Academy of Ideas: Why are So Many Men Psychologically Infantile?
Academy of Ideas- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxePuWBABKk&ab_channel=AcademyofIdeas
A man can’t go out the way he came in…a man has got to add up to something!
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
In our previous series on Carl Jung and the Man-Child, we looked at why the phenomenon of the “man-child” is so prevalent in our times. We argued that due to the demise of the traditional family and an absence of rites of initiation, many boys lack male role models to show them the way to manhood, and so they are emerging into adulthood stuck in what the authors Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette called “boy psychology”.
In this series, we are going to provide a guide for how to outgrow boy psychology and attain manhood. To do this, we are going to look away from contemporary Western culture, which is overwhelmed by ideas which view masculinity as toxic, and approach the topic of manhood from an anthropological point of view. Drawing from David Gilmore’s classic book Manhood in the Making, we will examine what differing cultures across the world have thought regarding the question “what does it mean to be a man?”. The purpose of this examination will be to isolate the traits, virtues and attitudes essential to manhood, thereby creating a “map of manhood” we can use to outgrow our boy psychology and achieve the benefits which, cross-culturally, are the prerogative of the potent man.
“In the present crisis of masculinity we do not need, as some feminists are saying, less masculine power. We need more. But we need more of the mature masculine. We need more Man psychology. We need to develop a sense of calmness about masculine power so we don’t have to act out dominating, disempowering behavior toward others.”
Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
To begin we must differentiate between biological maleness and manhood. Practically all cultures across the world acknowledge that a man is a biological male by virtue of being born with male reproductive organs. Manhood, on the other hand, is not defined by the presence of physical characteristics alone; it must be achieved. The aboriginal Fox tribe of Iowa call the attainment of manhood “the Big Impossible”, which only the masterful few can attain. Unlike biological sex, manhood is not a given but a prize to be won. As the 20th century American author Norman Mailer wrote:
Nobody was born a man; you earned manhood provided you were good enough, bold enough.
Or as David Gilmore explains: https://academyofideas.com/2021/01/why-are-so-many-men-psychologically-infantile/