Thursday, May 23, 2013

Males Need to be Proud

Greg Swann goaded me into speaking again. Truth be told, I've been feeling guilty about all of the loose ends I haven't tied. I have unfinished posts about rape and the rational human mind that need to be posted, but, they're not easily completed.

I've been thinking a great deal about pride lately, since reading and digesting Greg's excellent e-book Man Alive and what it says about egoism.  I realized that fostering pride in youth is important because it is pride in oneself that helps us avoid bad decisions. Pride helps one resist harmful temptations. When I read the post that Greg's tweet was referring to, I realized that pride works right into that subject. I wrote the following comment there, incorporating the concept of pride:

Boys need something that they can feel good about. Mastering the kick-flip is a reason to feel proud. It gives you membership to the kick-flip club. You're inspiring others who now look up to you. You get cred from those who are already in it. You're bringing your own style to the move and expressing yourself to this society, earning a unique spot in the hierarchy.
In Dogtown and Z-boys, technical prowess was highly prized, but it was nothing without good style. You couldn't look like a dork on the board and hang with them, even if you were a good skater.
Boarders are creating their own world. It's come a long way from its subversive, anarchic beginnings, but, it has kept its rebellious nature. It burst forth from the streets to demand acceptance. Skate parks were built to contain and disperse its energy.
The question is, what is the boy looking for when he makes his way to the skate park? He is looking for something he can take pride in. Meaningful pride, not the fake "self-esteem" they manufacture at school. Pride is meaningful when it can be expressed outwardly, when the source of pride can be demonstrated. Self esteem is inward, feminine. It's the image one has of oneself. Pride is affected by how others view you. There's nothing worse than the poseur with false pride, the guy that acts the part but can't back it up. Skate parks obliterate that.
In the older days, everyone played baseball. Kids hung out at the diamond and played pick up. Bikes were utilitarian. No bar spins. No jumps. No bunny hops. No half pipes. My father used to put is .22 over the handlebars and ride out to his favourite bush for some rabbit. Riding home with dinner hanging over the handlebars gave him a sense of pride like no other. He understands pride. He may not understand skateboarding, but, he knows why it exists.
Boys today aren't allowed to feel proud of themselves. Pride is masculine. Boys being proud are shamed for the "sins" of their fathers. The masculine has been demonized, poisoned. Masculine pride is sullied by its supposed connection to the patriarchy.You want to be a proud father and husband, you're proud to be an oppressor. Proud to be part of a system that abused and enslaved women.
Skating rolls right around all that bullshit. Its as artistic as painting. It's a dance with no partner. A sport with no rules. No one gives a fuck where you're from or what you think. Land that trick and you're cool. You're allowed to be proud.
Pride is not a negative trait. It's essential for a person to make good decisions. When every action is first acted upon oneself, only a proud person can be counted on not to commit malicious acts against others. Want to prevent rape? Want to reduce bullying? Want to reduce suicide. Foster pride. Foster pride by self-expression and self-determination.
Want good men? Pride will turn more boys into good men. Men who can stand alone and be admired by women.
Who knows? Prideful men might even inspire women to show develop some pride.

No comments: