Fragility of Masculinity

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And one of the things that Esther Perel said to me that was very interesting is that she was reconsidering masculinity. And she said that masculinity is clearly an incredibly powerful thing. But she hadn't appreciated that it is as fragile as it is powerful, that the number of ways of invalidating men is quite high, and that there is some sort of dependence on kind of a bargain in which men tend to be more disposable, particularly in times of war and conflict, let's be honest about it. And that there is something both extremely powerful, but also fragile about the concept of masculinity itself.

It's very difficult for us, even in our society, to find things that are wholly positive, that we ascribe to the concept of masculinity, that we would deny to the concept of femininity. We've gotten to a point where we're just unsure, it would seem, as to whether or not there's a compelling reason for half of humanity.

Now, war, of course, is an easy counter to that. But, the more distance we've gotten from World War Two, I worry that we've forgotten exactly why men exist, in terms of their full complement of abilities and skills and functions. Do you think that there's anything to the concept that masculinity may be intrinsically fragile? Like, it's subject to veto. If you say, you know, if you do something that's heroic, let's say and nobody chooses to acknowledge it, or like, "well, you're showing off", you know, it's a very hard thing to protect.

-Eric Weinstein on The Portal #6