The Way of Men is the book that cracked the code of masculinity. Advertisers create the illusion that masculinity can be bought. States and institutions want men to believe that masculinity is the product of obedience. Some say that masculinity is a measure of how many women a man has conquered in bed.
The Way of Men Summary
It’s about what men have always needed from each other if they wanted to win struggles against nature, and against other men. The Way of Men describes the four tactical virtues of the survival gang. The Way of Men explains what men want, and why they are rapidly disengaging from our child-proofed modern world.
It may be helpful to know what The Way of Men is not before diving in, else you may be left expecting there to be a Part 2. The Way of Men limits its scope of what manliness is in order to focus on the primal, core, innate characteristics of being a man that have been esteemed by other men throughout the ages.
It is not a book on how to be more successful in your career, yet I think it could help with that. It is not a book on how to keep your marriage strong or being a better father, though I believe what Donovan points out may do more good than many other books in that department. It is insight into how men view and respect each other even through the peace and ease of modern society. The Way of Men!
Deep down we still need to know if this guy or that guy could handle himself\benefit my gang\pull his own weight should the shit hit the fan.
If there is a truth that has been lost in the society of men is that we need other men in our lives to feel like a man. Donovan describes this as The Gang and he’s absolutely right. The concept is easy enough; 10-15 men that you can frequently associate with and do things together.
A hierarchical social order will develop naturally and the chiefs and Indians will be established. Where you stand as a man with that group depends on the following 4 virtues.
It’s what built us, shaped us, and molded us…without it, we wouldn’t exist. We have to go farther back than philosophy—farther back than Plato, Socrates, and even Thales.
You see a glimpse of this “code of masculinity,” that I’m referring to in ancient texts. Gilgamesh, Beowulf, even the Odyssey…but the code is only alluded to. It isn’t overtly stated.
Masculinity, in its simplest, most primal form, is the ability to protect the tribe, or the group. It’s the ability and willingness to defend those that you love, through hand to hand, physical combat. While this isn’t the limit of what masculinity is, one cannot deny that it’s an integral component of it.
In his book, The Way of Men, Jack Donovan postulates that all of this modern day masculine identity crisis is due to the complete lack of danger in our society. The Way of Men!
It was danger that separated men from women, for thousands of years. The men were the ones who dealt with danger. Their purpose was to keep the group safe by confronting and eliminating danger.
Masculinity meant your ability to protect your loved ones from danger. Nothing more, and nothing less. Without danger, however, men have become practically useless—and we feel it on a very intimate level; a spiritual level. This is, perhaps, why so many men experience existential crises nowadays.
Donovan does a good job boiling down the virtues by which men live and are judged to be considered good men. While women can be strong, for instance, a woman is not judged by her strength in the same way a man is. Keep in mind his line of thought comes from the judgments of men about other men and men about women in the us-vs.-them survival scenario.
If a woman can lift an ox, great, but if she can only carry some baskets and bear children she will have plenty of men lined up to lift the heavy things and woo her to continue his namesake. But, if a man is weak, it’s a strike against his manhood and his only hope is to do well in the other virtues to make up for it.
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About the Author
Jack Donovan is an American far-right writer and activist. A self-described masculinist, Donovan was an influential figure in the alt-right until he disavowed the movement in 2017. He has at various time advocated male supremacy, white nationalism, fascism, and the political disenfranchisement of women.