It’s pretty clear that our day to day lives in the US have become far more regulated and dull than the lives of Americans a generation ago. We technically have freedoms, but they have been systematically stripped from us through economic and institutional pressure. For example, political correctness on campus, which was simply an expression of militant leftism back in the 1980s, has been codified at most schools, and both students and professors who run afoul of the speech standards will pay a price. Writing something politically provocative online, or simply saying it to a coworker, can often result in failure to get some job or even outright firing. People are frightened to voice their opinions — and for good reason.
But it goes a lot farther than that. Regulations around parenting are more comprehensive than ever, so consequently we see far fewer kids playing outside than we used to. Another obvious result of the increased regulation of society is our extremely high incarceration rate, but the effects are felt far beyond the walls of correctional facilities.
There is something to be said for this regimentation of society; kids are safer than they used to be, crime has dropped, accidental death rates have declined and productivity has arguably increased. But at what cost comes this nanny state?
I’d argue that part of the price we pay is our very masculinity, which has become suspect and all but criminalized. Masculine values, such as speaking one’s mind without regard for social conventions or political correctness, have taken a back seat to “harmony” and getting along. Schools have become utterly dull institutions where young men are bludgeoned into silence by an overwhelming consensus about what is acceptable. Dishonesty has become the norm in media, where platitudes take the place of frank, open honesty. Additionally, while those who have political privileges strive to create extra penalties for those who criticize them (e.g. hate crime laws), those who are out of favor become eternal scapegoats toward whom it is permissible – even encouraged – to direct invective.
Although the rights put in place by the founding fathers still exist on paper, the spirit of those times is utterly gone. We have gone from a nation of fiercely independent, egalitarian men to one of sniveling cowards and scraping sycophants. SWPL social conventions dominate our higher institutions, where there is no room for a dissenting, masculine voice. In fact, even the Tea Party, which is something of a reaction against this state of affairs, has come to be dominated by ambitious women, possibly because nobody can imagine a man getting away with speaking his mind in a radical, confrontational manner.
There will always be those of us who will break the mold and speak our minds anyway, whether it be due to our nature, circumstances or simply lack of concern for the unwritten rules, but it is tragic that so many men do not believe they have this opportunity. However, this can change. Many of the consequences of speaking out are far less severe than people imagine, and in many cases the result is an increase in one’s mental health and a rise in perceived quality of life. Being open and honest is liberating, and can lift the spirit. It is also empowering, in that people will often find that others agree.
Finally, there is only one way to gain respect for masculinity: exercise it.