I gave up on publishing in Medium and deleted everything that I had published but I will reply here if that’s OK.

The video that you linked could be about Medium. Do this, don’t do this, you’re too, you’re not enough, you should, you shouldn’t, I’m a victim, you’re privileged… Since the zeitgeist of the 21st century is largely formed over the internet that is a thing.

I grew up in the shadow of WW2, was influenced by people who lived through the great depression and that war. That was probably the basis for me enlisting in the Marine Corps at 17 and arriving in Vietnam at 18. It was the thing a young man should do. I’ll keep my socioeconomic status from my formative years to myself for this. The implication of that is that I was raised with a worldview that I was responsible for providing and protecting the family that I expected to have one day. That was tempered a bit by my SE Asian wife who was happy to be a partner in that obligation in the land of the blue-eyed blond (what she called America). I still felt the weight of that obligation. Those were the days when men fixed their own cars, plumbing or anything else that they could do for themselves. I am very much a man of the age of male obligation, now called privilege.

Were/are there downsides to that? You’ve written about them at length and I agree and don’t need to repeats them. For most of my childhood (the 50’s and early 60s) my mother was the head of the household, with all that that implied. I worked with women who entered traditional male fields and had to prove themselves sometimes unfairly. The same could be said for the black and brown people I’ve worked with. Before I retired I trained and mentored people from other countries to replace Americans. I can’t tell you if the male and female engineers from India had issues with each other, I worked with both. They tept it to themselves if they did. All that is to say that times change, people move up, get displaced, have hardships, are victimized, etc. Life as it is.

The people who successfully rose from poverty and/or succeeded in spite of discrimination or class bias seem to me to have a more stoic attitude than the ubiquitous internet complainer. Fair? Of course not, but we’ve made strides.

Sorry, that’s not what you asked for but this time I’m not deleting it and leaving it as background.

To directly answer about my own personal experience with messaging around how to be a man — the things that have frustrated you, hurt you, made you mad or spurred you on to be more of your own person.

Fatherless, my primary male influences in childhood were my maternal grandfather, born at the end of the 19th century (a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do), uncles, scout leaders, coaches and my male friends who were under the influence of working class fathers. Maleness in the form that is criticised on Medium. Then came my drill instructors. I cannot over emphasize their influence. It was beyond what they understood as their goal was to make me a Marine. They had just returned from Vietnam. Harsh fighting on the rock pile. “You can write your congressman and have me thrown in jail for what I do. And while I’m there I’ll be thinking about all my good Marines.” Harshness that was beneficial preparation for what was to come. Hurt, pain and agony was our motto. Beneficial for a young Marine but they did nothing to take that out of our heads when we returned. As a result I threw more stress on myself than was healthy for the rest of my life. Contributor to me having a relationship with a cardiologist? I don’t know the answer to that.

You know enough about me to know that I’m a man of doubts who frequently says (writes), “I don’t know.” I look at data, all I can find, create spread sheets and write computer programs to analyze it — and form opinions. Opinions about data are not facts, they are opinions. I may well have more reason for confidence in my ideas than many who firmly believe in the rightness of their ideas, yet I often admit that I don’t know.

To quote Scott Adams, Being absolutely right and being spectacularly wrong feel exactly the same.

I may be too old at this point to radically change my opinion about maleness. In full disclosure, I worry about the world my grandchildren will have to navigate in part because of the changes in ideas about maleness that are coming to pass. Some good, some not so much. My response may end up an outlier best unwritten but here it is. The others will be tagging you. I’d like to read their thoughts so send a link when they write so I can read them.

Retired and living my golden years in a world full of angry people.

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