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He told the New York Times in These factors regularly determine who gets hired, who gets convicted and who gets elected.

A University of Georgia study found that employers of any race prefer light-skinned black men to dark skinned men regardless of their qualifications. Even darker-hued white people have different experiences than their lighter-hued Caucasian counterparts when it comes to access and resources. Colorism is so deeply ingrained in the fabric of this nation that we are all implicated and infected by its presence.

And the sad thing is, for many people the lessons of color bias begin in the home. In black families, Latino families, Asian-American families and obviously interracial ones, too, skin colors can vary in microscopic gradients or in obvious shades of difference. Luckily many parents are able to create a safe-space in the home where skin color differences only matter when it is time to buy sunscreen for the beach. But too often, the pervasiveness of a color hierarchy in the outside world seeps into the household and becomes part of the implicit and explicit teachings of parenting.

That is not to say that the solution to solving our color problem as a country lies in the home, but that is precisely where the conversation should begin. Then, we could have a more public facing, cross-cultural dialogue about the more global problem of colorism and plot its necessary demise.

You can come back to this letter later. Prioritize women and people of color in your networking. Make an effort to increase the diversity of your incredibly homogenous friendship group. Give extra critical consideration to things white men say. Read this and this and this and this and this and this. Equity even over equality, my friend. Your education, and the fight itself, will last for the rest of your life. You should have started it 90 days ago. This is that letter, and many resources and ideas that she shared contributed to this.

Finally, thanks to Mike Arauz and my partner Steph who inspire me to critically consider diversity and equality every day. It seeks to wed tradition to the realities of modernity in order to create a pathway that both reaches back and moves men forward. It is positive and proactive. Joining up is voluntary, and can be done by any man, in any circumstances, in any time. It does not require the culture around you to change or women to change. It is only dependent on you and your desire to live semper virilis — always manly. Theodore Roosevelt was born to a wealthy family in New York City.

Roosevelt could have easily settled into a life of cosmopolitan comfort. But after a stern talk from his father , young Teddy chose a different path for himself. And Roosevelt kept this code to a T. His adolescence was spent exercising and building up his once frail body. He took up boxing in college and became a competitive fighter. After his wife and mother died on the same night , instead of wallowing in grief and despair, Roosevelt headed out to the badlands of the Dakotas to take up cattle ranching.

By striving to live the hard way in his younger years, Roosevelt armed himself with the fire and fight he needed to succeed in the political, social, and intellectual challenges of his later life. Even as a middle-aged U. He stayed ever ready for whatever adventures and exploits might await him.

And what exploits they were. Roosevelt served as police commissioner, governor, assistant secretary of the navy, and president the youngest ever to assume the office. When war broke out with Spain in Cuba, Roosevelt put together his own volunteer unit and led them in a charge up San Juan Hill.

He was a devoted husband and father of six children. He read tens of thousands of books and penned 35 of his own. After his days as President were over, he set out on an expedition to explore an uncharted part of the Amazon River and nearly died in the process. All throughout his life, Roosevelt had the choice to reject the masculine code, but he never did. What was the use of masculine strength when new machines could do the work of twenty men?

With the frontier closed, what use was there for the old pioneer qualities of ruggedness and self-reliance? Why bother guiding your life by an idea of manhood that was formed in another time and is no longer suited for our modern, plush, techno-industrial world? That trying to be a man these days will simply get you taken advantage of by a system that no longer appreciates the effort.

While living the code of man might have once partly, even primarily, been about what you got from others in return, today it is something you need only do for yourself. It will lead to friendships with other great men, and assuredly make you more attractive to women.

But it is also simply the best way to live your own life, regardless of whether or not anyone else notices or cares. I submit several reasons for your consideration:. Those who landed a mate and the opportunity to have children were the men who tried to prove themselves, who dared to take risks, who ventured out and explored, who had the intelligence, strength, and courage to become successful. The men who did not take the gamble, or who did not have the prowess to be successful when they did, died childless.

What this means is that we are all descended from the strongest, fastest, smartest, bravest men of the past: It is not a stretch to conclude that the blood of greatness runs through our veins. Some men squander it on a mediocre life of porn, video games, and corporate dronism. Their fiery thumos lies neglected and unused; it is as if a fine horse bred for racing was being used for pony rides at kiddie parties. Tethered to a pole, he plods in endless circles, his muscles atrophied, his eyes downcast.

By activating the switches of your ingrained masculine wiring and programming — even in small ways — all of your being comes online. Who knows when the world will need men shaped and molded by the ancient ideal of manliness? Maybe the doomsayers and zombie apocalypse fans will be right and some natural or human upheaval will shake society so violently that we resort to a Hobbesian state of nature with marauding gangs wandering the grey landscape just like in The Road.

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Semper Virilis: A Roadmap to Manhood in the 21st Century

I want to be able to look my wife and kids in the eye and say: Even if society never unravels or blows up, the man who spends a lifetime cultivating the traits inherent to the code will have the confidence, resourcefulness, and mental fortitude to be ready for whatever comes. How many of us have found that the anticipation of Christmas or a vacation is more enjoyable than the occasion itself!


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Learning new skills, practicing for various scenarios, trying out different equipment is all quite enjoyable. Such preparation also keeps your body strong and your mind sharp. Eisenhower joined the military, he had a great desire to serve his country and to lead men into battle. But after graduating from West Point in , he was given assignments which revolved around training troops and coaching the Army football team. When World War I started, Ike saw his opportunity to finally see action and was eager to get right into the field. He applied several times for overseas duty, but his requests were denied.

Ike fell into a general gloominess. But though he felt his talent was being wasted, he continued to contribute as much as he could, in whatever capacity he could, to the war effort. He was given the opportunity to command a troop in Europe, and he began preparing for every exigency… except one: He considered leaving the military and entering civilian life, but decided to stay in. And so Eisenhower continued on in the military, doing his best and serving with honor in whatever assignment he was given. Even when given administrative desk jobs, he acted well his part.

And then 30 years — 30 years! Because Eisenhower always strived to do his best and remain ever ready to serve in a crisis, he was prepared to rise to the challenge and performed splendidly.

You are a white, heterosexual, cisgender man. A letter to myself.

But instead of giving up, we should be like Ike by remaining ever ready to answer the call of: Striving to live by the code of man and taking the hard way just makes life more satisfying — at least it has for me. And sacrifice and discipline constitute the only route to creating value in the world and leaving a legacy — the only path to true happiness. According to the ancient Greek historian Xenophon, Socrates cited this tale while making a case against indolence and in favor of the hard way. The story remained popular throughout the eighteenth century; John Adams used it to guide his life and even wished to make an illustration of the tale the design for the Great Seal of the new nation.

Each seeks to convince the young man as to why he should choose to pursue their respective paths. The goddess of Pleasure goes first, and promises Hercules that he will find happiness in a carefree life of luxury and ease — one in which he can gratify all of his desires, whenever he wishes. This makes me hope you will gain, both for yourself and me, an immortal reputation.

Lessons in Manliness From Hardboiled Detective Philip Marlowe

But, before I invite you into my society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must lay down this, as an established truth, that there is nothing truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labor. The gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the favor of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshiping him: In short, if you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the qualifications that can make you so.

These are the only terms and conditions upon which I can propose happiness.

POWER Lyrics

The goddess of Pleasure here broke in upon her discourse: To eat before you are hungry, drink before you are athirst, sleep before you are tired; to gratify your appetites before they are raised. Your votaries pass away their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up anguish, torment, and remorse, for old age.

The banquets of my votaries are never costly, but always delicious; for none eat and drink at them, who are not invited by hunger and thirst. Their slumbers are sound, and their wakings cheerful. My young men have the pleasure of hearing themselves praised by those who are in years; and those who are in years, of being honored by those who are young. In a word, my followers are favored by the gods, beloved by their acquaintances, esteemed by their country, and after the close of their labors, honored by posterity.

Hercules, of course, chooses the way of virtue — the hard way — the path to real pleasure, true happiness, and immortality. All things modern researchers have told us are the keys to a satisfying, happy life. In short, living the code of man pushes us to be our best, to use all our potentialities, and so to achieve eudemonia — full flourishing.

By choosing the hard way, you have decided to place yourself among the elite of men. As you pursue this course of life, you will need to seek to incorporate specific elements of the code of manhood into your life. As you do so, you should guide your actions and decisions by a set of overarching principles. Protect, Procreate, and Provide. Remember that each of the pillars is important and each interacts and relates with the other.

It may be tempting to focus on the pillar of manhood that appeals to you the most or is simply the easiest to achieve, but you do so at your own peril. Building all three pillars of your manhood awakens all the dimensions of primal masculinity, ensures that all of your human potentialities are exercised, and leads to a life of eudemonia. Much of this roadmap applies equally well to females who are seeking to live a good life, and there are certainly women who are drawn to traveling the hard way.

There is a good deal of overlap, particularly in the Provide and Procreate pillars, that men and women alike should pursue. Men are generally stronger than women, more expendable, and have a tendency for risk-taking, exploration, and dominance. For this reason, the Protector role really acts as the cornerstone of the edifice of manhood. The twisting and contorting of the pillars mentioned above is most apt to happen when it is weakened or missing in the lives of men.

We see that today in the United States. Far too much of the weight of manhood has shifted to the Procreation pillar, and sex has become the primary source of a manly identity for many young men. Instead of playing a part in a healthy, well-rounded life, we have a society of young men who devote all their time and energy to becoming master pick-up artists or who stare dead-eyed all day at online porn. Our wise ancestors foresaw this inevitability, and sought to strengthen the Protector pillar in order to strengthen manhood, and society as a whole.

For example, Socrates and Aristotle argued that a strong body made a strong mind and that courage on the battlefield or in the wrestling ring translated to courage in the intellectual and moral arenas. Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophers such as Montaigne, Rousseau, and the Founding Fathers urged men to beware of effeminate-inducing luxury by taking part in vigorous bodily exercise, living Spartanly, and being well-versed in martial skills.

All of this is to say that to truly live the code of man in our modern world, an emphasis on the Protector or warrior role is required. I sincerely believe that this dimension of masculinity is what modern men lack most acutely in their lives. The fire and fight of the Protector pillar carries over to the pursuits and battles of the soul. But it is doable: Our Promethean moment was a moment only, and in the wreckage of its aftermath a world far humbler, far less grand and self-assured, begins to emerge.

Civilization will either destroy itself, and us with it, or alter its present mode of functioning. And culture…will of course continue but likewise change. The realm of ideas and symbols will have to be lived closer to the bone. Another thing to keep in mind as you chart your own roadmap to manhood in the 21 st century: At the very core of the ancient code of manhood is hunting and fighting.

But they are also, of course, no longer activities most men participate in on a regular basis. Instead, men spend their time engaging in abstractions of these traditionally manly pursuits.

Such competitions, though they do not require the level of fire and fight of true battle, can still be quite fulfilling. So too can hands-on hobbies that challenge our minds and bodies and lead to the pursuit of mastery. The average man who has time on his hands turns out to be a spectator, a watcher of somebody else, merely because that is the easiest thing. He becomes a victim of spectatoritis—a blanket description to cover all kinds of passive amusement, an entering into the handiest activity merely to escape boredom. Granted freedom, many men go to sleep—physically and mentally, organically and cortically.

Not having the drive for creative arts they turn to pre-digested pastimes, prepared in little packages at a dollar per. This has literally thrown us into the gladiatorial stage of Rome in which the number of participants becomes fewer and the size of the grandstands, larger.

Spectatoritis has become almost synonymous with Americanism and the end is not yet. The stages will get smaller and the rows of seats will mount higher. Nash, Spectatoritis , This satisfaction decreases as a man moves further away from the core of manhood, and starts dealing in abstractions of abstractions.

Instead of playing a sport, men will watch other men play sports on TV or play the sport on a video game. Instead of setting off on their own adventures, they browse through the adventures of others on their Instagram feed. You can see it in the Procreator role when instead of having actual sex with real, live women, men watch other men have sex with women on their computer. In terms of the Provider role, some men endlessly read about starting successful businesses, but never pull the trigger and actually start their own.

Even primitive tribes had sports and good-natured brawls and sat around the fire listening to storytellers spin the tales of the manly deeds performed by their ancestors. Sports and hobbies and creative work are all highly enjoyable pursuits that contribute to your becoming a well-rounded man. And pondering, studying, and even watching other men do manly things can lend our lives needed direction, guidance, and inspiration.

If you really want to experience the ancient code of manhood at its most concrete, primal core, hunt, fight, and procreate. Instead of spending all day Saturday watching other men play basketball, get a group of guys together for a pick-up game. Instead of masturbating to porn, have sex with your wife. You get the idea. Too often manliness is presented as an all or nothing proposition: Anything else is just empty pretend play that cannot ultimately satisfy.

For most men, neither proposition is desirable or practical , and they thus find themselves stuck between what seems like a rock and a hard place: I strongly reject this all or nothing proposition. Instead, think of your primordial male characteristics as power switches that are either on or off. Just because you cannot live exactly like your manly ancestors, does not mean you cannot do something. Take the parts of masculinity that have been an integral part of manliness for thousands of years and try to have some semblance of them going on in your life.

Not to the extent that they were manifested in primitive times, but present nonetheless. Paleoists look to the past for the spirit, not the letter of the law. We should do likewise with manliness. Use the traditional code of manhood as a framework, modify it to fit our modern landscape, and simply flip the switch. When men do terrible things in our modern society — wreck the economy, thwart political compromise, commit violent crime — their masculinity is to blame.

Yet when men do great things — make technological and scientific breakthroughs, jump from space , kill terrorists — their masculinity is seen as irrelevant to the accomplishment. In truth, both of these are sides of the very same coin: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed and can be used for either good or ill. Societies around the world for thousands of years understood this truth, and wisely constructed outlets to exercise and channel masculine energy towards the collective good. Today, such built-in outlets have largely vanished from the landscape.

Competition, recess, and physical education have been stripped from schools; military service is not compulsory; strength-requiring labor, both in the workforce and at home, is no longer necessary; fighting over honor, outside a gym or ring, will get you hauled into court. Below I outline the elements that should be part of the training program of every recruit to the Manhood Reserve. Each is essential in flipping the switches of your innate masculine energy.

For each element, I have suggested some concrete ways to incorporate it into your life. But exactly how you go about activating the elements is really up to you. The most important thing is to read this and do something — to take action on it. What I offer here is a framework. In writing this chapter, I quickly discovered that to give each element a complete treatment would turn this short book into a huge one. Some we have written about previously, and others we will be returning to and expanding on over the years to come. So for each element I have pointed to further articles of ours on the subject for those interested in learning more.

Those titles that do not yet include a hyperlink are placeholders for articles which are planned for the future. After their publication, this post will be updated with the link. Testosterone is the fuel that will power you along the road to manhood.

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Strength of character, sure, but physical strength was more of a secondary pursuit. Physical strength constitutes one of the few and most significant differences between men and women. If the Protector role represents the core of masculinity , then physical strength forms its very nucleus. You can call it stupid or silly or archaic, but it all goes back to the way we evaluate men — could they keep the perimeter in a crisis? Thus, if you want to feel more like a man and be treated like one , seek to build your body. But being strong is never a disadvantage. Even in our safe environment, strength still comes in handy.

But are you prepared to fight for your principles? Strength and virtue are not mutually exclusive pursuits; strength is what secures our virtue onto us. Just as we sometimes set up a false dichotomy between virtue and strength, so do we too often present brains and brawn as mutually exclusive. Many great men in history , including philosophers and men who made their living with their minds, rejected this phony divide, and emphasized the importance of building bodily strength and mental strength.

Finally, besides the practical and spiritual benefits that accrue to the physically strong, it just feels awesome knowing you can hoist a lot of weight off the ground. The first time I deadlifted lbs and saw the bar bending in the mirror, I felt like a beast. I let out a primal shout of achievement and carried that feeling with me the rest of the week. Not every man has the physiological make-up to get huge and ripped. But every man can become strong er , than he is now. Whatever your other interests, no matter your build, if you want to feel your most virile, get acquainted with the iron.

We certainly admire toughness in women as did primitive cultures around the world. But, a greater degree of mental and physical toughness is expected from men. Even if it is no longer demanded of them. We live in a society where you practically never have to spend a single minute of your life uncomfortable.

Our day is spent going from a climate-controlled house, to a climate-controlled car, to a climate-controlled office and back again. Ample, calorically dense food is never more than a few feet away. We can go an entire week without a piece of our shod and clothed skin touching a patch of dirt or brushing against a plant.

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Are you seeing a common theme here? Toughness is a skill that can be honed like any other, and can be broken down into two aspects: Physical toughness includes the ability to take abuse and keep functioning, to recover quickly, to adapt to difficult terrain and contexts, and to tolerate adverse conditions without flagging. You can run on a treadmill, no problem. How would you do running up a rocky, root-strewn hill? Everybody can take a hot shower — can you turn the knob all the way to cold without screaming like a little girl?

How far could you backpack in a single day before crying uncle? Work to develop your physical toughness by increasing your strength in a wide variety of environments and boosting your tolerance to pain and discomfort. Mentally tough men are able to stay calm, cool, and collected when things in their life — big and small — go awry.

They follow the wise way of the Stoics. I think this proposition comes from a well-intentioned place, but is ultimately misguided. We have not taught them the rich nuances that were part of the code for thousands of years. To actually teach it in its fullness.