine presence.

There was no one to teach him to follow his own conscience. He never learned that it was okay to be rejected in order to do what was right.

He never learned how to stand up to a woman.

Instead, he was taught that his mother’s approval is the standard. “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

This craving for female approval carries over into this young man’s life.

He wants a girlfriend. What do women say they want? What does his mother say women want?

They say women want a “sweet guy”. A man who’s kind and considerate.

This poor “nice guy” finds a girl he likes. He ups the “sweetness” factor and all those things he was told women want.

He works up the courage to ask her on a date. He gets turned down. 2 weeks later she’s dating a “jerk.”

Now he doesn’t know what to do with himself. His worldview has been shattered. He retreats to the lonely world of wanking off to hardcore pornography.

Eventually, he gets a girl and, after several years of dating, she decides she’s finally ready to marry.

Now his wife has replaced his mother as the central source of female approval in his life.

What will make his wife happy?

He’s determined to be a great husband. He helps with chores around the house. He’s doesn’t push too much for sex. He always gets her flowers on all the appropriate dates.

But after awhile, this illusion ends.

His wife is not happy and no one knows why.

He was hoping for a blissful marriage. Instead, he gets something like this:

Surviving as a 21st Century Man

Young men today face at least 4 difficult challenges. None of which they are adequately prepared for.

  1. The middle-class life script no longer works. And housing is priced based on double-income households. Plus inflation. Plus student debt payments. Good luck figuring out how to make enough money!
  2. He doesn’t know how emasculated he is. You don’t know what you don’t know. And it’s a painful process to wake up. And it’s difficult to figure out what to do. A man has to piece it together from random strangers on the internet.
  3. Feminism has infected all women. Even if a man knows what to do, he can expect his wife to resist his attempts to regain his masculinity.
  4. Ingrained habits. It’s difficult enough for a boy to become a man under the guidance of a strong father. It’s at 3x more difficult for a weak man to overcome his ingrained habits on his own, without the luxury of childhood, and with practically every force in society against him.

If the “obstacle is the way”, I predict that the millennial generation will end up with a small number of extraordinary men, contrasted with a large number of men who simply give up on life (either literally or through apathy.)

Perhaps this has always been the case though. I don’t know. The world of men has always been unequal.

In the meantime, if you want series of steps to build yourself up as a man, this is what I’m using for myself:

Level 0: Philosophy – Understand and accept the nature of women. If you want to take this in quick-hitting style, I recommend starting here.

Level 1: Virtues – The four virtues of men are courage, strength, mastery, and honor. Or, to put it negatively, don’t think it’s okay to be a weak, incompetent coward. Here’s a quick test I devised to check myself on these virtues.

Level 2: Presentation – The virtues are what makes you a man on the inside. But everyone else judges you based on what they see on the outside. Hence, you must learn to present yourself properly to be taken seriously as a man. Pat Stedman’s “3 Pillars of Attraction” is the most useful framework I’ve found for this. When you’re ready to improve your bedroom “presentation” there’s Don of Desire.

Level 3: Judgment – Once you have perceived power, your wife (and others) will value your opinions. She will believe what you approve of and become whoever you expect her to be. It’s basic psychology. People (and especially women) conform themselves to perceived power. So think carefully about your values and opinions.

Level 4: Art – This where you think about how you will present your values and judgments. Use whatever medium is appropriate for you. Use contrasts. Show that you care and have her (or whoever’s) best interest in mind.

Level 5: Ask – After you’ve built yourself up as a man, you have the power to make requests that will be readily complied with. Ask for small commitments before larger ones. Physical action changes people’s identity.

This isn’t a strictly linear process. I’ve gone through several iterations of this throughout my marriage. But if you’re having difficulty on one level, check the lower levels.

Yes, it’s a long and difficult process. But it’s necessary. And it’s all up to you. No one is going to push you through this process.

Stay strong soldier!