While thinking about “the male exodus” I made an interesting statement (I wrote an article on “the male exodus” called “Thoughts on “failing” boys and males “dropping out”: “the male exodus” . . . another account of the fight against dehumanization???” if you’re interested). The thought goes like this:
“For many males the world is ‘dead’ and uninteresting. There is nothing there. Because of this, there’s nothing to fight for and believe in. As a result of this, many males are not looking at the world as something they want. This makes it so they don’t want to be a part of it.”
This simple statement shows some interesting points about the male character and his association with the world.
The most important point is that it shows that the world needs to offer the male something . . . just because it’s there doesn’t mean he automatically wants to be a part of it. The world, in a sense, needs to ‘draw’ the male into it. It needs to “prove” its worth his effort. I shall speak of this quality as the ‘world-as-worth-the-effort tendency’. To put it simply, the world must have something that makes it worth seeking. It must have what I call ‘world worth’. This is particularly important as, for the male, the less the world has worth the less he wants to be a part of it. This means that the world must shows itself as something with worth.
Now, the ‘world’, as I use it, means the reality about the male and is that which he is ‘in’. This includes his situation, his environment, the existing historical conditions, and other things like that. This sense of the ‘world’ describes two forms of awareness:
- Of the male himself
- Of the world
As a result of these, the male innately perceives himself as removed and separate from the world and as something opposed to him. Therefore, for him to be a part of the world he must ‘take’ it, so to speak, so that he is not removed and separate from it. I call this the ‘taking tendency’. This tendency shows this process:
- The male perceives the world as separate and removed from himself.
- He see’s that it is worthwhile (that it has ‘world worth’).
- He ‘takes’ it.
- He and the world become a part of each other.
This ‘taking’ is really nothing but the making of the world as part of ones self. This is done by:
- Active participating with the world.
- Absorbing the world and making it a part of ones self.
This shows that the ‘taking’ of the world is a very personal affair for the male as what he ‘takes’ will become a part of his self and will contribute to who he is. As a result of this the ‘taking tendency’ greatly affects the males association with the world and how he behaves in it. In fact, it determines it. As a result of this, the males perception of ‘world worth’ is instrumental in his growth and behavior in the world.
What a male ‘takes’ is greatly influenced by their character. The general tendency is for the male to ‘take’ what suits and coincides with his character in the world. Or, to put it another way, he ‘takes’ what is relevant to him. This shows that the male character is very important in what he will do in his relation to the world:
- If he will ‘take’ something – the ‘taking tendency’
- If he will not ‘take’ something – the ‘turning away tendency’ (see below)
This shows that the male must see a ‘similarity’ between the world and himself. In other words, the male must see a resemblance between his character and the ‘character of the world’. In fact, if this connection is never made the male will never really ‘bond’ with the world that well. One could describe this as the ‘male/world character primacy’ meaning that there must be a ‘connection’ in character before any other connection with the world happens. Because of this, one of the first requirements of ‘world worth’ is a ‘connection’ between the male character and the world. Once this happens other qualities come into play that contribute to ‘world worth’ such as:
- The world must be relevant. It must display an importance with himself. In this way, the world as if becomes a ‘friend’, something with like characteristics.
- The world must be meaningful. It must show that it is not nonsense and has some order that he can relate to.
- The world must be attainable. The male must feel that he can attain it in some way. Otherwise, it has no value. Wanting something you cannot attain is like wanting property on the moon . . . something you will never have.
- The male must be a part of something when in the world. In reality, the ‘taking tendency’ describes a desire to be a part of the perceived world and what is in it. As a result, when there is no sense of being a part of something the world loses ‘world worth’.
- The male must feel needed in some way. He must feel that his association has value in the world.
- The male must have a sense of ‘more’. Typically, if there is no sense of ‘more’ the world appears stagnant and ‘dead’. The sense of ‘more’ makes the world ‘alive’, ‘mysterious’, and increases its ‘world worth’.
When things like these are lacking (that is, there is a low ‘world worth’) then the male tends to ‘turn away’ from the world. He just has no desire to be a part of it. This is the ‘turning away tendency’. When the male ‘turns away’ he does things like:
- He does not participate in the world.
- He does not absorb the world.
One can see that these are actually the exact opposites of the ‘taking tendency’, as described above. In this way, the ‘turning away tendency’ is actually the opposite and contrary to the ‘taking tendency’. In that way, it ‘negates’ it.
There are many conditions in life that tend to degrade ‘world worth’. Some are naturally appearing, some are conditions created by humanity. Some are occasional, some are constant. Some have minimal effects, some have major effects. Some cause no problems, some create conflicts. Life, in general, has created many conditions that tend to degrade ‘world worth’.
There are also many reactions to the degradation of ‘world worth’. Some reactions are helpful, some are damaging. Some help growth, some halt growth. Some build a person up, some bring a person down. In short, we see that the reactions to the degradation of ‘world worth’ are varied and can range from good to bad.
Some of the examples of the many conditions that degrade ‘world worth’, and cause the ‘turning away tendency’, include:
- Situations that do not reflect the males character. For example, a non-assertive person will tend to avoid, or ‘turn away’, from situations that require assertiveness. This type of reaction tends to have great influence on what a male does in life and how he behaves in it.
- Impossible situations. A situation that is impossible, or in which the male knows he cannot handle, are typically ‘turned away’. For example, most guys are going to avoid a situation where they have to fight 10 guys in hand to hand combat.
- ‘Red tape’, ‘bull crap’ and other perceived nonsense. When things appear ‘nonsensical’, or pointless, it tends to create a ‘turning away’ by the male. Typically, they will want to avoid that situation as much as possible. This shows the importance of meaning in the world and how important it is to ‘world worth’.
- The class struggle and other social strife. Various abuses of social conditions (such as unfairness of wages) creates a condition of ‘turning away’. These situations are often characterized by the fact that the male has no control and is helpless. As a result, he tends to become apathetic about it.
- Various forms of dehumanization. These conditions creates a situation where the male ‘can’t relate’ to the world. Accordingly, it is a form of helplessness. This condition often creates something like a stagnation or alienation in the male.
One of the things we can see is that the ‘turning away’ has a range from healthy to unhealthy. On one extreme it helps place the male in the best possible position in life (by following where his character best suits him). It also determines how to behave wisely in the world (such as avoiding impossible situations). On the other extreme it leads to something like an apathy, indifference, stagnation, or alienation, which is unhealthy. The main determining factor, it seems, of what makes it unhealthy is whether the male is helpless or not. To put it a better way, its unhealthy because its more of a situation where the male cannot ‘grasp’ the world he is in. This is not surprising as a major element of the ‘taking’, as I said above, is to absorb the world into his self. If he cannot ‘grasp’ the world he cannot absorb it. This inability to absorb makes it so that he becomes stagnant, apathetic, and such. This ends up impacting his self and his association with the world in an unhealthy way. This becomes particularly critical if this condition of being unable to ‘grasp’ the world repetitively appears or is constant.
But, nowadays, we are seeing a situation that is causing great inability to ‘grasp’ by the male: the creation of a more unhuman and dehumanizing world. This condition creates a great sense of helplessness or inability to ‘grasp’. This is because it does not cater to the ‘human’. As a result, there is, in actuality, nothing to ‘take’. In some respects the dehumanization of the world has made the world “fail” as something worthwhile to have. That is to say, dehumanization has caused great devaluation of ‘world worth’. This fact is being dramatically shown by “the male exodus” which is nothing but the male ‘turning away’ from the world.
This devaluation of the ‘world worth’ by dehumanization has a great irony about it as, at first glance, the modern world seems to “appear” to have all this stuff that, you’d think, would make it have great worth. But that’s not what the behavior is showing . . . males are turning away from it. This shows that there is an illusion with the modern world caused by a discrepancy between these two things:
- What the modern world “appears” to be. This gives the illusion that the modern world has worth.
- What the modern world lacks . . . namely, the ‘human’. Lacking the ‘human’ makes it irrelevant and degrades its worth.
This discrepancy shows that “the male exodus” is rooted in a deep inner sense: the sense of the ‘human’. Oddly enough, this appears to be a sense so deep that many people don’t even feel it or are not even aware of it. But, yet, they will react to situations that degrade it. This is the ‘human/unhuman discrepancy’, which is a strange phenomena of the modern world. It refers to these sort of reactions:
- A tendency to get “led away” by the illusions of things unhuman, generally thinking that they are human.
- The effects of these unhuman things later cause a reaction because they are unhuman, which often cause people problems.
- People are often not aware of their reaction or what caused it.
In other words, the ‘human/unhuman discrepancy’ describes a condition so deep that people can’t even tell the problems it causes in themselves. In effect, people superficially feel ‘dazzled’ by it all but, deep down, they feel its emptiness, or lacking, and may even have problems because of it. “The male exodus” seems to be a reaction to avoid this situation. In that sense, it is a ‘reaction to keep ones humanity’. Because of this, it actually describes a “healthy” reaction though its effects may not be.
One thing that is interesting is that you have all these guys who will only ‘use’ a small aspect of the modern world (such as computer games) but have absolutely no interest in anything else. In other words, with all the myriad varieties of creations of the modern world they are focusing on a miniscule amount of it. This fact shows that the world, on the whole, has become ‘uninteresting’ to the male and is no longer worth ‘taking’. Because of this the males will only focus on that small part that have some connection with and avoid the rest. I see this in a lot of guys nowadays.
What all this seems to show is that the modern world has, in a way, devalued the world and made the world “cheap”. Its become so “cheap”, in fact, that its not worth being a part of anymore. As a result, many males have turned away from it. In effect, the world has lost its ‘world worth’.
Copyright by Mike Michelsen