masculinity and femininity

Written by Urfan Ul Hassan - December 2021

Science describes how things actually are, not how things ought to be; that is the realm of moral philosophy. Thus, this article is based upon my personal philosophical reflections. The views are open for change in the face of new perspectives, knowledge and wisdom.

"Love truth, but pardon error." -Voltaire

Nature

All processes in the universe follow natural laws. It is true that quantum physics have surprised with the double-slit experiment and other experiments, but even in quantum physics, hopefully, we will discover clear physical laws. Humans often have an intuitive assumption that natural laws do not apply to us, for example in our relations with others or in how the society is built up. Human beings are products of evolution, and both genders have advantages and disadvantages in light of their gender. These differences make humanity strong.

The word virtue will be used in this article:

Virtue: All good moral qualities in humans. Toughness, patience, moderation, justice, willpower, wisdom and other qualities. These virtues develop real masculinity as it is meant to be developed. Nature wills such development. Masculinity is thus a positive force that protects and helps other people. Virtuous behavior can help with challenges produced within the psyche or challenges from the external world. Striving to live in tune with virtues is to live in tune with nature as it promotes growth of the individual. Women that strive for virtues will develop their feminine power to its maximum potential. They will then become the best version of themselves and bring out the best in others. Both genders seek the same virtues but they often express themselves differently in the genders.

The modern world has a need for men to take back their masculinity. Society has become too easy and men thus lack virtues and they do not strive for them. This is the cause for the feminization of men. As a consequence, women have developed masculine traits. Straying away from virtues causes both men and women to move away from nature which ultimately leads to hedonism. The feminization of men is the root cause of both men and women being unhappy and unsatisfied.

“People settle for a level of despair they can tolerate and call it happiness.”
-Søren Kierkegaard


Men and masculinity

Masculinity, in essence, is a force designed to protect societies, values and other people that cannot protect themselves. Mainly, it is men that develop this force to its maximum potential. This force will inevitably express itself in the willingness and ability to solve problems and in virtuous behavior. Many think that masculinity is about aggression and violence. This is only one aspect of masculinity, but an important one; the ability to be aggressive and use violence can be important, for example when defending yourself or others. Aggression and violence are not inherently negative. However, well-developed masculinity leads to higher ability to control oneself. Masculine people control their thoughts, emotions and behavior, and have a strong willpower. Notice that this level of self-control even produces stronger ability to solve problems. Thus, seeking virtues and being virtuous are signs of true masculinity in men. Truly masculine men will have a positive energy radiating about them, and they will have passion in things that they undertake. They lift other people up.

Language is power. The regular man, Achilles and Socrates

Many men have reduced the force of masculinity to "alpha" and "beta". This kind of categorical either/or thinking have led many men to strive for dominance between each other. They thus strive for things that ultimately lead to nothing - violence, gangs, money, status and sex. This is a primitive understanding of masculinity. Socrates proved this in his discussions about the legend of Achilles with the sophists. Achilles was a legendary warrior, but ultimately limited his potential to that of war. Socrates demonstrated that maintaining Achilles' warrior spirit is important in men, but that men should seek higher virtues in order to reach true masculinity and dominance: dominance over ideas. While Achilles was a man who took revenge on his enemies, Socrates brought out the best in his.

In reality, all men are designed with a potential to become an "alpha", in light of what nature has provided them of strengths and weaknesses. All men should thus strive to become the best version of themselves and develop their talents; "beta" only exists if people let it exist within themselves. This term expresses lack of self-development.  

The development of the masculine force comes after years of hard work, both physically and intellectually. Machiavelli the philosopher recommends that a leader learns to become both a lion and a fox; the ability to use physical brute force, but also intellect. The most dominant human beings are those who seek knowledge and thereby become rulers over ideas and themselves. Philosophers such as Socrates, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and others still rule over ideas, even after their death. Power should be sought to lift other people up, not for gratification of personal ego.

Lack of masculinity in art

Art and literature from ancient times or movies from the 80s applauded masculinity as a beautiful and heroic force. What made these movies and characters so attractive was the virtuous behavior of the characters. This is the reason many people fall in love with the characters and stories. Observing virtuous behavior in others is inspiring; a clear sign from nature that virtues ought to be developed.

The lack of masculinity is expressed everywhere in modern "art". For example, in movies and in music. The lack of virtue is making societies sick. Take for example modern rappers and music: they focus on money, women, foul language, sexualized behavior, and power. This brainwashes the viewer subliminally, even if the viewer only listens to the rhythm. Such "artistic expression" is the lowest form of expression as it only expresses humans' animal instinct. Artists from previous generations expressed their soul and higher values.

Men have 3 unconscious ideals - a simplified presentation:

1) Kierkegaard's concept of the "aesthetic" man - hedonism. Men often limit themselves to this as their highest ideal. This ideal assumes that pleasure is the highest good. This assumption deletes virtues and thus feminizes men; their development stagnates. These men create fundamental distrust in women towards men as those men can't be trusted; they value pleasure over justice.

2) Ideal of Achilles or Hercules. They seek personal development, not only pleasure. All men have the potential to develop such characteristics. They can be evil or good in society, depending on what they learn. This article attempts to inspire men to become a good Achilles - this can only be done if one strives for virtues. Thus, Achilles has to by necessity look up to the Socratic ideal, even if he does not have the ambition to become a philosopher king himself.

3) Ideal of Socrates - The philosopher king. Like Hercules, but also seeks knowledge and enlightenment. Talent in philosophy and has a higher calling. One that promotes virtues. The philosopher king can be a slave or a king; it doesn't matter as long as he lives by virtues. The philosopher king's ideas determine whether people like Achilles choose good or evil. See the story of Alexander the Great and Diogenes the philosopher.

The art that applauded masculinity from ancient times or from the 80s had Achilles and Hercules as ideals, with some hints toward the Socratic ideal. The ideal of Achilles is not easy to reach, but one can become like Achilles or Hercules through hard work. Achilles had many virtues that the hedonistic man is nowhere near to be in possession of. Most men, by instinct, have these heroes as their highest ideals. Movies like 300, Rocky, Predator (1987) and Scarface (1983) are good representations of these ideals in modern art.

The closest I have seen of the Socratic ideal expressed in modern art are characters like Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men (1957) and the warrior Maximus in Gladiator. In real life, Muhammad Ali the boxer had some of the qualities that can remind of the Socratic ideal. As mentioned, the philosopher king determines Achilles' behavior; notice the positive effect of Muhammad Ali on other athletes that become better versions of themselves just by observing his ideas and virtuous behavior. 

Machiavelli and Nietzsche are two of my favorite philosophers. These are often highly misinterpreted, and the misinterpretation has created many evil versions of Achilles throughout history.

"The strongest man in the world is he who is able to stand alone."
-Henrik Ibsen, En folkefiende 1882


Fight Club and expression of masculinity

The reason men do not fit into the classical masculine category anymore is because societies have become too easy. Men do not strive for virtues as societies don't call for it. Masculinity is also spoken about negatively. Societies and men themselves are feminizing men. Societies are too A4 and does not open for the masculine force. The movie Fight Club expresses this idea in a creative way; the message of the movie is that men ought to live in tune with their masculinity and thus in tune with nature. If men do not express their masculinity, they will never reach their highest potential as human beings.

Men fall through repeated mistakes, but those that rise become strong

Men often learn to see their own true value in the beginning of their 30s, as the brain becomes matured and has better self-regulation. Strong role models are important for men in their critical period which lasts up to their early 30s. We men often commit many mistakes in that critical period because of our instinctual ideal of a ruthless Achilles. Strong and virtuous role models are important so that men can learn to use their warrior spirit in a reasonable way. A strong role model can demonstrate the positive effect of living in tune with virtues. Men grow stronger by mastering adversity.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
-Nietzsche


Gym and gaming are not good enough arenas

There aren't that many challenges in a comfortable society, such that men ought to create challenges for themselves. Most men express their masculine power in the gym or in competition in sports or gaming; these arenas do not lead to real masculine development or virtues. These arenas are too easy and do not develop the talents one might have.

Fasting from sex

Men should stop watching pornography permanently. They should fast from all sex when working on something - in boxing, the rule is to fast from sex 6 weeks before a fight. This is to truly feel the power of libido; a power that causes men to become lions if they learn to use it properly. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, David Haye and other boxers used this tool. Fasting gives back libido and it also positively affects your view on women. Libido is a positive force that one can use for self-development. 

Do that which is difficult psychologically

Masculinity can be developed by doing things that are difficult psychologically. To be ambitious, to say what you mean regardless of controversy, to control oneself, to be patient and tough during adversity, to solve problems instead of whining, not looking for accept from others, daring to take risks and accepting one's imperfections, to be able to stand in difficult situations, to have clear principles, and to actually protect people when the situation requires it.

Women seek protection through psychological traits in men

A recurrent subject is that women like men that are tall, got money, status, power, are "players" etc. There are good reasons from our evolutionary past that these traits should be attractive. These are traits that seem important, but are illusory. Let us try to understand what these traits really mean.

Many men give up and attribute these preferences to the lack of morals in women. I have also had female patients who question their own morals because of such preferences. These preferences are not about moral, but about instinct. Women that have these preferences have their instincts working well, but they are not aware of what they are actually attracted to. Nature has made sure that women should prefer masculinity above all things, just as men prefer femininity above all things.

On closer examination of these traits - height, status, money etc., you realize that these traits create an impression of dominance. This is the underlying force that women are actually attracted to. This is because a dominant individual has the ability to protect and solve problems; the individual is masculine. This alone is a strong signal from nature to men to actually become dominant and masculine, regardless of what others say about it. That includes women who often interpret masculinity as aggressive behavior. True masculinity is about having supreme self-control.

All of the qualities mentioned above are thus not necessary. They only seem to be necessary and might work as bonuses; they are ultimately illusory for both men and women. As mentioned, these traits create the impression of dominance. I recommend that you become truly dominant. The road to true dominance and masculinity is to live in accordance with your values and to seek virtues. Living virtuously is living in tune with nature. If you are virtuous, you will be tough, just, brave, patient, fair and alike. This will cause you to be a real masculine force. Virtuous behavior will cause you to be dominant over yourself and thus you will become actually dominant. Read my article about Diogenes, which clearly shows the power of thought and how the slave Diogenes dominates Alexander the Great.

"He who conquers his desires is braver than he who conquers his enemies.
For the hardest victory is over self."  
-Aristotle


Aggression ought to be used reasonably. The effect of combat sports

Aggression is an emotion that must be used within the right context, for example when defending yourself, your family or others. Aggression can also be expressed in passion.

Aristotle the great philosopher expressed the idea of the golden middleway. The golden middleway expresses that it is wise to have balance in one's thinking and actual behavior. For example, imagine the virtue of bravery; if you are not brave, you will be cowardly - if you are too brave, you will be reckless. Thus, the wisest option is something in between. Notice that you cannot be brave without having the feeling of fear at the same time. Only those who feel fear and still pushes to do that which causes the fear can be considered brave, like someone who is afraid of heights but tries parachuting.

Combat sports are great in the modern world for men. Many people think that combat sports make one violent. The truth is that people who do combat sports learn to be less violent as they understand the damage it can cause. One gains respect for violence. Also notice that you are only truly "peaceful" if you have the ability to be violent.

I think it is important to be able to defend yourself. The ambition of fighting 3 at the same time is admirable, but remember that with intellect and dominance over ideas you can fight 3 million. 

Women and femininity

Femininity is a force in nature that is designed to be sensitive to the understanding of humans at a deeper level than problem-solving. Femininity puts humans and emotions into focus, while masculinity puts problem-solving into focus. The feminine force maintains peace in nations. Without the feminine force existing, human beings would become robot-like and cold machines over time. Without masculinity, societies would become soft and lack development because problem-solving isn't prioritized. Thus, these forces must exist in harmony; think of Aristotle's golden middleway. Women should embrace femininity and men should embrace masculinity. Read below about women's 4 unconscious ideals.

“Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature.”
-Marcus Aurelius


Priorities

Education can be very important for personal development, and both men and women should work to become the best version of themselves. It is important to remember that career and performance does not tell the entire story of a human being. It is especially women that have become convinced that their value is dictated by their careers. Women as human beings and their development should come first. Men have become convinced that their value is dependent upon material success and primitive dominance. With respect to biology and to virtue ethics, it is possible that the best for both men and women is to establish a home with a stable partner as early as possible. This will help the brain to mature. A too comfortable society has made individuals blind for real values and long-term thinking.

We humans have a tendency to be constantly stressed. We are always in search for a goal with the assumption that reaching that goal will lead to happiness. When we finally arrive at the goal, the feeling of reward does not last long. Thus, we set out on a new journey to reach a new goal with the assumption that the new goal will lead to happiness. I recommend another way of thinking, and that is to be thankful for what you have and thus re-wire the brain. I recommend using gratitude as a tool. 

Women and feelings, men and thoughts

Many women and therapists are often frustrated that men don't "open up" about their feelings. Men often have an instinct that causes feelings of cringe when talking about feelings. People think that this is a construct from society, but it is not; it is a firm instinct in place for good reasons.

The feminine force in women forces women unconsciously and consciously to define feelings as very important in life. Women on average score higher on the personality traits agreeableness and neuroticism. Women experience feelings more strongly than men and they often assume they are as important for men. 

Even though the intention is often good, it is not a good strategy to ask men to be open about their feelings. Men won't be perceived the same as when women share their feelings. Women are in fact designed to lose attraction if men show this kind of vulnerability. This happens unconsciously. Evolution has designed men to be robust protectors, not vulnerable individuals who cannot solve problems. Thus, men should concentrate on becoming good problem-solvers on their own; this in turn will make men more masculine and more attractive to women. It is important to notice that many of these processes happen unconsciously; humans use intuition and react on total energy and impression.

Men should ideally share their thoughts with their partner - this will lead to real conversations and real development. Men sharing their feelings will be perceived as complaining and whining by both men and women - unconsciously or consciously. Focusing on thoughts does not make a man a cold machine, but rather an individual who is attempting to use reason - this is a virtue and the man will live more in tune with his nature. 

To psychologists and therapists: In my opinion, cognitive behavioral therapy is a good approach in meeting with men. This is the therapy that does not give the impression of "just talk". The cognitive diamond, cognitive tools, focusing on problem-solving and how to change thoughts through behavior is better than magic.

The feminine women have been underestimated

The critical reader might ask: if femininity is designed for deeper understanding, and men should not speak about their feelings but thoughts, what is then the purpose of being feminine? This question demonstrates how much femininity is underestimated. The presence of a feminine woman alone is enough; not a single word must be said for the man to feel the positive and uplifting force in the woman. In comparison, a woman will feel protected just by the presence of a masculine man. 

Women have 4 unconscious ideals

1) The aesthetic woman (as the aesthetic man) - NRK's series Exit is a good example of hedonism.

The aesthetic woman is like the aesthetic man as described by Kierkegaard. These people assume that pleasure is the highest good - hedonism. The refusal to develop virtues in such a society is the recipe for a fundamental distrust between the genders. To be hedonistic is to be unjust toward oneself.

2) The independent - a strive for stability

Humans wandered out of the woods and created modern cities, but we brought with us our instincts. The brain of women prioritizes stability; this is programmed in from evolution. Stability was important for survival and predictability. Women's psyche will orient them towards creating stability. The strive for independence is an expression for the strive for stability.

Women have always had a dilemma: which man will invest and not leave her and their child? If the man leaves it will create instability. This dilemma has become more real than ever in the modern hedonistic societies. The aesthetic men and women create hell on earth for themselves; Dante's Inferno describes this hell in metaphorical terms. Examine this matter closely and you will realize that the war between the genders in politics stem from hedonism and rejection of nature.

Hedonism is not in tune with nature and creates unhappy men and women. Both will feel empty regardless of material success. The series Exit by NRK is a good example. Today's use of social media is also a good example - a separate article on social media will be written. To have pleasure and happiness as goals are unrealistic; human beings should seek meaning.

Virtues will develop humanity's potential and create a stable and healthy society. This is when women will truly experience stability, both in themselves and in society. Men that strive for virtues will become good versions of Achilles as they will look up to the Socratic ideal. Tough, honest and trustworthy. Women that strive for virtues will develop the ideal of the Caring Mother of the Tribe.

3) The Caring Mother of the Tribe

The Mother of the tribe is the uniting force between everyone. She has developed her feminine potential. Her existence is necessary for the development of healthy individuals and societies. If the Mother ceases to exist the society will experience neglect.

The Mother does as every other human being and seeks self-actualization. She works toward her own dreams and goals, but she does not forget her role as the Mother in Nature. Nature has given her an immense responsibility. The Mother understands that real stability comes from harmony within herself and in society. She accepts nature and strives for virtues.

The Mother is the one who takes care of everyone psychologically. She helps others with their self-actualization. The mother is associated with safety, trust, forgiveness, strength, support and care. The mother does not spoil people, but she gives them appropriate challenges and perspectives so that they can develop their potential. She understands and accepts nature; she strengthens men to strive for masculinity and she strengthens women to strive for femininity. She is wise and understanding. 

Notice that both genders strive for the same virtues but they are often expressed differently in them. The woman who strives for empathy will prioritize emotion and understanding, while the man who strives for empathy will prioritize problem-solving.

The woman on this level of intellectual height will experience flow and get more energy from helping other people. She will finally and clearly see the power of her femininity. At this stage she might even start to look to the Socratic ideal, and maybe strive to become 4) The Philosopher Queen?


Feel free to send me critique and comments: urfan@filosofkongene.no

“I can calculate the motion of the heavens, but not the madness of people.” -Isaac Newton