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471. The arousing (IV)

In an event that is sure to be repeated, a celebrity in the neo-masculinity movement, “the manosphere”, Jack Murphy, has been exposed for pimping his wife out and, formerly, engaging in anal masturbation—self-penetration—for pay online. There is a lot more to be said about neo-masculinity than can be said here, but, put simply, there is nothing more feminine than “the manosphere”: it is about the appearance of masculinity, not the masculine—it is narcissistic, a feminine trait. So the manosphere will teach you how to appreciate cigars and whiskey, how to “dress right”, how to pick up girls, how to cultivate the body, and how to make money. It is about how to look good, acquire possessions, and have sex—and that is how women think, mostly in terms of appearance, sex, and material gratification.

Taken alone, there is nothing perverse about being a whiskey connoisseur, cultivating your physique, pursuing women, or even growing a large beard with a distinguished white streak in it—these are quite masculine activities. The problem with the manosphere is the way these traits are constellated into a product, “masculinity”, that is used to cultivate a certain image—an image that is inevitably shattered when it turns out the online alpha is a total degenerate.

The very term “manosphere” is inherently non-serious, it is redolent of the expression “man cave”—there is something trivial and ironic about it. However, it is a response to a genuine problem: girls become women automatically, when they have their first menses; men, on the other hand, are made. “Time to separate the men from the boys,” they say—and it is understood that “a boy” could be a sixty-six-year-old and “a man” a twenty-eight-year-old. Men are made, women are born; there are many males, not so many men—and yet we are all adrift when it comes to knowing what makes a man a man today.

This has been so for decades, back in the 1980s the mythopoetic men’s movement emerged to meet the challenge. It was a much tamer enterprise than the manosphere, just-divorced suburban dads retreated to the woods to drum and become, in a perversion of Jung’s ideas, “male mothers”; the manosphere is at once more and less masculine—it is more in yer face than those suburban dads, with its MMA and mogging; and yet, in its obsession with sex and materialism, it manages at the same time to be more narcissistically feminine—more, basically, gay—than those dads with their African drums and campfires.

The whole movement seems to attract the classic type who are driven by their unconscious: the American politician from the 1980s who bewailed “the homosexual agenda” only to be found at a local gloryhole a month later; the Tory MP in the 1990s who called who for “family values” as he slept with his secretary; and, recently, Jordan Peterson, who offered a prescription for order and then himself collapsed in chaos. The Jack Murphy saga is the same, and there will be more. It all recalls Jung’s quote: It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going…it is an unconscious factor which spins the illusions that veil his world. And what is being spun is a cocoon, which in the end will completely envelop him.”

Ironically, about the only man (male?) in recent times who avoided this pitfall was Milo Yiannopoulos, who, in his 2016 heyday, stood up and essentially said: “I’m a complete degenerate, but even I think you can’t have a society built on how I carry on and so we need more conservatism.” This was a mature contribution to the discussion that saved him from unconscious possession; unfortunately, as he now retails himself as an “ex-gay” on the Catholic circuit, he has also succumbed to “the cocoon”.


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