7 Steps to Make 2023 More Masculine
It's time to reassert masculinity
One of the prophecies of The Fourth Turning was a reassertion of traditional sex roles: men would become more manly and women more feminine.
It hasn’t happened, and for that I blame myself.
I’ve spent too much time working on the subtle aspects of masculinity, like piety, prayer, even temperament, physical strength, denial of comfort, etc. All vitally important things that require years of effort and heavy support from the angels and saints.
Men need to look like men at all times.
Real men are firm but fair, resolute but considerate, learned but humble, strong but gentle.
Yeah, yeah, but no one can really see those qualities, especially in a crowd. And when I look at a crowd anyplace but a hockey game, I see a lot of men who seem to be trying to pass for women. Or very effeminate men. Or little boys. I believe this aesthetic has led to a weaker, effeminate society.
It’s time to stop and turn things around. Here are ten reforms men should undertake in 2023 to reassert traditional masculinity in America.
7. Wear Masculine Clothes That Fit
Two trends in men’s clothing over the past 30 years have destroyed the visual image of men.
First came the baggy clothes era of the 1990s. Like most problems of the 90s, we can place the blame for this one on the shoulders of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. They both looked fat in 80s suits, so their tailors fashioned voluminous suits that flapped in the breeze and hid their burgeoning bellies.
In response, Levi’s added to its 500 line of jeans with 520, 530, all the way up to 550 jeans. Other designers introduced “relaxed fit,” “loose fit,” and “you’ll-need-to-purchase-two-tickets-to-board fit” lines. About the same time, all-you-can-eat buffets and family-sized carbohydrate snacks became the minimum acceptable portion sizes as humans sought to fill out every cubic yard of cloth provided by their local haberdasher.
All fashion trends are reversed, though. When Mad Men became the number one television series, designers reintroduced the tight-fit suit of the 1960s. When I was a kid, this was called “traditional” tailoring, and it looks fantastic. But the 60s cut didn’t go far enough, so “skinny” was introduced. There’s nothing less masculine than trousers that can be mistaken for yoga pants, but that’s what men wore from about 2010 on.
In 2023, men should curate their closets. Toss out the Bill Clinton mainsail pants as well as the compression suits. Replace them traditional-fit or even slim-fit clothes that look both masculine and neat.
6. Sport a Masculine Hairstyle
I realize some tough guys sport a man bun, but it’s time to knock it off. They look ridiculous in the 21st century. Instead, pick any appropriate style from the list on this page so you don’t have feel the humiliation of one of your kids finding an old Facebook photo of you a decade from now.
5. Grow a Beard
Nothing distinguishes a man like facial hair.
I’ve been an opponent of facial hair most of my life, probably because of my time in the Navy. But I’ve since realized that throughout most of history, beards have been a powerful symbol of manhood and piety. The Romans were clean-shaven; the Apostles had beards.
Look at paintings and sculptures of the great saints: all bearded. Look up sculptures of the greatest heroes of Western Civilization. For example, William Wallace:
Mel Gibson’s biggest error in the making of Braveheart was his portrayal of a smooth-cheeked Wallace. Sure, he wore a 3-day stubble, but every painting of Wallace shows a bold, thick beard like the one depicted in this statue.
Beards express confidence, strength, wisdom, maturity, and, of course, manliness. And research by the BBC uncovered the truth about beards. For one the article points out that human men and women are more different from each other than males and females of other primate species. Further, both men and women perceive bearded men as older, stronger, and more aggressive than clean-shaven men. Researchers speculate that bearded men, therefore, have a mating advantage since females of all species prefer to reproduce with stronger, more aggressive males.
This is something that holds true both in modern times and throughout human history. Dominance can provide a staggering short-cut to mating opportunities: genetic evidence indicates that about 8% of the male population of Asia today is a descendent of Genghis Khan and his family.
Beards didn’t affect a man’s attractiveness rating consistently, but those who let their facial hair grow were perceived as more dominant than others – in line with previous research.
In short, the BBC’s recent (2016) research confirmed what history suggests: beards make manliness more obvious to both men and women.
4. Wear a Hat
Like beards, hats intensify the distinction between men and women.
Hats make men appear taller, older, and wiser. But it has to be the right hat. Baseball caps, for example, are so common and so unisexual as to go unnoticed. But fedora or a Western hat is a different story. These two styles (and their sub-styles) are distinctly masculine. How can I prove this?
Fedoras on women have the same effect as a man’s dress shirt on a woman. They make the woman look sexy and cute for complex psychological reasons. The short form is: wearing distinctly masculine items indicates possession of a man. A woman doesn’t ask a man if she can wear his shirt—she picks it up off the floor and puts it on. She takes license. (Men never object to women taking this license, by the way.)
The fedora or business shirt on a woman makes the woman appear more feminine, not less. Likewise, the same articles on a man make him look more masculine.
Hats historically denote power (crown, mitre), position (scrambled eggs on the bill of an officer’s headgear), and occupation (hard hats and army helmets). They also provide protection from the elements and from hard blows. Brimmed hats cast a shadow on a man’s face, making him appear more mysterious, more serious, and more dominant.
Because dominance is a male trait, physical signs of dominance will help men reassert their nature in 2023.
3. Lift Heavy Weights
The appearance of dominance without the meat to back it up is actually a dangerous thing. So don’t fake it.
Weightlifting is the ultimate male conditioning. There’s nothing wrong with running, walking, swimming, or even biking. I have a rowing machine for endurance conditioning. But the first order of business is always the barbell.
I’ve written numerous times about strength training before, so I won’t belabor the point here.
The average man is 60 percent to 70 percent stronger than the average woman in upper body strength, and 30 to 40 percent stronger lower body when comparing men and women of the same size. The average man is also about 4 inches taller than the average woman, so those gaps are even larger across the population.
But men should never rest on their laurels. Why not shoot for being 100 percent stronger than the average woman? Or for being stronger than 50 percent of men?
Again, since physical strength is a distinguishing male trait, accentuating strength is one way to draw a deeper line between the sexes.
2. Help Others
If a woman sees motorists stalled on the side of the road, she’ll think of forming some organization to assist stranded motorists. A man witnessing the same motorist will pull over, get out, and try to help them.
Both acts are beneficial, but let’s keep sex roles sorted out when it comes to almsgiving.
Women are good at organizing things. Their natural inclination is to form a group to tackle a problem together. They derive as much joy from being around others as they do in actually helping the people who need their help.
Men jump in when something needs to be done. Without planning. Often without preparation, tools, or knowledge of the problem space. Men are less likely than women to join an organization. They just do.
I’ve seen this action through the Tea Party, at work, and elsewhere. Men want to jump in and right a wrong; women want to form committees, decorate the space, and plan a post-even party.
Again, both traits are necessary, but the feminization of America has reduced men’s willingness to just jump in a do things. In 2023, we need to stop planning and start doing. The women will take care of the planning.
1. Eat Like a Man
I probably don’t have to mention this. Unless you have a specific medical condition that requires weird, girly diets, eat like a man. Men eat meat, eggs, non-sweet fruits, and dark green vegetables. We need at least 120 grams of high-quality protein a day because of our weightlifting program. We need fat to produce testosterone.
High-quality protein cannot come from fruits and vegetables no matter what your doctor says. The full spectrum of necessary amino acids comes from meat and dairy.
In 2023, don’t be afraid to eat like a man. If you have sons who insist on eating like girls, don’t give in. Make sure their only options in the kitchen are manly eats. Girly diets make girly men.
Men Are Not Women, and Vice Versa
One of the best books I’ve ever read about marriage offers incredibly useful information for re-establishing traditional sex roles. In How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, counsellors and psychologists Patricia Love, Ed.D. and Steven Stosny, Ph.D. explain that the feminization of everything is ruining marriages. The typical 21st century adult has been indoctrinated to believe that men and women are identical. Almost every bit of relationship advice, as a result, assumes that all relationships are between one woman and another woman. There’s nothing available for relationships between a man and a woman.
This paragraph provides an excellent overview of what, from a physiological and psychological perspective, makes a man a man:
The males of all species of social animals have greater muscle mass; quicker reflexes; and deeper, more resonant voices, specifically designed for roaring. The angry male voice gets deeper, louder, and more menacing, because it is designed to invoke fear of physical harm, whether he wants it to or not. Angry women can sound shrill or unpleasant, but rarely will their voices invoke fear of physical harm in grown men. Angry or resentful males—of all species of social mammals— experience considerably more blood flow to their muscles and higher levels of central nervous system activity than angry females, making their bodies more of a physical threat. Because of their physical prowess, male social animals, including early humans, developed a defensive strategy of forming perimeters around the threatened tribe or pack; and puffing up their muscles and roaring to warn, threaten, intimidate, and invoke fear in potential opponents. This instinctual strategy has obvious survival advantages for women under male care.1
That single paragraph sums up the differences between men and women, including the biological reasons for those differences.
Those “softer” male qualities—patience, gentleness, fairness, wisdom—are necessary male traits because men are significantly stronger than women. Our ability to inflict great violence on short notice is for the protection of women and our tribe, not to get our way through intimidation and threats. Patience, gentleness, and the rest temper the male’s capacity for destruction and allow him to use his strength to build things, including families, homes, relationships, and skyscrapers.
Let’s make 2023 the year men become men and women are happy about it.
Stosny Ph.D., Steven ; Love Ed.D., Patricia . How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It (pp. 80-81). Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.