There is a spiritual crisis in the modern world. Yet nowhere does this appear more so than among men. Leaving aside statistics that put men at 90% or above for suicides, imprisonment, and combat deaths, etc., it is clear that less and less often do men have any examples of healthy masculinity by which to measure, and to improve, themselves.
Rarer still do men encounter an authentic initiation into manhood — by which we mean into a life of physical, mental, and spiritual transcendence, overcoming one’s own limitations. Indeed, the words “masculinity,” “manhood,” etc., have become associated with juvenile behavior that is self-destructive and, at the very least, disrespectful to women.
A recent article published by the Left-wing magazine Salon summed up the problem from their perspective:
If we are honest with ourselves, we have long known that masculinity kills men, in ways both myriad and measurable. While social constructions of femininity demand that women be thin, beautiful, accommodating, and some unattainable balance of virginal and fuckable, social constructions of masculinity demand that men constantly prove and re-prove the very fact that they are, well, men.
To put it more accurately, we can say that men are pressured to conform to what we might call ‘low masculinity’ (drunkenness, lack of restraint and intelligence, picking on those who — through size or numbers — are largely defenseless, etc.), just as women are pressured to conform to what we might call ‘low femininity’.
Men are not pressured to prove that they are gentlemen — by which we do not mean being smart, nice, and learned, exactly, but, rather, what the Chinese call Chun-tzu (the higher man).
In fact, if anything, men are pressured not to try to become the higher man, who, after all, is less interested in material things and fleeting pleasures, etc., and more interested in self-discipline, nature, respect for the Tao, and so on (such an attitude does not sit well with modern society, which believes that choice — and choosing as many different things, products, sexual partners, etc., as possible — is what matters).
Ultimately, concerned with the Chun-tzu, Phalanx represents a different — and a transcendent — way of looking at the world. It means developing our minds, bodies, and spirit, as well as our compassion. ‘Phalanx’ was the ancient Greek word for a military formation. This was a unit, a team, and its members had to work together to improve themselves and each other. As such, we don’t want to ‘shame’ anyone for their faults (we all have them). We want to help men to get over them.
Similarly, we don’t represent a kind of reaction against feminism. Women have experienced the worst of what we’re calling ‘low masculinity’ — sexual harassment and assault, rape, etc. — and opposition to feminism (no matter how misguided it can sometimes be) is not the answer. What is the answer, we believe, is to embody higher masculinity. Leave the low male and the low female to themselves. Look up, not down. Cultivate intelligence, a strong body, bravery, nobility, peacefulness, a sense of the numinous, and a desire to defend women, so that you can work with women who embody higher femininity, to create a better future.