Men To Boys

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WHY ARE THERE so many blokes out there behaving like idiots? (“Idiots” is the Prime Minister’s descriptor, most New Zealanders would, less charitably, call them “dicks”.) It’s not all blokes – not by any means – but such problems as the authorities have so far encountered during the Covid-19 Lockdown skew heavily towards the male of the species. If women can see the logic of collectivism and solidarity in combatting Covid-19, why can’t a truly irritating minority of dickish men?

Obviously, all this dickishness reflects something seriously amiss with New Zealand’s sons. At the very moment when New Zealand women are wowing the world with their smarts, their grit and their empathy (cheers Jacinda!) far too many New Zealand men have retreated into the stripped-down stronghold of sporting prowess and barred the gates behind them.

The television promotions for the various sporting codes – especially Rugby Union and Rugby League – feature a terrifying sequence of images glorifying brutal bodily contact, exaggerated aggressiveness, and exultation bordering on complete loss-of-control. What we see is what’s left of the human male when everything dignified, intelligent, creative and compassionate has been edited out of the masculine narrative.

These promos are made all the more frightful by the knowledge that they wouldn’t look that way if the punters wanted to see something else. Clearly, smearing the screen with testosterone is the best way of getting the boys to tune-in. It’s possible, of course, that the clips are assembled for the pleasure of the sporting codes’ female devotees. At least that would make some sort of – equally troubling! – sense. In the end, however, these gloriously kinetic visual packages are all about reaffirming and celebrating a particular kind of masculinity. They present the human male as a dangerous, uncompromising and predatory bundle of muscle.

The retrograde character of this brutish version of masculinity is disturbing. For centuries, English speakers have honoured males with the title “gentlemen”. Implicit in the term’s general use is an expectation that all males should at least aspire to the qualities of their social superiors. The goal was to cultivate the self-control, easy affability, intellectual discipline, moral courage, rhetorical skill and, most importantly, the ability to interact easily and pleasingly with women, that traditionally defined a “well-mannered” member of the ruling class. The ultimate social goal was to bring about sort of a levelling upwards: something along the lines of “we are all aristocrats now”.

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It is one of the many oddities of modern history that it was to these civilised and humane ideals that so many of the women who assailed the domains of male exclusivity aspired. Even odder, is the fact that in so many cases they succeeded: demonstrating throughout their careers the attributes and values that were hitherto regarded as the proof and preserve of a  “gentleman”. Tragically, as women rose up to claim so many of the things that were supposed to define a man, a worryingly large number of men began abandoning them as accomplishments no self-respecting male would boast of possessing.

Increasingly, a strong intellect, articulateness, creative ability, the willingness to listen attentively and to demonstrate empathy came to be regarded by these “anti-gentlemen” as not only evidence of effeminacy, but also of something much worse – homosexuality. The simple possession of any of these powers was proof positive of, to use the modern parlance, “gayness”. Bad enough to be called a “girl”, but to be branded “gay” meant instant excommunication from the world of “real men”.

But, what behavioural repertoire is left to such males if intelligence, expressiveness, creativity and empathy are ruled out of contention? The answer, sadly, is belligerence, taciturnity, pragmatism and toughness. Sentences are reduced to slogans; slogans to single words: Muppet, wanker, arsehole, cunt. Gentlemanly efforts to converse with these linguistically-challenged anti-gentlemen are all-too-often interpreted as condescension, or, even more dangerously, as attempts to make fun of and/or belittle them. Their responses can be savage. To be showered with one word insults (usually in Anglo-Saxon) is to get off lightly. Physical violence bubbles ominously just below the surface of these cross-purposeful encounters.

To elicit the most aggressive response, however, nothing more is required than to give the anti-gentleman a direct order. Nothing riles him more than being told what to do. And, if the person telling him what to do happens to be a woman? Oh-boy – watch out!

Paradoxically, the more reasonable the request, the more unreasonable the anti-gentleman’s response is likely to be. Reasonableness belongs to the world of education and erudition – the world they have rejected on account of it being populated by wankers, women and gays. Accordingly, defying reasonableness is more than a one-fingered salute to those wankers’ effete other world: it’s an act of veneration; an offering to their dickish masculine god.

Ignoring the restrictions of Level-4 is a way of signalling their membership of the vast idiot fraternity of “You can’t tell me what to do!” More than that, however, it is a way of working out the fear of the Covid-19 virus that they feel, but cannot acknowledge in any other way except by getting right up in its face and daring it to do its worst – no matter what harm that might bring to everybody else.

Poor bastards. They have stripped themselves of the self-awareness that would allow them to see that puffing-up your chest and telling a micro-organism “You’re not the boss of me!” is not the behaviour of a man, but of a frightened and angry little boy.

 

 

21 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, the actions of this shitheel are reprehensible…..but what else has this situation exposed?

    Softcock attitudes by the authorities …as per usual.

    We have a repeat offender who has previously served time and deservedly so for another alleged prank that only a moronic feral dropkick would find funny.

    He shows he has not learned a thing and is happy to cause an affront to every decent person in NZ just to amuse himself.

    Our PM is so angry at his actions that he singles him out in her press conference. I can’t recall the last time a PM did that apart from another event in Christchurch last year.

    Charged with relatively serious offences by the police and is justifiably facing another well earned stint in prison.

    Is refused bail to the applause of almost every New Zealander.

    Nek minute…charges reduced to a pathetic “nuisance” charge where the maximum penalty is a wet bus ticket slap. He’s then immediately bailed. What a deterrent that is! When was the last time a NZ court dished out the maximum penalty for ANY offence?

    Even if that dropkick was handed the maximum penalty of $1000, how will he pay that? $5 a week from his dole for the next 200 weeks?

  2. Well said, Chris.

    Not to be overlooked is the fact that corporations have made a lot of money out of promoting infantile behavior amongst blokes and selling products/services that reinforce aggressive tribalism and selfishness.

  3. People lament that youth aren’t engaged in politics and voting goes down over time, I think that people aren’t interested in politics until they are effected by it (eg) having a business, owning a home, a mortgage, having children, etc and the age of getting round to doing these things has gone up. I think that many of the irresponsible quarantine breaker similarly lack the responsibilities and obligations that the rest of us have… the attitude is the law does its thing- I do mine, and bugger the law because its for all for ‘those people’. The law (and judgement of others) in the eyes of most young men (and those reliving their obligation free days) offers nothing useful to them for now and in that case is to just be ignored. Masculine bravado demands to be living in the moment not the possible consequences.

  4. “What we see is what’s left of the human male when everything dignified, intelligent, creative and compassionate has been edited out of the masculine narrative.”
    I don’t think it was so much edited out as never being there in the first place.
    “…is not the behaviour of a man, but of a frightened and angry little boy.”
    Yes. Exactly.
    ( Was he the guy looking as though he was wearing someone else’s false teeth by accident in the TDB caption competition? )
    I prefer to think of those kinds of men as being half cooked. They were taken out of the oven too quickly.
    They’ll do anything to prove they’re not the Gay, feminine, would rather be home knitting than being in an ugly public bar brawling, kind of person they really, actually fear they might be.
    “Them Gays are kind of cool and seem perky enough and since I relate to women I must be a Nancy skirt wearer which is why I have awesome sex with women and I like knitting! I knitted this jersey? Whad a ya think mate? Cool aye? ”
    In my humble and less than educated opinion though through my observations is that emotional hypersensitivity begins in the home. Commonly with an abusive father.
    It’s a dreadful chain linking unfortunate consequences together which, if left untreated, will lead to trans generational dysfunction.
    Big fleas and all that.
    “Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.
    And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
    While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.”
    Heterosexual female children of such home environments will more often than not go on to have dysfunctional relationships with abusive male partners, and male children of abusive homes will very often become abusers.
    That’s why the safety and security of the family unit is vitally important and good steerage from our politicians to achieve that is essential, vital and urgent.
    Which, of course, it isn’t.
    It seems to me that our politicians would rather have millionaires and billionaires than happy, healthy families leading happy, healthy lives while having time, space and money to express their creativity and nurture healthy social interactions.
    Most plants die from the roots up.
    That guy pictured above very likely never had a chance and if he has kids, neither will they.

    • I disagree with you country boy that guys like him never had a chance. It’s a shitty chance, but the vast majority of feminine men never really make it out of state housing but I know guys that do, Hone Harawira, my own grandfather. My Great Grand Mother was born on a dirt floor, my grandmother was born in a tent, my mother was born in a one bedroom flat, I was born in a hospital. That’s four generations from 3rd world to 1st world and we all cam from fatherless backgrounds.

      So how do people stop being a lossaholic?

      There’s nothing wrong with seeking out masculine men and emulating them. Being a copy cat might get you kicked out of university but it won’t get you kicked out of state housing projects, and it’s an absolute fallacy that to succeed you have to be a genius. I don’t consider myself to be a genius, Iv had my ups and downs and so have many people here. But the one thing we have is we worked, stuck to what worked, didn’t over celebrate and treated everyone as a business.

      Most people are able to do that, not everyone but most people are able to do that.

      One of the most obvious things to say is there’s no short cut. School just opens the door then education, and work ethic does the rest. Yknow if you think there are short cuts then you really will have “no chance.”

      Sceptical men stay alive and cynical males suffer paralysis. Has anyone worked with cynical people? How much longer have they made you’re day? How much energy have they drained from you with their negativity? There’s no room for cynicism, you either think you can do it or you can not.

      And we get plenty of cynical people coming to TDB saying its to hard, it’s Jacinda’s fault, or “I’ll never have the informational edge that we do.” There’s always people dragging us down, Yknow what ever, there’s no excuses.

      Men have one job and it’s pretty fucken simple. You get a payslip every week with a number at the bottom and your job is to make that number bigger.

  5. One of the many sins of neo-liberalism that this country has had to endure for 40 years was the introduction of alcohol advertising on television

  6. I just got laughed at by a young guy driving past in his car because I dared to walk out of my house with my wife in a skirt and purple tie dye leggings in Hastings. Most people should attribute my attire that I wear to some sort of non binary nonsense. It is no wonder these young men behave the way they do because society is worse for them now than ever. How can a male like I climb out of the past dogma without any labelling? I’m doing my best to show the way forward but there is not much influence for males to change. I mean for example why is fashion choice all of a sudden non binary when women have been wearing what they choose for a long time. In my opinion get rid of sexist idealism when it comes to masculinity. If one really want s to change the man box mental block.

  7. Give how many of these “idiots” spent 11 miserable years at school repeatedly getting the message that they’re stupid it’s hardly surprising that we have this problem. If we wanted to design a system to ensure a great many boys grew up to have a chip on their shoulder we probably couldn’t do a better job then we are now.

    I know universal education is something that the left sees as a lofty goal but we really need to look at the effect that daily experiences of shame and failure have on our boys. Every act of adult belligerence is driven by the absolutely core human need to rebel against the system that screwed them over. It also means every erudite gentlemen is perceived as a representative of that system – and the truth is a great many gentlemen have a great deal of difficulty hiding the their contempt for their poorly educate brethren.

    It’s class politics folks!

    • Aaron
      You sound like the new feminists. Everything is someone else’s fault. I never got a chance and is unfair to me.
      On the other hand when looking at unsatisfactory outcomes, the wise person or manager would find a way to change the systems being used until a successful method was found.

      I have experienced how hard it is to get boys at school to concentrate and learn something out of their immediate interests. Just one period on one day I was supporting an ordinary teenage boy to collect his thoughts, and write down something about his holidays; every suggestion I made was met with a dunno. All he could do was look at his friends and wish he was with them. Another boy, with all the library resources, got out a motor cycle magazine and flicked through the pages, making motor sounds – vroom, vroom.

      I looked up Donald Trump’s education and childhood; he was impossible to teach if he decided he didn’t want to know something. He’d sit and glower. Later he was sent to a military academy. That’s how they spoil the minds and imaginations of young men in USA. A recent UK book about the better schools for boys and young men posits that they grow up as cold individuals, not knowing loving family life because they are boarding, and their main interest and loyalties are to their schoolmates and their class privileges.

  8. Chris you make some very salient points here and i assume you have been on the receiving end of some of this behaviour more than once.

    After years of dealing with the very guys you refer too you learn how too get around the macho bravado and use it too your advantage.

    Being of sound intellect can have its advantages if you know how too convey the message too the group or persons you are communicating with.

    Putting things in layman’s terms when talking too the ” run of the mill ” kiwi bloke adding in some humor can go a long way with getting the message through and may even earn some respect if they can see you have your head screwed on and are making sense.

    Even the most challenged ( its hard too believe he beat 100,000 other sperm ) can respond if the message is conveyed in a certain way.

    But depending on the situation it can have limited success.

    Are we any different too our Aussie or American counterparts ? apart from the hardline law enforcement in both those countries where it is the cops that TELL you what too do and don’t engage in a debate like our police seem too while the alleged offender dictates the terms not the other way round.

    It is a deeply ingrained attitude with Kiwi guys and it seems too have no barriers from the wealthy and entitled too your every day struggling bloke this tendency too believe you have the right too do what you like and the rules just should not apply too you.

    It is no better demonstrated than on our roads and public highways.

    I see it everyday and these guys stand out a mile away in their utes , vans and expensive status symbols flaunting the road rules.

    Most guys will tell you they don’t like arrogance but so many are arrogant and they show it unconsciously in their attitude too authority and other people.

    If my boy wants too surf he is doing no harm and if i want too take my boat out i will and there is no way i am going too get the man flu if i do.

    And in this particular situation for some reason when you are in your car they can’t be reasoned with like a naughty child or out of control drunk should you dare too question their dangerous driving and that their behaviour could have killed the children in my car.

    It takes a pandemic too alert our attention too the group you talk about with so much more clarity than our usual ignorance of the behaviour of these ” dicks , goons and sons of bitches and that their actions directly threaten the lives of our families.

    Code of social responsibility anyone ? with an app of course.

    • Yeah, these guys are basically rebels without cause, as the title of a famous 1950s movie has it. Rebels without a clue, some would say, looking down and shaking their heads. Perhaps if they did realise their cause things would be more constructive.

  9. Only way to deal with the idiot fraternity is to lay them down flat, face down and keep them there until you’ve broken there will and they stop pushing back. Then hold them down a little longer just so they know who’s boss. Or you could try the long way.

  10. Decades have passed since the masculinity questioning “Whaddarya?” cry from Greg McGee’s “Foreskins Lament” play of the ’81 Springbok Tour era–but such withering accusatory statements are still made in modern parlance by angry boofheads from one end of this country to the other.

    I jettisoned most of my rarely seen old Queen St. male V8 mates as soon as they discovered Facebook–few of them seemed to have learnt anything whatsoever in 40 years. A seething anger about ‘something’ bugs them. I suspect it is existential questions like New Zealand’s first independent thinkers encountered, and the fall out from Roger’n’Ruth’s legacy, they just can’t articulate it like early progressive writers, artists and architects were able to. Some of the Female V8ers however are different, they have moved on and in many cases reinvented themselves in various ways and are good company even in 2020.

    I was lucky I guess and discovered art, literature and the Auckland International Film Festival etc. at a young age. There is a strong hardwired component along with upbringing and school decile, as to which fork in the road we all take–anti intellectualism or empathy and enquiry.

  11. Dunno, Chris, since time began, the male attributes have been valued, the only reason why those ‘English aristocracy’ attributes were made possible was because of the growth from hunter gatherer society’s to one of,…. servile men.

    Here’s Tom Sewid of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) First Nations Tribes, otherwise known as Canadian Indians. He was/is an elder and shaman of the tribe as well…

    This might be true with England or New Zealand, but there are many gritty types out there all around the world, real tough nuts who are the veritable salt of the earth.

    Have a listen :

    Sasquatch Chronicles – SC EP:328 Encounters around the …www.stitcher.com › podcast › bigfoot-hotspot-radio › sc-ep328-encount..

  12. Yesterday there was an argument about whether we got the government we wanted or we (cough) had no choice but to vote for neolib scum.
    The truth is we got what the majority asked for, and governments run very sophisticated algorithms to determine what we want and then give it to us, a ram rod up the arse.
    This is no different. NRL gives people what they want to see. Sure their business model is fallible, but no more than many others as we are now seeing.
    The point is, don’t be so pompous and elitist that you cannot see this.
    Unless of course you are.

    • What makes the All Blacks so great is:

      A pool of highly competitive talent

      Recruitment

      Training

      Management

      Tactics

      Economics which is the luxury of being a 1st world nation

      If you’re substandard in anyone one of these key areas then you will produce substandard rugby players relative to the All Blacks which is an area feminists don’t understand when they promote the idea that woman should play in the All Blacks.

      Replicating as much as possible the All Blacks brand and reputation so woman can have some sort of equality will not make woman rich, and it won’t make woman equal with the All Blacks.

      The All Blacks are physically the best New Zealand can produce. They’re big muscular guys, and you need huge amounts of testosterone for that which means they’ve bphot the Nui raarks (papa rakua, you get what I mean). So if you’re deficient in any of these areas you will not, no mater how hard some one screams will not achieve equality with the All Blacks. We can lower the standards for the standards of the All Blacks to bring them down to the standards of the woman’s divisions but we can’t raise the standard of the woman’s divisions so they equal the All Blacks.

  13. A system was started almost 2000 years ago to develop gentlemen who would be able to improve society yet it got taken over by the muscle bound male ego which lead to the dark ages. Any attempt to force acceptable behaviour will probably get support from enough of the population to become official although it is only decisions people are free to make that will eventually succeed in changing them.

  14. Makes me want to dust off and reattach the “Real Men Don’t Play Rugby” bumper sticker I made myself twenty years ago.

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