“A guide for a gentleman” to fight for masculinity in the midst of toxic feminism
The 21st century has not been good for people in the developed world. By most metrics, they lagged behind women in school, at work and at home. More and more women are now choosing to opt out of marriage and children altogether because, among other reasons, there are simply too few good men to start a family and have a family with. It seems a lot of men are fine with this, contenting themselves with beer, porn, and video games.
There are various reasons for this situation, but at the top of the list is the breakdown of the family and the absence of fathers. With fewer male role models, it logically follows that boys are more likely to become losers who can barely take care of themselves, let alone a wife and children.
The influence of media and technology is linked to this reason. Filling the void left by an absent father, the vast majority of boys are raised by the screen. While their father would teach his son virtue and play with him, now it’s Disney who indoctrinates his son with anti-man narratives and Nintendo keeps him company while he plays alone inside.
However, there is an alternative explanation for the decline of men, or at least one that goes further: modern feminism, an ideology that has vilified men, denigrated the family, and “liberated” women in the household. It can be argued that feminist ideology in schools, in the media and even in the legal system has collectively crippled men and made women actively compete with them, if not outright destroy them.
While choosing one of these explanations on its own doesn’t necessarily solve the dull man problem, it ultimately sheds light on any proposed solution. Most guides to manhood and personal success tend to focus on the first two causes: bad role models and bad habits. However, the recent book by writer SK Baskerville, Gentleman’s Guide to Manners, Sex, and World Governance, seeks to tackle this latest cause of modern feminism, as the subtitle suggests: “How to Survive as a Man in the Age of Misandry and Do it With Grace”.
Baskerville’s other goal in this book is to steer the conversation away from adopting popular poses of suave manhood (“being like David Niven or Lawrence Olivier, tying a bow tie, mixing up a martini and dancing the quadrille”) and discuss “the logic behind the rules [of being a gentleman]. “Too often men’s advice tends to dwell on these caricatures of masculinity without explaining the rationale. If that’s all the reader wants, he can read a number of manhood textbooks that cover” the different options for tying a tie, landing a plane and other daily necessities â.
So what is the underlying principle of masculinity? According to Baskerville, it is leadership: âTo be a man has always meant to be a leader, and that will always mean thatâ¦ Leadership is not an option but an imperative; it also comes with the Y chromosome. All other manly virtues like strength, courage, and industry all stem from the idea that a man should lead and take responsibility. Plus, becoming a leader is all the more important in an age when true masculinity is deemed toxic and men are being urged to step back.
It is with this deeper goal in mind that Baskerville discusses the “basics” of gentlemanly habits. A lot of it is common sense: don’t use profanity, dress like a redneck, avoid silly clichÃ©s and colloquialisms, avoid vices, learn to write well, exercise and pay attention. to others, etc. Baskerville takes the time to explain the logic of every gentleman’s habit. As a man, it is essential to project an image of maturity and seriousness. Dressing like a kid, talking nonsense, and lacking in self-control all hurt this.
In his next chapter, Baskerville expands his discussion to the gentleman lifestyle, focusing on dance, music, sports, guns, military service, church, and philanthropy. While there isn’t much to unite these activities besides being things a gentleman should think about, the discussion is quite pleasant. On the contrary, Baskerville demonstrates here that conservative principles go hand in hand with being a gentleman: he exercises his autonomy, can defend himself and his country and takes responsibility for himself and his community.
Perhaps the strongest discussion in this book (aside from the introduction) is Baskerville’s treatment of the upbringing of a gentleman, in which he skillfully cuts through the pretense and sophistication that pass for sophistication. Nowadays. He rightly scoffs at the fancy degrees peddled by “prestigious universities” and provides a beautifully succinct summary of a liberal education, which would create “men with the right character and the right outlook, with full educations and self-confidence. self to acquire more as needed â. These men learned professional skills on the job, but learned to think, live and behave in college.
Recognizing that most universities forgot about this original goal, Baskerville follows this with a quick guide to the right education in literature, history, philosophy, music, art, science and math, and foreign language – essentially liberal DIY education. Unlike similar âmust readâ lists of education essentials, Baskerville’s is surprisingly achievable. An average man with a normal full-time job could easily get by in a few years of free time.
Sadly, following the strongest chapter in the book is perhaps the weakest chapter on âWomen and Family Life,â where Baskerville launches his indictment against feminism and its effects on the home. To be fair, it’s tasked with solving a difficult dilemma: Most women want a strong man who can support themselves and their potential children, but most women also want to be self-reliant and independent.
The best answer Baskerville can find is to seek out a “lady” who abides by the rules of courtship and does not seek to emasculate potential suitors. Unfortunately, these women are rare, which leads Baskerville to suggest looking far, even if it requires looking at women in other parts of the world. Unlike Baskerville’s educational recommendations, her advice on dating and relating to the opposite sex seems rather out of touch and easy.
When it comes to marriage and sex, Baskerville’s advice is a bit better. He is aware of the cheap view people have of marriage today, especially hedonistic young men, and argues that, on the contrary, marriage is about keeping masculinity in culture: “protecting the bond between fathers. and their children and, with her, the intact family. Moreover, for the gentleman, marriage and children quite simply come with the land: âThe best training to rule the world is to start with those you love.
Nonetheless, despite attempting to remain constructive, Baskerville cannot seem to restrain his resentment and paranoia towards feminist indoctrination: “It is women, especially politically radicalized women … who will gain the upper hand, many of whom do not like. men you. âWhether one agrees with that statement or not, it’s hard to see how it makes anything constructive. If Baskerville intends to encourage caution, he might just say so instead of giving l The impression that the majority of women today hate gentlemen, on the contrary, this statement serves mainly as a moral escape for men who have failed.
Indeed, and Baskerville conveniently omits this detail. Too many men have suffered from their own mistakes, not because of a feminist boogeywoman. Nowhere in his book does he address the common addictions (pornography, alcohol, drugs, video games) that hold back the majority of modern men, especially young men. While it can be argued that breaking these habits and assuming the male leadership role is implied, more needs to be said in the interest of relevance and practicality.
It is only too late that Baskerville appears to be addressing the problem of mediocre masculinity, as he urges men in his conclusion to take matters into their own hands and “stop taking the position that the world is unjust and unjust. that it is your duty to take every opportunity to tell the world why it is so unfair. “So, after a promising start and a well-developed background, the conclusion of Baskerville’s argument on masculinity falls somewhat to flat.
That’s not to say it’s not fun to read. True to his subject matter, Baskerville writes like a gentleman: he is witty, concise, and approachable without being unnecessarily rude or blunt. His search for other men’s guides throughout history also helps distinguish his effort from others and provides useful context for ongoing conversations about masculinity.
Overall, Baskerville’s case for men to become gentlemen is mostly solid, if a bit flawed. He relaunches the gentleman’s argument which has waned in recent years and advances the good positions. But, it will be up to his gentlemen readers to continue this momentum and apply his wisdom to the young men of today.
Yes, men find it difficult to adjust to a more feminized world, and they sure could use a little more sympathy and support, but they also have the power to be assertive and to be the leaders, the fathers. and the husbands they were meant to be. As Baskerville successfully establishes, being a gentleman is not a matter of social status, but of perception and initiative.